In running a successful auto dealership, customer retention is essential. The search for new customers can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. In fact, it costs as much as SEVEN times more to find a new customer than it does to retain your current ones.
In a world full of smartphones and apps, it’s important to make technology part of your strategy to communicate with current customers and maximize your auto dealership retention. As you do that, however, don’t forget that as you sell cars, you should also be working hard to sell your dealership. In order to do this, it’s important to add a human touch to everything you do in order to personalize each customer’s journey with you.
3 “Human Touch” Tips for Auto Dealership Retention
1. Price Isn’t Everything
When it comes to auto dealership retention, some companies simply focus on cost — running tent sales and special service promotions in hopes of bringing customers back for another purchase or their next oil change. While people like saving money, they also like feeling valued. This is why it’s important to nurture your customer relationships in order to bring sales customers back for service and then turn those service customers into repeat sales customers.
How do you do this? You need to demonstrate the value that separates your dealership from the rest. When it comes to auto dealership retention, many customers are willing to pay a bit more to return to a dealership that goes the extra mile for them. This could mean something as simple as providing complimentary drinks and snacks in the service waiting area or offering a free car wash with every service visit. Little things like this go a long way towards creating positive customer experiences that make your customers feel appreciated and encourage them to return.
2. Connecting “In Person” Online
Another way to maximize auto dealership retention is by making sure that today’s convenient new digital communication doesn’t come between you and your customers. This means personalizing your website so that your team isn’t just a faceless bunch of employees. Add a “Meet Our Staff” page to introduce customers to your sales, service, and other team members. Write informative, helpful blog posts that are conversational in tone and allow customers to learn more about their vehicles, your dealership, and the service you provide.
Social media also provides a unique opportunity to reach out to customers and communicate with them in a personal way. Share Instagram photos of your staff that make your customers feel connected and give them faces they can recognize whenever they come in for an appointment. You can also send out exclusive invites and promotions to your customers via social media; this will help them feel like they’re part of an exclusive crowd and make them more likely to take advantage of various opportunities.
Also make sure to utilize customer review sites and use them to your advantage. Ask your customers to take the time to review your dealership on these sites; this shows them that their input is valued.
3. Personalize All Your Communications
Finally, make sure to put a personal touch on all communications with your customers. Add photo signatures to your emails to put a face with your name — this way, they’ll recognize you when they do come in for an appointment. Send out personalized welcome kits and thank you notes and make sure to follow up with them via phone to make sure everything is ok and to answer any questions they may have.
Although this approach takes a bit more effort than simply having customers sign for their new vehicle and drive off into the sunset, over time, you’ll find that the effort is well worth it – both in terms of generating positive reviews and in terms of maximizing your auto dealership retention.