LOS ANGELES -- In the quest to lure more new-car buyers back to dealership service drives, Hyundai dealers are getting some high-tech help.
Gillian Cruz, fixed operations director at North County Hyundai of Carlsbad (Calif.), says Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system has helped more of the dealership's new-car customers keep their first and second vehicle service appointments.
Cruz says about 70 percent of North County Hyundai's new-car customers are returning to the dealership for their first scheduled service, compared with about 60 percent last spring. Customers return for their second service appointments 45 percent of the time today, as well, she says -- an improvement over the 25 percent rate three years ago. And while the early services are just simple jobs such as oil changes, she says early appointments are key early steps in generating re- peat service business down the road.
"We feel here that if we're able to impress upon the customer that exceptional level of customer service during the first and second visit, that will cement us as their go-to repair and maintenance facility for the remainder of their car's life," Cruz says.
Three years ago, fewer than half of the store's customers returned for their vehicle's first service. Instituting regular reminders via e-mail and phone led to gradual increases, but the big 10 percentage point jump over just a few months this past summer came from Blue Link, she says.