Deciding where to go for service
New-vehicle dealerships are capturing a good chunk of service business. Discounts and other marketing initiatives can attract more customers, but mainly at the margins.
Those conclusions emerge from a survey of 15,313 consumers who recently visited a dealership to shop, lease or buy a vehicle, or have service work done. It was conducted Sept. 12-21 by DealerRater.com for Fixed Ops Journal.
The survey found that two-thirds of service customers typically go to a dealership, while only 15 percent routinely go to an independent repair shop. Twelve percent of respondents said they go to a dealership for some kinds of work and an independent shop for certain other work.
Dealerships captured two-thirds of the 6.9 percent of respondents who said they recently went either to a dealership or an independent shop specifically because of a coupon or other marketing offer.
Among brands with at least 400 vehicle owners in the survey, Ford and Dodge suffered the most service-work leakage, with 19 percent of respondents saying they always go to an independent shop. Subaru was next at 18 percent, followed by Hyundai at 17 percent and Chevrolet at 16 percent.
Lexus had the most loyal customers, with 80 percent of respondents who had just visited a Lexus store saying they always go to the dealership for service. Mercedes-Benz had an 82 percent loyalty rate, but only 383 respondents.
The lowest dealership loyalty score was 54 percent for Dodge, followed by Hyundai and Kia, tied at 59 percent.
Hyundai and Kia customers may not be loyal, but they are susceptible to marketing: An industry-high 9.1 percent of Kia respondents, followed by 6.6 percent for Hyundai and 6.2 percent for Nissan, said they most recently went to the dealership for service specifically in response to the store's marketing efforts.
Q. The last time you had your vehicle serviced, how did you decide where to have the work done?
66%I went to the dealership I always go to for service work.
15%I went to the independent repair shop I always go to for service work.
12%I went to the place I always go: a dealership for certain service work (such as major repairs) and an independent repair shop for other work (such as oil changes).
4.6%I went to a dealership specifically because of an ad I had seen, a coupon I had received or in response to some other marketing action.
2.3%I went to an independent repair shop specifically because of an ad I had seen, a coupon I had received or in response to some other marketing action.
Note: Total doesn’t equal 100% due to rounding.
Source: DealerRater.com survey of 15,313 consumers conducted Sept. 12-21
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