3 Ways Dealerships Can Retain Car Sales

October 4, 2019 John Kehm

A customer walking into a showroom is often the first step in the car buyer journey. Next, is getting them to come back for regular vehicle service and maintenance. The ultimate goal? The customer returning for their next car purchase, and repeatedly for years to come. As a dealer, you want to exercise customer experience best practices in order to maximize sales opportunities and maintain relationships year-over-year. In this blog, Mastermind shares three ways to maintain relationships with customers and extend your dealership’s sales lifecycle:

  1. Make every in-person dealership experience positive and memorable
  2. Offer exclusive dealership rewards and loyalty programs
  3. Utilize digital campaigns

Make Every In-Person Dealership Experience Positive and Memorable

It comes as no surprise that how your dealership’s team engages with customers has a major impact on customer loyalty and retention. Recent studies show that the dealership sales experience is the top influencer of post-purchase brand loyalty, followed by maintenance and service. Customers take notice of the small details, especially when a dealership personalizes the customer’s buying experience. For example, providing a waiting room space that maximizes your customers time with free WiFi and charging stations is helpful for people who had to take time off work for their car repair. A clean and organized office environment can also make a big difference to a customer. The dealership should be presentable, and each staff member should be focused on helping visitors find answers to questions. Put simply, a positive customer experience makes a buyer want to form a relationship with the dealership.

Offer Exclusive Dealership Rewards and Loyalty Programs

To build a loyal customer base, your dealership needs to offer exclusive benefits and unrivaled customer service. Even for loyal auto buyers, price is the number one buying motive, which may lead them to another dealership. Some dealerships have started offering dealer loyalty programs with rebates or special service offers to increase customer retention. Other unique options include digital campaigns through search and apps like Waze to reach customers when they are on the road, searching for service or maintenance services. 

Another dealer loyalty program tactic is to offer a rewards program for their customers, which may include:

  • Discounted pricing for immediate family 
  • Free oil changes for life 
  • Special offers for referrals 
  • Incentives for trade-in

Dealers need to focus on coming up with unique packages for their customers. Delivering exceptional value will keep your clientbase thriving over time and set you apart from competitors where price will always be the biggest decision-making-factor.

Utilize Digital Campaigns

Personalized digital marketing campaigns keep customer informed on deals and savings directly related to them. A monthly newsletter provides subscribers with useful and informative content like car maintenance tips, dealership events and auto industry news. A comprehensive sales platform, such as Market EyeQ by automotiveMastermind can generate personal messaging for every customer using existing customer data from your DMS and service drive. This sales platform uses social media interactions, vehicle history, real-time OEM and dealer data, and other relevant data points to deliver meaningful and personalized communications. This leads to higher conversion rates and a stronger ROI – all while being 100% brand compliant. 

   

Selling cars is the single biggest challenge of any car dealership, but by effectively focusing on the dealership customer experience by offering exclusive benefits and incentives and implementing targeted digital campaigns, you can increase your dealership’s car sales and improve customer relationships. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how your dealership can retain sales and enhance its customer loyalty, contact us today.  

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