Understanding the shopper is the first step in determining where to invest whether that’s in the sales department or service. That’s why in our recent Service Shopper 2.0 study we surveyed over 2,000 service customers to find where dealerships stood in not only the consideration set but what they can do to can drive retention and conversions.
And while Net Promoter Scores were down for everyone, independent retail chains took the biggest hit, falling from 63 in our survey last year to 49. Dealers now sitting at an NPS score of 44 are within striking distance. Especially since 58% of non-dealership customers said they are considering scheduling a service appointment at a dealership in the future.
That’s why we wanted to dig deeper into what a dealership service department could offer that the competition can not. We asked these same shoppers what features they would love to have offered at a Service Center and which ones, if missing, would make them unhappy. The results created a unique pattern that allowed us to bucket 23 different features and classify them as Desire, Delight, Require or Indifferent. To learn more about the data and definitions behind these terms please read our full report Five Service Features to Invest in Now.
We discovered that it wasn’t just significant investments like dedicated work areas for adults and play areas for their kids, but also simply focusing on key areas of advantage dealers have.
In fact, having factory certified technicians and parts rose to the top of almost all features we asked about marking it in the Desire category. Service departments may feel like these are table stakes but both overwhelmingly resonate with service customers. Simply reinforcing this advantage both inside the service department via signage and in digital other marketing efforts could prove beneficial.
When you broke down shoppers interested in switching to a dealership the number actually went up from that 58% average the younger they were with 68% of 66% Gen Z and Younger Millennials. That may be a solid reason to consider looking at features that fell into our Delight camp.
Real-Time Mobile Updates scored exceptionally high when we asked if customers would love it if it was offered. Here too younger generations, all but boomers, rated the features even higher. Whether it’s a real-time digital progress bar or real-time text updates, digital tracking solutions are becoming the norm across retail in general. Using either of these options, mobile real-time updates can significantly reduce shopper anxiety. Another important benefit is it removes the need to have staff directly update customers — whether they’re waiting in-store or off site.
As we move forward into 2023 and there remain uncertainties across the economic landscape, it is critical to consider how the service department could win over just as uncertain shoppers. These opportunities exist, as the research shows, and any store should be able to pivot to meet them. Learn more