How to Convert a Loyal Customer into a Lifetime Customer

It’s a Conversion That Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Like turning a first date into a marriage or building a small town into a bustling metropolis, it takes an incredible investment of time and effort to convince a customer to dutifully rely on your product or service offering until death does you part. Everyone knows what they say about building Rome.

Yet in the case of your auto dealership, the sweat you pour into this investment can be worthwhile. Implementing a customer loyalty strategy designed to form lifetime bonds often proves vitally important to maintaining and growing dealership profitability. It’s estimated that lifetime customers can be worth up to 10 times as much as their initial purchase.

But as difficult as lifetime patronage can be to achieve in the retail automotive industry, it’s more obtainable when customer loyalty already exists. The seed has been planted and your tree has already sprouted halfway to its height potential.

Wondering how to convert a loyal customer into a lifetime customer? Here are three techniques to utilize when striving to build lifelong relationships with your customers:

1. Strive for Consistent Customer Delight

We all frequently play the role of customer, perhaps even on a daily basis. While most customer experiences are routine, the best and the worst stand out as memorable. But to truly take your customer relationship to the next level, you need to go beyond simply offering tremendous customer service and products. Instead, you must make the customer experience so habitually exceptional that it again becomes routine.

Delighting your dealership’s customers means exceeding their lofty expectations, and doing so each time. Your customers expect impressive customer service —so you need to remember their children’s names, insist on that extra test drive and offer a “loaner” car when extensive vehicle maintenance is necessary. And your customers expect you to sell them a high-quality vehicle at a fair price —so you should throw in a complimentary maintenance plan as an added perk.

2. Offer Something Unique

It’s not easy being unique in today’s consumer market. No matter your industry, competing businesses often resort to copycat tactics, and a perceived competitive advantage can be marginalized quickly. The demand for constant innovation pushes businesses to stay ahead of the competition curve.

While many dealerships utilize manufacturer maintenance programs, you should dare to be different. By taking advantage of Performance Administration‘s premier offering, your dealership can furnish Dealer-Owned™ maintenance packages capable of customization. You’ll have the ability to create a personalized plan to fit your customer base. Promote your dealership and your brand with extended maintenance or additional services available only at your dealership, and enjoy standing out from the crowd.

3. Go Beyond the Call of Duty

When you go above and beyond the normal standard of care, your customers take notice. Whether or not they express adequate gratitude at the time your overachieving customer interaction took place, they remember and their evolution into return buyers is all but inevitable.

Your dealership must occasionally secure this reputation when pursuing prospective lifetime customers. Make doing so part of your customer retention plan. By honoring an auto dealer warranty that recently expired, incorporating a small charitable component into each vehicle sale or offering a unique free service like “ding” repair, you’re exceeding normal dealership obligations. With any luck, this marks the start of a customer that will last a lifetime.