John's Journal: John McElroy's multimedia blog about the automotive industry

AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: GM Uses Good Service to Keep Customers

May 12th, 2008 at 10:11am

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

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Dealer Small

General Motors is using technology to improve service all with the idea of holding onto the customers it’s got.

About 3 out of 10 GM customers bring their cars to the dealer for service. But GM’s Service Operations figures if they can boost that to 4 out of 10, it can drive a lot more business for the company and its dealers.

First off, GM dealers would do about $1.3 billion in more maintenance and repairs every year. Second, a lot of those customers will turn into repeat buyers. GM says they could account for 360,000 sales of new cars and trucks. And it sees the opportunity to sell $160 million in accessories to those people.

A key tool to improve service is monitoring a car’s health via OnStar and then alerting customers when their cars need work. It all has to do with satisfying existing customers so they keep coming back to GM dealerships.

One Comment to “AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: GM Uses Good Service to Keep Customers”

  1. Tom Martin Says:

    I agree that it’s important to keep customers coming back for service, and the industry needs to survey the 7 of 10 who do not use dealerships to find out what dealers need to change to bring back more customers.

    I’m not sure how this works, but I find the current program interesting at some dealers (mainly Honda) where a car keeps the drivetrain warranty forever if all maintenance is conducted at a specific dealer. I would consider this if it were expanded beyond a single dealer. For example, if all maintenance was performed by GM dealers, the drivetrain warranty stays in effect. Dealers could offer this with “certified” used cars as well.