Got your attention? Good!
This past Sunday a took a booth at the local Business EXPO in my town. I like doing these things for the obvious reason - It helps to promote my company's brand in my community. But the other reason I do it is to speak with the average consumer to gain information. One of questions I ask is this: "What model car do you drive and where do you go for service?"
It is amazing to me how many people go back to the dealer for service work. And here are some of the reasons:
- It's a lease car, I didn't know you could take my car to you for service
- It's a new car, don't you HAVE to go back to the dealer?
- I don't know where to take my car, so I stayed with the dealer
- I have free maintenance (we all what "free" means)
- I don't want problems if I need warranty work
- My salesman told me when I bought the car that I had to used dealer parts and service
- Aren't the dealer mechanics better trained?
By the way, when I asked about the level of service and convenience, all of them rolled their eyes and said something like this, "Well, it's the dealer, you know what you get." MAN! I can't help thinking that if they came to YOUR shop you would win them over just on your level of customer service!
So, as you can see, we are in a fight with the dealers. The great news is that we are still the number one choice of the motoring public. Let's fight to stay that way.
We, as independent aftermarket shops, do not aggressively market ourselves against the dealer. Maybe we should start?