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Service plans to become key to customer retention

Chris Benham The Warranty Group

Service plans will become a key customer retention tool as customers make fewer visits to dealerships and workshops, The Warranty Group has predicted.

Dealerships deprived of the number of traditional customer touchpoints can benefit from the increased visits such plans will result in, according to Chris Benham, the business’s automotive business development director.

Benham said: “We are seeing a situation where customers visit the dealership less often than even 10 years ago, thanks to factors such as longer service intervals and improved reliability. The recent Castrol aftermarket survey suggested that, even in the last two years, visits to workshops have fallen by 2.4 per cent.

“This has a direct effect on customer retention – if there are fewer workshop visits to the dealership, it results in fewer opportunities to impress the customer and retain their business.”

Chris said that being able to sell a service plan meant that even though customers would continue to need fewer dealership services, all of the important ones – including MoTs and servicing – would be captured.

He said: “The signals are that the number of traditional dealership visits will probably continue to decline so, really, service plans are by far the number one tool available to automotive businesses for creating ongoing valuable customer relationships.

“Without them, it is difficult to see how dealerships can resolve the retention question.”

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