"Capturing aftersales work after the sale can be a real challenge; move the aftersales selling to the point of sale and results can double.
So in an ever shrinking and competitive market, take the ‘after’ out of aftersales and ensure it is recognised as a ‘core’ sale best served during the car buying process for new and used cars.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the franchised after-sales sector, the long awaited Block Exemption changes gained plenty of media coverage under the ‘cheaper servicing’ headline to be quickly followed by news that a major fast-fit brand aims to expand rapidly.
Time to fight back and promote the unique benefits of the franchised aftersales experience and value it can offer. Success takes a simple but vital mind set change on how to promote aftersales so says the UK’s leading service plan provider Emac – drop the ‘after’.
There is clear evidence that retailers and manufacturers have switched onto the importance of aftersales over the last year to drive profit, retention and even as a marketing tool for new car sales; but with a shrinking new car market overall service penetration has still slipped back.
With around 40% of the lifetime value of any customer held in aftersales it makes great commercial sense to un-tap the opportunity; but too often the opportunity is being lost and this is especially true in the used car sector; but this need not, nor should it be the case.
To grow this key area requires a pro-active sales approach to helping the customer.
The aftersales opportunity available to franchised retailers was highlighted by recent research reporting that just 27.8% of all motorists had used the franchised dealer for their make of car for the last routine service undertaken, down from 28.4% in 2008.
Classically much of this work will have been in the one to four-years-old age range.
Sadly and worryingly more than a third of car owners now say they carry out their own servicing at home in order to save money, but 69% of them admit they don't feel confident in their ability to do this.
It means that about 1.25 million car drivers could have negatively impacted the safety, reliability, economy and future value of their car – a false and potentially dangerous economy; but once away from the showroom it can be hard to communicate to customers the risks and unnecessary costs that incorrect or poor servicing can incur.
An ever newer car parc, enhanced reliability and longer service intervals can all combine to mean that servicing slips all too easily out of a customer’s mind once out of the showroom.
The benefits of correct after-sales and attractive affordability should be a core part of every car sales transaction. It is increasingly clear that leaving after-sales to chance is not a strategy to be adopted.
The responsibility for pro-activity is best served by moving after-sales selling to the sales team for both new and used cars.
It is a simple change using the car sales expertise in every showroom to promote ongoing servicing and it works.
Over the last two years we have been working with an ever-growing number of retailers keen to address the slide in servicing work; our analysis shows that by making service plans a core part of the car sales presentation up to 80% of new car buyers and up to 43% of used car buyers opted in.
Cancellations post purchase were negligible.
Customers choose to buy their retailer for the long term, with a budget plan that instantly removes the periodic costs of servicing and gives them peace of mind on safety and reliability issues.
The same product with the same pricing promoted post sale struggles to get even 50% of the point of sale results. If retailers want to gain customers for life, the point of sale is clearly the way ahead.”