Retaining a position is always harder than achieving it. This applies to sports, life, culture, and of course – the automotive industry. Every business has its specific features; however, what we all strive for is to keep our customers happy. Every dealership today needs to meet consumer expectations even before they show up in the store.
Research show us surprising stats: Marketing Metrics spotted that it is easier to sell to existing customers than to gain new; Kissmetrics discovered that you need to spend 6-7 times more on acquiring new shoppers than keeping old; whereas ICDP found that cars sold with a service package had almost a 50% increase in retained margin over the customer lifetime. Numbers don’t lie. They clearly show that it is important to focus on customer retention and try to put as much effort as you can to get them come back to you for more.
Here is how you can improve customer retention at your dealership.
In the past, people would buy cars from the same dealer and manufacturer. That was called loyalty. This faithfulness is today so hard to earn given that there are so many brands and dealers who compete for customer’s attention. And they trying really hard to drive loyalty and keep customers on their list of regulars.
Businesses spend billions each year for non-cash loyalty incentives, and there are even more hidden costs that come along year after year. Accenture found that 77% of consumers participate in retail loyalty programs, whereas 57% spend more on brands or providers to which they are loyal. However, what you need to focus on is to breed genuine loyalty.
Be authentic, present new features, and give exclusive offers and special content. Be creative and try to expand the emotional range you are aiming at. And always – always – maintain high-value service.
Ask for feedback
“To be heard, one must first hear.”
This proverbial truth is ever so applicable in the business world.
If your business is in decline and you still fail to ask for feedback from your users, you can miss a number of opportunities. Listen to good advice but pay close attention to the bad. What your criticizers tell you should be the guiding start for your reforms. If customers give you only words of praise, you will hardly ever advance in your business.
Moreover, if you listen carefully to what the negative commenters are saying, you will have the chance to make it up for them and even gain new consumers who share the opinion.
Think future now
Customer support is one of the standing pillars of the business of the future. It is your job to make it the best of its kind. Big data analysis and research are what businesses will focus on in the years to come, so you might think about this in small scale. If your dealership can afford it, conduct surveys – they can be truly impactful since they can show the levels of your customers’ satisfaction. Once you obtain data, you cannot ignore it and you should immediately act upon.
Also, you should employ new technologies and software to automate the processes. Moreover, think about creating an inspiring environment where your prospects will love to come to and stay for a while. Make your dealership store become their “feel good” place to go.
Stay in touch
The mobile experience is now more important than ever. Bond Brand Loyalty found in 2016 that 57% of members would like to engage with loyalty programs via a mobile device, whereas 49% do not know if there is an app for their program.
Additionally, website experience also plays an important role in customer retention, because the same study showed that only 30% were very satisfied with the dealers websites. Especially since Millennials are getting mature but keep their habits, so marketers and dealerships must take this opportunity and be where their prospects spend most of their time – on texting on mobile phones and chatting on social networks.
To wrap things up, what your dealership should do to build up customer retention is to: invest in customer retention programs – such as loyalty cards and special offers, always ask for feedback and listen carefully for criticism, implement technologies and automatize processes, and use mobile texting as a tool that all buyers love.