What accounts for approximately 40% of your dealership’s gross revenue and 32% of net profit (on average), but gets next to no real estate on your website?
I know this sounds like a riddle, but it’s no laughing matter. The answer is…your Service Department.
Your Service Department is a major profit center for your dealership. It may cover all or a large portion of your operating costs. A higher percentage of your service revenue translates into bottom-line net profit than your sales revenue. In addition, if you can successfully transition your sold customers from sales and finance into service—and retain them—you get to the promised land of higher customer lifetime value.
Of course you know these things. These are fundamental truths that all operators know. But did you know that more and more consumers are conducting online research about vehicle service? According to a Google Think Insights study, 70 million searches on aftermarket, service-related keywords take place on Google every month. Consumers are hungry for this kind of information, but most won’t find it on their automobile dealership’s website because there is very little content to be found there about parts and service.
We had long suspected that the under-representation of the Service Department on dealerships’ websites was a wide-spread problem, but we wanted to have a better sense of the nature and scope of the situation. We’re data geeks around here, so we decided to collect data and do a study. We analyzed the websites of more than 900 automobile dealerships located all across the United States that sell highline, import, and domestic brands. Our suspicions about the epidemic nature of the dearth of service content on dealer websites were confirmed. Here are just a couple of our findings about the dealerships surveyed:
- 61% have less than five (5) pages of service-related content on their main websites
- 82% have no “Why Service Here” message on their main websites
- Seven (7) out of ten (10) dealership websites do not mention OEM service programs
The big takeaway from our study is that enterprising dealerships, automotive groups, distributorships, and manufacturers have a real opportunity to fill a very large void for their customers by providing the type of content they are seeking right on the dealership website. Providing rich service content on the dealership website (as well as in ongoing customer communications and during the in-store experience) offers transparency, builds trust, and positions the dealership as an ongoing partner in the care of the vehicle and the safety of the person who drives it.
There is much more to our study, including lots of cool infographics. Click here to request a copy and it will magically arrive in your inbox.