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Maintenance Packages Increase Brand Loyalty, Drive Dealership Revenue

By: Jeff Youngs, 4/9/2014
Complimentary and prepaid vehicle maintenance packages increase brand loyalty and repurchase rates, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.SM The CSI Study measures customer satisfaction with maintenance and repair work at franchised dealer facilities among owners and lessees of vehicles that are between 1 and 5 years old.

"Maintenance packages--whether they're complimentary or paid for by owners--create a long-term relationship between the customer and dealership, which, when coupled with satisfying service experiences during that period, can have a very positive impact on loyalty rates," said Chris Sutton, senior director of the U.S. Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power.

According to the 2014 CSI Study, 72% of vehicle owners who have a complimentary or prepaid maintenance package repurchase the same vehicle make when selecting a new vehicle, compared with 62% of vehicle owners who do not have complimentary or prepaid maintenance. Additionally, the loyalty created by these maintenance packages extends beyond the term and mileage limits of the packages.

Sutton noted, "Maintenance packages help capture a higher percentage of service visits, and since customers with these plans are predisposed to purchase such items as batteries, brakes and tires from the dealer even after their plan expires, dealers retain key revenue opportunities for service and repairs."

All four General Motors brands rank among the five highest-performing makes in their respective segments. Buick leads among Mass Market brands, followed by Volkswagen, GMC and Mini in a tie, and Chevrolet. In the Luxury segment, Cadillac ranks highest in satisfaction, followed by Audi, Lexus, and Infiniti and Lincoln in a tie. Overall, customer satisfaction with dealer service has increased in both segments from 2013.

More than 90,000 owners and lessees of 2009 to 2013 model-year vehicles participated in the 2014 CSI Study.

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