More than 70 percent of respondents in a recent Xtime study considered cost estimates “extremely important” or “very important” when scheduling service appointments.
In fact, the assurance that they are getting a transparent estimate outranked all other factors among the 668 drivers surveyed, including the ability to choose the time or day of the appointment, the availability of transportation options and the option of choosing among different service advisors.
According to a news release announcing the study, only 30 percent of service visits take place in dealerships, partly because customers believe dealership service departments are more expensive than independent repair shops.
But the average cost of routine maintenance at a dealership is comparable to third-party providers. Therefore, by providing cost estimates during the scheduling process, dealers can alleviate the misconception of having higher costs, create a transparent and trustworthy ownership experience for customers, and increase their odds of winning more service appointments.
“This research shows price transparency is a big way for dealers to deliver a high-quality ownership experience that keeps customers coming back to the service drive,” said Jim Roche, senior vice president of marketing and managed services at Xtime.
“Spectrum, Xtime’s cloud-based service experience platform, already allows dealers to act on these new findings. Since 94 percent of dealers state that the ownership experience is more important than the service itself, dealers must look to technology in order to deliver that superior experience,” Roche continued. “With Spectrum, customers can conveniently schedule their appointments online — and know how much they’ll pay before they arrive. This improves convenience and trust, enhances the ownership experience, and increases service retention by an average of 7.5 percent.”