Understand-Customer-Psychology

Psychology of Service Valet and the RO Value Increase

Why do customers who do not visit the dealership spend 18% more on auto service? Evidence and armchair psychology support our analysis.

RedCap recently published a case study about the effects of service pick-up and delivery (service valet) on loaner turn time.  You can read the paper here. (Spoiler alert: Loaner turn time was reduced by approximately 1.2 days, or over 40%.)

The study had a few other gems.  Among them, analysis showed customers who used service valet had RO values 18% higher than those who did not use service valet. Theoretically, these service valet customers  could have had more expensive repairs but that is not likely given the large sample size.

Instead, our longstanding experience shows service valet customers purchase more recommended services. So this begs the question:  Why do customers who do not visit the dealership spend 18% more on auto service?

Evidence and armchair psychology support our analysis.  Consider the psychology from the customer’s viewpoint.

The dealership saved the customer a few  hours by not requiring them to visit the store to service their car. Result: customer saved time, feels valued.

Customers expecting to wait in the customer lounge for an hour are less likely to purchase additional services if it requires more time at the dealership and less time where they were planning to be (i.e. work, family, golf).

Customers in the comfort of their home or office, with a loaner, have no time constraint and are more likely to say yes to a suggested repair as the car is already at the dealership, the repair is likely needed, and there is little sense is saying No only to bring the car back at a later time.

Many customer segments (females and non-automotive savvy males) are more likely to say no to an “in person” pitch, when the suggested repair is outside the realm of what they were expecting. This is a natural reflex, especially in the automotive sector.

The median annual income of a luxury car owner in the United States is $99,364 or approx. $50/hour. The average luxury car owner would equate two hours of savings to $100. A customer is more likely to make additional purchases if it’s directly connected to a savings or discount in the same transaction.

The pick-up and delivery service sets up the sales concept of reciprocity. Now that the dealership has given the customer something (time, less pressure, more convenience), the customer will feel better about reciprocating.

Is another explanation for the increased RO value that a service advisor could be a better salesperson over the phone? Granted, service advisors like to have a direct (emotional) connection with their customers but there is a valid explanation as to why service advisors who offer pick-up and delivery show higher RO values.

We’ll look at the upsell transaction and service valet from the viewpoint of the service advisor in the next blog post. Stay tuned. Be driven.

 

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