According to a report on industry trends by Cox Automotive, both the cost of vehicles, as well as financing APR rates will continue to rise in 2022. Because of this, more and more Americans are choosing to keep their existing automobile. In fact, today the average age of a vehicle on the road is 12 years old, with the vehicle parc at a record level in excess of 280 million. Drivers will continue to hold on to their cars, choosing to invest their money in repairs rather than new purchases.
During the pandemic driving decreased dramatically. However, new research has shown that 50% of Americans are expected to return to the road for a variety of reasons. Many still feel uncomfortable taking crowded public transportation such as buses, subways, and planes opting to drive even though it may be more time consuming. Still, others have returned to work in offices and other public retail environments requiring transportation.
Additional miles will inevitably result in additional repairs. That’s why it’s even more important for dealerships to take the necessary steps to improve and streamline their Service Departments to ensure drivers will choose to have their repairs done there instead of through a third-party mechanic. This includes having the latest machines and technology, well-trained service technicians, and a knowledgeable, customer service-oriented front desk staff.
This also includes the promotion through social media and email of any specials or coupons a dealership might be offering towards Service and Repairs. Anything from a discount on routine oil changes or tire rotations, to information on a Rewards Program a dealership may have in place that allows a customer to earn points towards future repairs through regular maintenance. After all, offering specials is fantastic, but how often will a customer actually take the time to dig through your website to find that coupon? They need to be easily accessible and visible to the public on many different platforms.
It’s time to reinvent how drivers perceive Service Departments at dealerships to make them their first choice when it comes to repairs.