One major driver here is cost. The 2013 Carlisle Consumer Sentiment Survey shows that not only is the aftermarket much better than dealers at providing a reasonable charge for parts and labor, but, more importantly, it is also better at informing customers of the total service cost up front. New vehicle owners’ first service interactions with the dealer typically occur while the vehicle is under warranty or a maintenance plan and the cost of service is obscured
However, once customers begin to pay for service out of their own pockets, they are hit with sticker shock upon receiving their first service quote. No wonder they soon gravitate toward the aftermarket.
OEMs can borrow from this aftermarket strategy to help win back and defend their business. With the proper design, pricing, and marketing, packages can achieve the following:
- Transparent pricing
- Consistent pricing
Some progressive dealers already package price their service offerings on their own. However, this is often a daunting process, especially if it has to be done manually. So what can OEMs do? Help dealers design, price, and market packages.
First, many OEMs provide dealers with aftermarket mystery shop data to help them establish competitive price points for their services. More advanced OEMs also provide dealers with tools to help them create and quote packages, especially for factory scheduled and other competitive maintenance services such as oil changes, filter replacements, and brake services. These tools allow a dealer to look up a customer’s vehicle (by VIN or by selecting vehicle specs) and view all the services that should be performed at that time (or even previously declined services), the associated parts and labor units, and the dealer’s pricing. The dealer can then generate a service menu, review it with the customer, and create a final quote by selecting the services the customer has chosen.
Once a dealer has a set menu of package prices, service marketing can be much more efficient and targeted to directly compete with aftermarket service offerings.
Bottom Line: OEMs should take a page out of the aftermarket playbook to win back and retain their service customers. OEMs can help dealers bundle their most competitive services into packages, including both parts and labor, and charge a single out-the-door price. Dealers will be more transparent and consistent in their service pricing, and that will mean more satisfied customers.