Tom Bell Chevrolet's service advisers, including those in the express lane, get $100 for every service contract they sell to their customers, Hanson says. Otherwise, he says, advisers might be reluctant to offer prepaid maintenance plans and to explain the benefits of the tieback to customers.
He says the service department sells about 10 service contracts with a disappearing deductible each month, compared with as many as 70 in the dealership's finance and insurance department.
"There is a real opportunity to get service advisers in the quick lane" to pitch the product, Hanson says.
In addition to its branded maintenance package, the dealership offers other service contracts that have disappearing deductibles. "The disappearing deductible is really good because it brings [customers] back to us," says Josh Petty, the dealership's service manager.
Portfolio works with about 16,000 dealerships to sell service contracts, says Greg Hoffman, the company's managing director. All of the contracts have tiebacks, Hoffman says, and about one-fourth include disappearing deductibles. Both features enhance service customer retention, he says.
"The more [a customer] is in the dealership, the more you can impact the experience," Hoffman says. "That results in future sales."
Many service contracts allow service departments to release work covered by a tieback to another dealership or independent repair shop if it would be too inconvenient for a customer to return to the selling dealership, Hoffman says.
Some dealerships offer a loyalty program to buyers of service contracts with tiebacks that earns them a free oil change after a certain number of visits, Hoffman says. Others give tieback customers "priority" status, which entitles them to such benefits as delivery of a loaner vehicle and discounts on some maintenance items, he says.