Our friends over at Cox report that the share of service work coming through dealers has declined from 35% down to 30% over the last two years. Given how profitable this business line is, that’s just ouch. The primary reason stated for the drop is declining trust.
My hunch is that if you peeled back all the layers, and accounted for other challenges like the difficulty of finding and training skilled techs, what we’re really talking about here is the consumer’s desire for transparency.
People want to see transparent pricing on display on your website. Not listing your prices can come across as shady. They’re afraid they’re gonna come in and get overcharged for basic services. It’s easy to put them at ease by putting prices on your site. If every other company selling stuff online can do it, the automotive industry can do it too.
People also want to know why your pricing might be more expensive than the local quick lube. Tell them it’s because you’re using OEM parts, following OEM requirements to keep their warranties in tact, because you got OEM certified technicians, that you’re following manufacturer standards. These are wonderful things to share that your customers want to know.
And people really want to see, literally see with their eyes, what’s in great shape and what’s close to bad, and what’s outright dangerous to drive on. That means using video to point out the good, bad and ugly. If your customers can see the comparison between new brakes versus their widowmaker pads, that’s going to build a lot more trust than any other form of communication.
Can transparency help reverse that trend of declining market share? I sure believe so.