3 Aug

Are you Killing Customers Softly with the Same Old Song?

In a recent article Colin Shaw, a leading customer experience thought leader and author, details his car-buying experience – and not in a positive way. He experienced car-buying the same way that car dealers have always done it in the past. [Spoiler Alert! — The title of the article is “Unbelievable! Does Car Buying HAVE to Be SO Bad?”

What are the long term service ramifications of this “BAD” sales process?


Answer: Limited or NO loyalty for your service business!


Dealerships currently average only 33% retention of car buyers into the service department. Those customers angered by the sales process frequently decide to drop the dealership from consideration when it comes to servicing their vehicle.


I am sure you all know how important service revenue is the overall financial health of your dealership. Well, when you start the relationship with a bad experience the ripple effect can be extremely costly. Lost opportunity costs include:


  • Multiple years of service work revenue
  • Up to 80% decrease in the opportunity to sell that customer another vehicle
  • Lost referrals they could have given


And let’s not forget how much time, effort, and money you spend trying to win them back for service and sales opportunities. In total this can add up to thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars of lost revenue per customer that abandons your dealership due to a bad sales experience.


The key to growing your business is to keep your customers and have them refer other customers.  That is why the hugely popular customer service score NPS (Net Promoter Score) asks one question only – ““How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?”


A few simple things can make a big jump in loyalty gains:


  1. Honor agreed upon prices and avoid the “Today Only” mindset.
  2. Simplify the foursquare process as much as possible and set a time limit for negotiations.
  3. Focus on the “lifetime value” of customer during the sales process.


Sticking to old processes and singing that “same old song” which doesn’t apply to current generations will send your customers out the door to your competitors. Be open to new ideas. Change is not your enemy. Dealerships that adopt new technology, realize the need to focus on the customer experience, retention and loyalty, are already leading the pack into the future. Do yourself a favor and jump on board!

Back to all post