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Restoring trust in the repair and maintenance process — Skyler Chadwick | Cox Automotive

Many dealers realize the important role trust plays in customer retention and service scores, often going to great lengths to ensure their buyers have the best experience possible. Unfortunately, new data suggests that consumers are starting to lose faith in dealerships, especially in the service department, where referrals are vital to profit.

On this episode of the Power Lunch, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Skyler Chadwick, director of product consulting at Cox Automotive. Chadwick has spent years studying automotive trends from both a consumer and business perspective, helping dealers stay on top of the car business as it continues to evolve. Recently, Cox Automotive published its 2023 Service Study, revealing surprising shifts in the way consumers view franchised service providers. Now, Chadwick discusses the study and offers strategies dealers can use to strengthen trust with their fixed-ops clients.

Key Takeaways

1. Customer trust is not lost, but it is eroding, meaning dealers will need to employ strategies that address service client concerns.

2. Trust in dealers declined from 62% in 2021 to 54% in 2023 among car owners. Customers also ranked distrust as one of the top reasons for not servicing their vehicle at the dealership they purchased from.

3. One strategy to boost trust with consumers is by educating them on the costs of their service. Improved pricing transparency will be key to repairing the relationship between dealers and their clients.

4. Another tactic dealers can use to boost trust is to follow up with their service clients following their work orders. This ensures that the customer is satisfied and offers dealers a chance to correct any issues that may have occurred.

5. Service teams are also in need of more qualified technicians and better equipment. By properly equipping their fixed ops departments, dealers can provide a better experience for their customers.

Learn how to how to win back the trust of your service customers. Download the new eBook from Cox Automotive.

"Customers expect that service experience to be personal and interactive with the dealership...We really want to make sure that dealerships really, truly have the essentials to keep their customers informed." — Skyler Chadwick

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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