The market share of service, maintenance, MoT and repair work undertaken by franchised workshops in the UK is on the increase.
Manufacturer-branded repairers have inched up their slice of the market to 24.2%, a 0.9% increase on 2006’s share, representing an extra £195 million of revenue.
However, the larger non-franchised sector still dominates, with a 53.3% chunk going to independent repairers, fast-fits and garage groups.
Although some franchises fare better for customer loyalty, even the top performer, Honda, only achieves 37.9% customer retention, according to the biennual Castrol Professional Car Service & Repair Report.
Average retention across all franchises surveyed is 24.2%. Bottom is Vauxhall, with 17.5%.
A spokesman for Vauxhall said that as an indication of “how seriously we treat this subject” it had been working with retailers this year on several programmes to improve service retention.
Measures taken include adding value to the customer experience through offering service and maintenance plans, seasonal safety checks and MoT insurance to protect against unexpected repair bills.
The results show an ever more important need for franchised dealers to put extra effort into customer retention.
Sales of service plans by dealers have led to improvements in retention and growth in aftersales revenue, while enabling the customer to spread the cost of annual servicing across monthly payments.
Adrian Brabazon, of Castrol, said: “Dealers should be focusing on retaining customers and maximising capacity utilisation in the workshop, because once a customer is lost to alternative aftermarket providers, recapturing them is incredibly difficult.
“We are working with many forward-thinking dealers who seek to maximise customer satisfaction and profitability by implementing efficient processes and up-skilling staff through training.”