Your #1 source for auto industry news and content


8 influences on consumer buying behavior in dealership service drives

‘Tis the season when consumers are more active and dealership traffic increases. So, it is important to know what is influencing buys. Today on Inside Automotive, John Fairchild, high-performance fixed ops coach and President of Fairchild Automotive Solutions, examines eight factors that drive service buying behavior.

Fairchild recently went to a mastermind event where the topic of the eight customer buying behaviors and the broader context were discussed. In terms of how to apply these elements to service drives, this topic struck near home for Fairchild. These are the eight influences: 

1. Authority: How do customers know if they are communicating with service advisors? Fairchild notes there are two elements that assist in knowing how advisors can bring authority into the customers’ experience. 

a. Verbiage is the first element. “If you have a longer tenure with your dealers and were promoted from a lower position, say so.”  It builds credibility and authority throughout the customer experience.

b. Signage is the second element. Having certifications displayed around your service area also adds authority.

2. Social proof/evidence: if your name is on social media in a good light, it adds value to service drives.

a. Fairchild says reviews and posting letters are two examples of how this might be done. Customers should be able to see these positive evaluations and surveys. Back in the day, salespeople would have an evidence manual with instances of times when they made a difference in the customer experience.

3. Contrast: “Sale the green” Fairchild explains, “it’s doing inspections every time and emphasizing that customers don’t have concerns. But, when there is a concern, it generates contrast, which ties into my next point.” 

4. Commitment: “your customers want to know you’re committed to them and their vehicle needs.”  Customers will feel more at ease if you convey a sense of urgency when the following things occur:

a. Do what you say- “if you over-promise it, you should be over-delivering it.”

b. Always overestimate time and money- “you end up surprising your customers when you get things done when you say or even before.” 

c. Keep your customer updated proactively- Customers might not feel like their adviser is particularly committed to them if they have to contact and monitor their status. As a result, advisers should be aware of their updates and shouldn’t be afraid to get in touch.

5. Liking: Customers have to like you, which can be easily attainable if advisors build rapport. This includes discussing topics other than the car, so, learning about the consumer and how long they intended to keep their vehicles.

6. Obligation “This is the law of reciprocity. If I do something for you, you would then feel obligated to listen to what I have to say,” expresses Fairchild. Without reciprocity, the process becomes transactional, and customers are more to decline. 

7. Scarcity: Your service drive has leverage if you have the necessary parts or time to complete the job.

8. Exception: First, “go the extra mile and take the necessary steps to produce overall satisfaction.” Then, there’s an exemption- Are service incentives exempting customers from spending less money?

Did you enjoy this interview? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by connecting with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok to stay up to date.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.

CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

Related Articles

Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News


Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners