Everyone is looking for the answer to an empty showroom and the ticket to selling more cars.

Increasing customer loyalty is always a big-ticket item, but service revenue can sometimes fall by the wayside. But lately, data shows that your service department might be the key to it all!

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By putting a greater marketing emphasis on your service department, you can increase your service revenue, build customer loyalty, gain new customers, and even sell more cars!

And while there are a few marketing methods that can accomplish this, the latest data shows that digital marketing is one of the most effective strategies.

Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Service Department

Dealerships across the nation are losing customers. They’re trying to refill the void through a variety of marketing methods – like allocating more of their budget towards conquest customers – but this will never deliver the results they need.

Dealerships are losing customers because customers are no longer loyal to a specific dealership or make. In fact, there’s no customer retention plan that can offer 100 percent retention!

Vehicle owners aren’t buying vehicles as frequently as they used to and they’re driving older vehicles – so, while this might appear to hurt dealerships on the sales side, the right marketing can actually increase dealership visits, develop customer loyalty, and (eventually) sell more cars.

Dealers who shift their focus toward their service department and put more of an emphasis on automotive repair are getting better results than any other customer retention strategy can offer.

The fact is, the likelihood of a customer purchasing their next vehicle at your dealership is dependent on their interactions with your service department.

Additionally, digital marketing now influences nearly 60 percent of vehicle purchases at the dealership and the influence is even stronger when it comes to post-purchase service.

The biggest opportunity for dealers is to utilize digital marketing for their fixed ops. This combination can strengthen customer retention, bring new customers into your dealership more frequently, increase automotive repair orders, and lead to more vehicle sales over time.

Why Digital Marketing Works for Service

The reason digital marketing works for service revolves around the following data:

  1. Nearly 25 percent of all automotive searches are related to parts, service, and maintenance.
  2. Digital influence is even stronger when it comes to post-purchase service.

Because digital is so key to reaching vehicle owners post-purchase and service is so key to retaining customers, a solid service-facing digital campaign strategy allows you to digitally attack and defend against competing dealerships and third-party mechanics.

This combative strategy might seem a bit overkill to you, but the truth is, it’s completely necessary.

The average vehicle owner takes their vehicle for service 2.7 times per year, with each visit averaging around 178 dollars. But only 30 percent of these service visits are conducted at a dealership level – and only 17 percent of those visits occur at the dealership where the vehicle was purchased.

People are searching for vehicle service near them and they’re turning to third-party mechanics for their needs.

Vehicle owners turn to third-party mechanics because they believe three things:

  1. Third-party mechanics are cheaper
  2. Third-party mechanics are faster
  3. Third-party mechanics are more convenient

We know these statements are not true!

A good digital marketing strategy for service will work if it is able to break down these misconceptions.

How Digital Marketing for Service Can Help You Sell More

Remember, the likelihood of a customer purchasing their next vehicle from your dealership is dependent on their interactions with your service department!

And, because these interactions directly relate to their future buying behavior, the more positive interactions they have, the more money you’ll make, and the more cars you’ll sell.

Remember, your technicians are more highly qualified, have access to higher quality parts, and have an intimate knowledge of your customers’ vehicles! Service customers know and believe this. They just have to be convinced that you can do all of this for the same or even less money than your competition.

If you can convince them of this, then you will win their service business, and their loyalty – which, in time, will help you sell more cars.