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It’s a commonly known, quoted, and understood fact that it’s at least 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

Based on that statistic, it’s no wonder so many organizations (and dealerships) make customer retention a major strategy for improving overall revenue and profit. But what happens if, despite your best efforts, your customers just aren’t coming back? Without direct insight into your customers’ minds, it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle…and losing.

In our 2020 Dealership Service Retention Report, we explored exactly why (even loyal) customers don’t come back to your dealership and in this article we’ll highlight the top five reasons you could be losing your best customers and how to change that.


Prepare for the 5 make-or-break moments that can cause service customers to start going elsewhere.


Top 5 Reasons Your Customers Aren’t Coming Back…

Whether it’s a bad first impression or a high price tag, these five reasons could spell disaster for customer loyalty and revenue.

1. A Previous Bad Experience

Nothing makes a customer walk away faster than a bad experience. Don’t believe us? According to PWC, “32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience.” That doesn’t leave much wiggle room.

And in the world of social media and Yelp reviews, that lost customer can cost you quite a bit. But bad experiences aren’t just limited to a customer thinking a service representative was rude. In fact, it can include:

  • Having to repeat an issue to multiple people within the department
  • Sticker shock, especially for the first visit after their warranty expires
  • Feeling pressured into additional (potentially costly) services

…And Strategies to Change that

Customer experience isn’t just a skill for your service advisors, everyone on your team needs to be equipped to provide your customers with top-notch service. If you find yourself losing customers to bad experiences think about implementing a customer feedback loop to allow your team members to receive valuable customer insight or provide yearly training on customer service techniques.

2. Lower Prices at Other Service Centers

Sometimes it really is about the dollars and cents. And for many that can be a difficult problem to overcome. However, it’s important to note that discounts and deals don’t always equate to loyalty, so don’t jump to offer a lower price quite yet!

…And Strategies to Change that

Instead of focusing on cost, focus on value. Competing solely on price point is a losing battle, but providing customers with additional value with their service will keep them coming back again and again.

An easy way to do that? Partnering with a renewable benefits provider like DriveSure means your customer’s oil change now comes backed by roadside assistance, tire hazard protection, and emergency alternate transportation. An oil change will never look the same again!

3. The Services Needed are Minor

Small repairs or maintenance can be a gold mine for your service department, but only if your customers bring their cars to you. And when the repair is small enough for a relative, friend, or local shop to do, customers might be less inclined to bring you their business.

…And Strategies to Change that

Sometimes it really is as easy as improving awareness of your services. Make sure your customers know your service department can help with all kinds of maintenance and repairs…from the small to the extensive.

Bonus: This can be especially true when it comes to tires. According to that same Retention Report, over 20% of customers didn’t know if their dealership offered tire repairs or not. Don’t lose out on tire customers just because your service isn’t well advertised. Talk it up and gain some traction with your tire sales.

4. A More Convenient Location

In today’s world of overnight shipping and hour or less delivery, convenience is a big factor in customer loyalty.

…And Strategies to Change that

Unfortunately, you can’t up and move your service department to make it more accessible for every customer. What you can do is advertise using local SEO so nearby customers know where to go when they are in need of a repair.

Bonus: Providing customers with dealer-loyal roadside assistance means when or if they experience an unplanned repair, their cars go to your dealership and not the repair shop down the street.

5. A Referral or Recommendation from a Friend

Customers trust other customers. If a friend is recommending a different service department, even a loyal customer of yours may be willing to try them out.

…And Strategies to Change that

Loyal customers = more referrals for your business. By providing customers with a quality experience, better value for their money, and convenient access to repairs of any kind, you’ll be well on your way to developing a rolodex of referrals. To maximize this effect, make sure your happy customers are also encouraged to leave online reviews for your dealership too.

Don’t keep letting your customers just walk away. Implement these strategies and watch your customer retention and revenue skyrocket.

Master These Moments to Keep Your Customers

Discover the 5 critical moments causing customers to abandon your dealership service department, and how you can overcome them.
Join us for a free online event on July 28th!Battling 5 Dealership Service Defection Points with DriveSure