September 26, 2011
Keep Them Coming Back
There are many ways to build trust with a potential customer and gain loyalty, especially when working with that customer for the first time.
One such bold suggestion was recently posed by Jim Kristoff on dealerELITE. Kristoff suggests going through the process of appraising a customer’s trade-in through Kelley Blue Book together, so that there is agreement on vehicle condition, the customer doesn’t miss certain model specifics about their vehicle, and the price is set and agreed upon without hassle.
“What better way for your management team to build rapport and trust with your customer, than to let the customer be a part of the trade appraisal?”
Another often overlooked way to build customer loyalty is availability of accessories. The 2011 Automotive Accessory Market Report found that accessory availability was important in selecting a dealer by 23% of all buyers. Consumers can be frustrated if the accessories they want aren’t there, and, as reported by Insignia Group, being able to select accessories can be a large part of instilling ownership in a customer even before financial paperwork is signed.
Insignia Group also suggested offering a complimentary maintenance schedule with the purchase of a vehicle, as customers who regular use the Parts and Service departments at their dealership are more likely to purchase their next vehicle from the same location.
Since service retention is so important for overall customer loyalty, adding any ease of use for a customer’s service needs can be helpful, like mobile SMS text messages to remind them of their upcoming oil change. Mobile messaging can also provide specials, news, and even just simple reminders of why the customer is appreciated by the dealership, and in the mode of communication many consumers prefer.
Finally, a great way to build and maintain customer loyalty is to provide a Customer Loyalty Program. You can offers customers something they want, such as a free oil change after the first three, or a way to earn points toward so much off their next vehicle purchase, which offers incentive to keep the customer going back to the dealership and build on the program.
Read more about Customer Loyalty Program success here.