Why It Pays to Focus on Customers Who Don't Return
Getting a customer is sweet. Keeping that customer is even sweeter.
As auto dealers, we all focus on customer retention. At Performance Administration Corp., it's what we're all about — we provide personalized customer retention solutions and automotive marketing tools proven to Sell The Next Vehicle™.
But try as we all might, sometimes customers get away. You could have the best automotive customer loyalty strategy in the world, but you'll never bat a thousand. Your retention is at 70 percent? That's great, but what about the 30 percent that never came back?
For every customer who doesn't return, your dealership is losing opportunities for up-sale, labor, parts and accessories. More importantly, you're losing opportunities to build relationships that lead to vehicle repurchase opportunities and recurring revenue.
That's why it pays to focus on customers who don't return, because these are the customers you're losing money on and who aren't referring another customer to your store. These are the relationships we need to focus on restoring.
It's why we created The Lost Opportunity Transformer™ (LOT).
What is the LOT?
The Lost Opportunity Transformer™ is a reputation management software tool (part of MaintenanceProgram.com Customer Retention Technology) that sorts customers by their relationship with your dealership. It's used to target customers in different ways and with different messages based on the length of time since their last service visit. It's beneficial to send targeted messages because customers who haven't returned in 90 days have a different relationship and different perception of your dealership than customers who haven't returned in six or more months.
Customers 90+ Days Past Appointment: Some customers may have defected because of an inconvenience in their schedule. Maybe they were unaware that they had benefits remaining, were on vacation, something came up, or maybe they just forgot and never got around to rescheduling. These customers didn't defect because they had a bad experience, they just haven't returned because of a time conflict or awareness. In this situation, you just need to reach out to remind them of the incentives that are available at your dealership. With the LOT, you can target these customers with an email or phone call to say, "We just wanted to remind you that you're overdue for service, and you have a complimentary oil change available at our service department. Would you like to schedule an appointment?"
Customers Six+ Months Past Appointment: This category of customers will also vary based on circumstance. Some customers may have had conflicts or just procrastinated. Maybe they were just putting service off because they don't like dealing with it. However, chances are a majority of these customers aren't returning because they had a bad experience at your dealership. Whatever the issue may have been — like getting dirt on the floor mats or a two-hour oil change — these customers are going to need a powerful incentive to return. They need a push, a reason, a complimentary incentive. Maybe even an apology. These are the customers you need to win-back because they're hurting your reputation. In this case, the LOT is particularly helpful because it has a notes section for customer feedback. This allows you to record issues and concerns and make improvements for the future to ensure it doesn't happen again.
How the LOT Drives Lost Customers Back
When your dealership signs up for a Certified Maintenance® Complimentary Maintenance Program, we send hassle-free service reminders to your customer based on their preference in the form of a postcard, email, text message or phone call. If the customer doesn't return for service after being reminded, the LOT will capture these customers and compile them into a list on the MaintenanceProgram.com Service Dashboard. Your service or sales staff then has the information they need to reach out to these customers to remind them of their available complimentary services and can invite them back.
This works in four steps:
- Plan The Messaging Strategy: Prior to launching your Complimentary Maintenance Program, Performance Administration Corp. works one-on-one with your marketing and service department to determine a messaging strategy that will be a driver for the up-sales and the additional service revenue generators.
- Sort and Target Customers: Once customers have defected and are added into the LOT, you can sort customers and send targeted messages to groups or individuals based on: first or last name, days past appointment, new or used vehicle, last contact date, vehicle make, or expiration date.
- Follow Up With Customers: A call screen is associated with each customer that provides a detailed profile with contact, vehicle and service information. Within the call screen you can customize call scripts, schedule service appointments, view claim activity, record customer experience notes and call results (i.e., left a voicemail, spoke with customer, etc.), view contact history and gather customer email addresses for future promotions and events.
- Record Results and Measure Progress: The LOT provides multiple reports to identify who received the offer, who responded and who didn't. The Lost Opportunity Recap Report shows how many new lost opportunities were generated within the last 30 days and how many calls were made. This also helps to hold your service staff accountable to making calls. The Lost Opportunity List Report can be generated as a PDF or CSV file to view the customers who did and did not respond to your offer. The Lost Opportunity Summary Report measures the effectiveness of your campaign by recapping customers who were contacted, who responded and the amount of money recuperated. It provides the last full year of new lost opportunities, number of contacts, number of win-backs, RO amount saved and total up-sale saved.
Don't Take Our Word For It
The LOT and all of our prepaid Complimentary Maintenance Programs delight our customers because they help them retain customers, build relationships and sell the second (and third, and fourth ...) vehicle.
Before we started working with Greenwood Chevrolet of Youngstown, Ohio, their customer retention was at 18 percent based upon each customer having 2.5 service visits per year. Once they started utilizing Certified Maintenance® and the LOT, that number rose to 56 percent.
"We now have a service department that's consistently packed with high quality customers and traffic," says Greg Greenwood, Owner/Operator, Greenwood Chevrolet. "People trust us to do a full line of work — from full maintenance to larger repairs."
Certified Maintenance® and the LOT have also benefited Hyundai of New Port Richey, Florida, helping them achieve close to 70 percent new and used customer retention in their service department.
"Using these web-based claims processing systems makes claim processing quick and easy," says Scott Fink, President, Hyundai of New Port Richey. "I would recommend Performance Administration Corp. to any dealer serious about improving customer satisfaction and service department retention."
Take an in-depth look at 6 Success Tools and Strategies our dealers use to identify and win-back 34+% of Lost Opportunity Customers and more than double CP/RO counts in the first 12 months.