The latest data from retention solutions provider Xtime, a Cox Automotive brand, reveals that price transparency is the top customer concern for service appointments.

Car Service Appointment Concerns for Customers

Car Service Appointments

For today's service customers, price transparency is the number one concern. Recent data from Xtime revealed that transparent cost estimates are the main concern for consumers when setting service appointments.

In Xtime's study, more than 70 percent of the respondents considered cost estimates "extremely important" or "very important." This customer concern ranked higher than the other surveyed factors. These included:

  • The ability to choose the time or day of the appointment
  • The availability of transportation options
  • The option of choosing among different service advisors

"This research shows price transparency is a big way for dealers to deliver a high-quality ownership experience that keeps customers coming back to the service drive," said Jim Roche, Xtime's senior vice president of marketing and managed services.

Why This Matters

Research like this is helpful for dealers because most aren't winning enough business in the service department. According to a 2016 Cox Automotive Maintenance & Repair Study, just 30 percent of all service visits occur in dealerships.

This is likely due to the perception that dealership service departments charge more than independent shops. That perception is inaccurate, according to the aforementioned Cox Automotive study. Rather, they found that the average cost of routine maintenance is largely the same at dealerships and third-party repair shops.

Still, many people believe the inaccuracy, so it's a challenge dealers have to overcome. It's not only costing you revenue, but it's denying you the chance to prove that your service department can provide everything consumers are looking for.

Winning More Service Appointments

Roche, appearing in Dealer Marketing Magazine, recently highlighted three ways that dealers can win more service appointments. In addition, he believes they can help bust the "dealership is more expensive" myth and win your store more customers.

  • Price Transparency: Be Upfront About It
    Right in line with Xtime's research, Roche calls price transparency "your best bet to bust the myth." We are living in an age where seemingly everything is available on demand, and it's changing how consumers view things. Therefore, you need to be able to provide cost estimates on demand. Giving consumers estimates prior to scheduling an appointment will help them see your pricing is competitive and create transparency and trust.
  • Make Scheduling Easy and Convenient
    Again, today's consumers view things differently and expect the utmost convenience. Consumers can go online and order just about any product with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a phone. They should be able to schedule an appointment with your service department just as easily. You need to have an online scheduling system that allows customers to choose and reserve the appointment time they want. Also, you need to market to customers that you have such a feature.
  • Deliver a Top-Notch Service Experience
    Customers want transparency and convenience all the way through the appointment itself. In order to deliver a quality service experience, think about the operations of your service drive. Try to identify ways that processes can be streamlined and made more convenient or transparent. Roche recommends arming your service advisers with tablets. This will give them access to vehicle history info, service menus and pricing in the palm of their hands.

It's all about delivering on what customers want. And that's pricing transparency, competitive pricing, convenience, and, finally, a quality experience.

Retaining Customers Starts With Making Happy Ones

In order to win more service appointments, it helps to deliver a great sales experience first. At Auto Credit Express, we provide dealers with the best special finance leads around and the software to maximize your profit on every deal. Subprime customers are notoriously loyal, so if you can get them financed, it's likely they'll be happy to come back for service.

To learn more about our dealer products and services, and what we can do for your store, give us a call at 888-535-2277 or complete our simple contact form online.