OEC Blog

Are you marketing RepairLink alone? (Why?)

Are you marketing RepairLink alone? (Why?)

While participating in the national launch of RepairLink, I noticed a shop adoption trend very early in the process. Multi-manufacturer dealer groups consistently outperformed single manufacturer independent dealerships. It was not very difficult to determine why the disparity existed.

Dealer groups had the ability to present a much more advantageous value proposition to their customers than independent dealers did. While presenting the program, groups represented a much higher percentage of vehicles passing through the shop’s bays. Inherently, RepairLink provided groups (and their customer’s) additional value.

Independent dealers were sometimes able to take advantage of having a group in their market for a couple of reasons. Most groups did not have all manufacturers under their umbrella, leaving a void for an aggressive independent to fill. Also, it was uncommon for a shop to purchase from all lines within a group.  If a shop had an existing relationship with an independent dealer that used RepairLink, the shop would choose to work with them.

For years, I accepted this phenomenon and worked with many dealers who had put forth some of the necessary effort to get their customers to use RepairLink, but couldn’t seem to get consistent usage.

One morning, I was discussing RepairLink usage with a dealer in my home market and decided to try something different. I recalled having a similar conversation a dealer the previous week, and realized that the dealers were very close together. After further research I found two additional RepairLink dealers around them – The first “Synthetic Dealer Group” was born.

I approached these four dealers (representing different manufacturers) and presented the idea of promoting RepairLink together. It made perfect sense, they were very likely to share a core base of customers based solely on geography. As it turned out, their service departments used each other as needed so there already was a base relationship. While dealers representing different manufacturers compete with each other on the sales lot, that competition does not exist in the back of the building. When have you ever called a Honda dealer for a Nissan Part?

The increase in RepairLink usage with these dealers was staggering. The consistent messaging from multiple points of contact really drove home the value of using RepairLink. Each dealer was also the recipient of additional customer opportunities thanks to their “Synthetic Group” partners.

Something you can try TODAY
  • Ask your shops if they are using RepairLink with other dealers/manufacturers
  • Analyze what other area dealerships you might share customers with and determine if you can work together

Not sure if there are other RepairLink dealers in your area? Contact your OEConnection Account Services Representative and ask for help. They will be able to assist you in locating other participating RepairLink dealers in your area (and possibly help facilitate working partnerships).

As always, we welcome your feedback! Tweet @OEConnection with your thoughts.