“The U.S. auto industry’s seven fat years of rising new-vehicle sales are over,” claims David Kushma, Deputy Editor of Fixed Ops Journal.

In his commentary, Kushma cites the gruesome predictions for sales numbers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — U.S. sales of new cars are trucks are going to fall.

Estimates show that over 2 million less vehicles will be sold in 2019 than in 2016 averaging almost 10 cars per month, per dealership. Amid falling sales, dealerships must emphasize service unless they can afford to sell 100+ less cars per year.

How do you entice customers to bring their car in for service?

You can do direct mail and hope the coupon lands in the mailbox the day before a customer needs an oil change or you can blast out emails hoping that your message gets seen and opened — and then wish the recipient needs that service at that time. But this scattershot approach removes a personalized approach that the customer demands. Timing and relevance of the message is everything if you want to drive behavior and not cause communication fatigue with customers.

OneClick Loyalty is designed to deliver the right message at the right time via personal owner websites direct from the dealership. And that message tells the customer about your dealership and why they should return for service offering them the right functionality and conveniences that brings them back.

Service is a $99 billion opportunity for dealerships to engage with customers and offer a level of service they can’t get anywhere else.

Service starts on the dealership’s digital properties such as their website or social media. It is almost certain that a customer will visit a dealership’s digital properties prior to bringing their vehicle in. They’re looking for a variety of information including pricing and coupons, reviews, service scheduler, as well as amenities such a shuttle service or free WiFi.

In a recent webinar hosted by Automotive News titled: “Turn One-Time Visitors into Lifetime Customers – The $99 Billion Opportunity,” the speaker, Jim Roche, mentioned how necessary it was for a dealership to put the cost for services right on the webpage. He compared the lack of a price to buying an airplane ticket online not knowing the cost, going to the airport and then finding out the price you have to pay after boarding your flight.

It’s hard to compete with the third-party service centers and quick lube spots that offer oil changes right now for $20.

But it’s proven that people will pay more for better service. In fact, 53% of consumers expect dealerships to offer higher quality service; those consumers are also willing to pay 10-15% more for dealership work.

The expected downturn provides dealerships with the opportunity to show off their service bays. It will keep revenue steady and initiate a springboard for turning car buyers into customers for life.

With OneClick Loyalty, dealerships can compete with the service centers and provide a better customer experience throughout the ownership lifecycle.