The SilkoCare program included free maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles of ownership, discounted oil changes after two years, unlimited free car washes and a lifetime powertrain warranty.
Building a service brand around three generations of Silverleibs treating customers like family paid off for Silko Honda. Silverleib says customer retention rates increased in the service department over the years, but the long-term effect forced him to go back to the drawing board to adjust the service program.
"People were coming in and getting their free service, but the first time they were hit with the option to pay for their service was at 30,000 miles," Silverleib told Fixed Ops Journal. "Two years of 25,000 miles worth of service at 5,000-mile intervals was great service, but after their fifth free service provided under [SilkoCare] they had to pay $350 to service their vehicle."
He adds: "The program was having a negative impact of customers peeling off. We were trying to capture the aftermarket world, but we struggled to retain them."
The program was rechristened SilkoCare Plus in November 2017 and Silverleib says his dealership has taken its "why buy here" proposition from a short-term perk of free maintenance into a long-haul benefit that customers have embraced.
The SilkoCare Plus program covers every new-vehicle purchase and includes a lifetime powertrain warranty and unlimited free car washes. But the rebranded program dropped the two years or 25,000 miles of service and replaced it with lifetime "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" oil changes.