Shoppers who’ve purchased from you are already service customers.  They are more likely to use you when they have service needs.  We know from our research that 49 percent of new vehicle buyers had prior service interaction at the dealership where they ultimately made their last purchase. ¹  Furthermore, 6 out of 10 customers that walk into a dealership are headed for the service department.¹  These service customers will spend money today, and come back in the future as potential sales leads, so loyalty needs to be fostered driving sales retention (Figure 2).

Welcoming back existing customers as a part of the sales process can foster this loyalty.  Do we know how many used and CPO vehicles were purchased by a returning customer that had service before their next purchase?  Yes, we do.  Based on our own surveys and intercepts done March 2015 – February 2016, we know that 4 out of 10 CPO buyers previously had service at the same dealership (Figure 3).   Although a CPO and a new vehicle consumer are relatively the same depending on the specific CPO program, CPO intenders are more price sensitive and slightly more interested in luxury brands, ² but they may be more willing to gain entry into a luxury brand from a CPO purchase versus an outright new vehicle purchase.  This is where your influence can come into play.  Selling more CPO and used vehicles could show more returning customers to the service lane as well.

Continuing to support the service lanes at dealerships can foster that customer loyalty that influences future sales leads from existing customers.  In the end, we all want to help the customer make the right vehicle choice.  It’s a matter of figuring out what influences them, listening to them, and then giving them the best service possible so consumers feel they got their best deal and keep coming back.

[1] Dealer CPO study, Strategic Insights, 2016
[2] Placed Dealer Walk-In Analysis Report, Data Insights, 2016