In an ever-changing vehicle service market, dealerships need to keep up to date with shifting customer preferences if they want to succeed. That’s why our 2023 Dealership Service Retention Report took a look into the minds of vehicle owners to uncover what drives them back to dealerships for service — and what keeps them away.  

One surprising revelation from this comprehensive study is the continuing appeal of a seemingly simple tool: the windshield maintenance reminder sticker. Despite technological advancements and new communication methods, this traditional reminder continues to play a vital role in customer retention. 

Let’s take a closer look at the data, and how dealerships can better take advantage of windshield stickers for more effective customer retention. 

The latest data on service customer communications 

For the report, we surveyed 1,380 vehicle owners who go to a dealership for at least some of their service needs. Among many other questions, we asked them “How do you usually know it’s time to get your vehicle serviced?” 

From the results, we found that the traditional windshield maintenance reminder sticker still holds up as the most effective way to communicate with customers.

pie chart breaking down answers for when drivers know it's time to get a vehicle services

  • Windshield stickers are the main preference: nearly half (45%) of survey participants rely on the sticker to figure out when to service their vehicle. 
  • Customers look at different parts of the sticker: getting more specific, 25% of all respondents looking at the mileage on the sticker, and the remaining 20% looking at the date on the sticker (this total gives us the full 45% above). 
  • Many other customers wait to hear from your dealership: 20% of customers depend on a reminder from the dealership to know when they need to return for service. 

Since stickers are a hard-to-lose visual reminder, it’s not hard to see why they continue to be a go-to for customers. With fierce competition pushing so many dealerships to modernize, we’ve seen some dealerships stop using windshield reminder stickers. However, the research is clear that they’re still a useful tool to get customers to return on time.  

Consider how a family with multiple vehicles might find these stickers indispensable for keeping track of maintenance schedules. Or a busy professional might appreciate the visual cue every time they get behind the wheel. These stickers are as difficult to misplace as the vehicle itself, so they help ensure that customers can keep track of their service appointments without extra effort on their end. 

With this in mind, we expect this tried-and-true method to stick around. 

What keeps customers coming back to your dealership in 2023?

Insights from Nearly 1,500 Dealership Customers

Since customers are already using windshield stickers, consider making them more useful 

Windshield reminder stickers have proven their worth as an effective tool for reminding customers when it’s time for vehicle service. But why stop there? Dealerships can further leverage these stickers by enhancing their functionality and making them even more useful for customers and the dealership. Here’s how: 

  • Incorporate QR codes: by adding a QR code to the sticker, customers can quickly scan it with their smartphones to access additional information, such as detailed service records, upcoming promotions, or even schedule their next appointment online. 
  • Highlight special offers: with a QR code, the web page you bring customers to can be used to promote special discounts or offers related to the customer’s next service. This not only incentivizes return visits but also adds value to the sticker itself. 
  • Include contact information: hopefully this is already something you’re doing, but make sure it’s easy for customers to reach out with questions or concerns by including your dealership’s phone number or website on the sticker. 
  • Personalize the sticker: personalizing the sticker with the customer’s name or vehicle model can create a more tailored experience and show that the dealership pays attention to details. 
  • Track sticker effectiveness: implementing a system to track which customers return based on the stickers can provide valuable insights into their effectiveness and help in refining future strategies. 
  • Provide value-added benefits: aside from notifying customers of special offers, the DriveSure Benefits Suite lets customers scan a QR code to unlock personalized roadside assistance, where they can request help in seconds, track the status of their service truck, and even have their vehicle towed directly to your dealership’s service department. For dealerships offering our prepaid maintenance package, this page lets customer see how many prepaid redemptions they have left. 

When you understand and leverage the modern consumer’s desire for a convenient, value-driven experience, your custom approach helps your dealership get the most out of your windshield stickers, increasing service visits, revenue, and overall customer satisfaction. 

Use windshield stickers to improve your marketing 

Upgrades like the ones above become much simpler when dealerships are using DriveSure. By incorporating unique QR codes into custom windshield stickers, which can be automatically printed for each customer, DriveSure helps you give your customers a helpful, tailored experience.  

These QR codes allow customers to check service dates, request roadside assistance, or schedule service with the dealership, adding a layer of convenience to the traditional reminder.  

While windshield stickers are far from the only solution DriveSure provides, they’re a significant step in our mission to make sure your dealership remains the go-to provider for maintenance, tires, and repairs.  

Another step in that mission is to provide you with the latest data to help you retain customers. 

Get the latest research on dealership service retention 

Staying ahead of customer preferences and behaviors is essential for success. The 2023 Dealership Service Retention Report offers invaluable insights and data-driven strategies to help your dealership thrive in this competitive environment.  

Beyond just confirming the enduring appeal of windshield reminder stickers, the report uncovers the factors that influence customer loyalty. This comprehensive report is a must-have resource for any dealerships that wants its service customers to stick around. 

With detailed analysis, real-world examples, and actionable recommendations, the report provides a clear roadmap to delight and retain customers in the post-pandemic world. Download the free report today. 

What keeps customers coming back to your dealership?

Download the 2023 Dealership Service Retention Report to see what dealership service customers have to say.

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