The survey sponsored by Castrol Professional, revealed that 38 per cent of Honda owners took their car back to a franchised dealer for its most recent service. However, this figure has dropped slightly for the brand that achieved 40.3 per cent in 2013.
Mercedes-Benz managed an impressive 4.5 per centage point year-on-year increase to 37.8 per cent, rising from fourth to second place, and overtaking Audi (35.3 per cent) and BMW (32.3 per cent). Toyota completes the top five, retaining 29.0 per cent of customers for routine servicing.
Trend Tracker analyst Chris Oakham said: ‘The type of customer plays a role in overall servicing retention. Among others, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota tend to attract a relatively mature and conservative customer base, which may be more likely to return to a franchised dealership for routine servicing than younger, more cost-conscious owners of other brands.’
Head of marketing at Castrol UK & Ireland Nigel Head added: ‘This latest research highlights the broad spectrum of customer retention levels across manufacturer networks, and, more importantly, which marques have been able to drive year-on-year improvements.
‘Many dealers already have the tools at their disposal to further improve customer retention, with customer offers and aftersales programmes tailored for budgets of all shapes and sizes, and cars of all ages. However, the key lies in consistent and targeted communication and customer engagement to shift deeply-entrenched consumer perceptions that franchised dealers are more expensive and therefore offer less value than other alternatives such as independents and fast-fits.’
At the bottom of the table are dealer networks for Renault (16.0 per cent), Peugeot (19.4 per cent) and Ford (19.7 per cent). The average for owners of cars of all makes is 24.8 per cent.
The report also highlight a number of other franchised dealer networks that successfully retained high levels of customers for servicing. However, they are excluded from the final Trend Tracker rankings due to low sample sizes in relation to higher-volume manufacturers.
Kia, whose sample size has grown rapidly in recent years, retained 41.6 per cent of all servicing custom, up from 35.3 per cent recorded in last year’s report. This result has been credited to its industry-leading seven-year warranty.
Mini’s ‘tlc’ service plan has continued to help the brand capture a strong 38.6 per cent of servicing work, while Suzuki successfully captures the highest proportion of routine servicing work among cars over 10 years old, with 15.6 per cent, versus an all-marques average of 4.7 per cent.