By: Jeff Ornell, Director of Equity Solutions
Gaining a customer’s trust is one of the best ways to create a long-term relationship with automotive shoppers on your lot. In general, it costs at least five times more for dealerships to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Those who leverage loyalty to drive acquisition efforts can see a return on investment (ROI) of up to ten times more than traditional acquisition campaigns 1. A key building block to customer loyalty and retention is how you approach your customers.
Dominion’s DealActivator suggests three proven processes to enhance your loyalty proposition and create continuous equity sales:
- Engage customers in the service drive
- Mine your database for the best leads
- Professionally contact your customers
Engage Customers in the Service Drive
On average, over 50% of a dealer’s service traffic did not buy their vehicle from the dealership. These customers are already loyal to your dealership, so create a selling process around engaging customers in the service drive. Once your dealership has an engagement process in place, select one energetic and engaging employee to be the service drive concierge.
Arm your new service concierge specialist with mobile technology and soft credit pull tools to ensure service drive engagement. Mobile tools allow your service concierges to stay visible in the service drive with all the information they need in the palm of their hands. Utilizing soft credit pulls yields an average of over 10 units per month from customers that will stay loyal to a brand, but not to a dealership. Lastly, don’t forget to “stage” your service drive with point-of-sale materials, a service board that broadcasts specials, and a VIP service program.
Mine Your Database for the Best Leads
Equity Mining uses your customer database to identify qualified lead opportunities, using the dealership’s DMS, OEM incentives, book values and third-party data. This gives you a competitive edge by identifying both current and conquest opportunities that have the highest probability of purchasing or servicing. You can convert your shoppers into loyal, repeat sales customers by getting them into a new vehicle with a similar payment for little or no money down.
Professionally Contact Your Customers
Create powerful campaigns to target negative equity customers for greater return on investment. It is important not to over communicate and drown out your message. It is best to space your contact with each customer in your marketing programs at least 90 days apart. Follow up on an email with a phone call, or vice versa. Also, create marketing incentives that align with OEM promotions or with the needs of your dealership (i.e. vehicles you need for inventory/most profitable used cars). The most successful marketing campaigns are those that line up with your unique dealership strategy, are created for a specific audience, and communicate on a calculated schedule with professional content and design.
A study from Accenture Strategy, discovered that over half of all customers who switched to a competitor did so because that dealership lacked the service and/or sales personnel that could have made their experience easier.
Implementation of these three Dominion DealActivator processes will help your dealership increase and maintain customer loyalty. Call 877.421.1040 to learn more about DealActivator today!
1https://contently.com/strategist/2015/08/18/how-loyal-are-your-customers-this-metric-has-the-answer/READ MORE >