Xtime’s Tracy Fred shares how to improve today’s consumer experience

Nearly 1 in 4 customers says, their dealership visit takes longer than expected.

The 2021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study revealed positive news for dealership service centers, but is money still being left on the table? On today’s Power Lunch we’re pleased to welcome Tracy Fred, Vice President of Operations for Xtime, to take us through their latest study and what you can do to improve your consumer experience today.

The study included more than 2500 consumers in the U.S. from ages 18 to 75 that have had at least one service visit in the past 12 months. The study revealed, despite challenging market conditions, dealership service centers remained resilient with a market share up 1% from 2018 to 34% in 2021. Fred says there’s still another 66% of the service market up for grabs, translating to $214 billion in potential revenue.

technicians While consumers prefer dealerships, the top barriers for returning to the dealership are cost and location. When consumers do visit the dealership service department, nearly 1 in 4 says, their dealership visit takes longer than expected. Dealerships’ top frustrations were parts delays from manufacturers and hiring technicians. Fifty-seven percent of dealerships say their service department is not fully staffed. Eighty percent of dealerships say they expect the labor shortage to continue. Fred says, while there is a shortage, there is a focus on investing in this particular area of the business.

Related: Embrace technology in the service department for faster turnaround times

Nearly, all top-performing dealers agreed that improving the consumer experience is an important focus, moving forward. Fred says they found that service departments that offered digital tools to their consumers, generally have a positive outlook. Nine in ten vehicle owners who scheduled a service appointment online were highly satisfied. She says dealerships need to make sure they promote these tools and the conveniences they enable for consumers at every opportunity.

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