In spite of your concentrated efforts to more effectively and profitably run your business, various market influences may lay claim to service dollars that should be yours. Take steps now to head off the effects of these impacts, knowing full well that your customers’ affinity for personal vehicles remains strong, and they trust your expertise to keep one of their most prized possessions operating safely and efficiently.
1. New vehicle depreciation — to the tune of $3,000 per year. Car owners who like to change vehicles frequently should be thinking about the resale value – not just the purchase price – when choosing their next ride, says AAA. Educate customers that they can minimize depreciation costs by keeping their car for a longer period of time and keeping it well-maintained.
2. Major vehicle repairs. A 2018 Federal Reserve study found that when faced with an unexpected $400 emergency expense for vehicle repair, 41 percent of adults either could not pay for the expense, or would need to borrow money or sell something to cover it. Many opt for Vehicle Service Contracts (VSCs) that cover repairs that are often not covered by factory warranties or are no longer covered by expired warranties. But, they send vehicles back to the dealer for repairs.
3. Tariffs on auto imports and parts, and the impact on customer satisfaction. This year’s rise in driver satisfaction, a 1.2% increase to a score of 82 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) scale of 0 to 100, is largely the result of better value, according to the 2018 ACSI Automobile Report. It will be interesting to see how the reality of higher prices on auto purchases and parts used in repairs, as a result of the tariffs, will affect customer satisfaction in the coming year.
4. Gas prices. Prompted by the start of hurricane season, prices at the pump in early September were pennies away from topping the highest price Americans have paid for a gallon of gas in more than two years ($2.67 in August of 2015), according to AAA. Higher gas prices can significantly impact miles driven.