Customer loyalty is one of the most important aspects to establishing a successful dealership and should be a top priority for anyone in the business. It’s not always easy to keep customers, but your store can improve customer retention using a number of strategies.
Customer Retention is a Problem
While generating fresh auto leads should be one of your store’s main goals, retaining your current customers should be up there as well. Customer retention is often viewed as a percentage and is based on how many customers a store keeps within a certain time frame. Having a higher customer retention rate can translate to a better ROI and more referrals – representing additional car sale opportunities. With proper planning, these car sales leads can drive more and more car buyers through your door with every satisfied buyer.
Dealership personnel can come off as harsh or unpleasant with customers at times – a situation that most often occurs during the sales process. It’s important to think of these events as more than a loss of a single car sale. What unseen opportunities were lost by this dissatisfied customer? Would they have referred more qualified buyers to your dealership, or brought in car service revenue?
Dealership Customer Retention Strategies
So, what, specifically, causes a drop in customer retention? The biggest issue dealers face is a lack of communication with customers. Stores must teach and implement great communication skills in order to be successful. According to CBT Automotive, there are three things your store can follow in order to have a better customer retention rate:
- Communicate expectations: The earlier you communicate and explain expectations with a customer, the better. This avoids any confusion about the sales process, and makes sure expectations are met. It’s important to provide as much detail as possible to the customer early on so they don’t become frustrated.
- Ask for criticism: Constructive criticism can help you understand where your faults are during the sales process, and will help you understand why certain customers leave. Make sure you send out surveys to each customer you work with, even if they’re generally happy with the process. Seeing viewpoints from multiple sources can only improve your dealership’s customer retention ability.
- Be dependable: There’s no guarantee that a customer will return even after a positive experience. So being dependable, following up, and setting reminders for a customer’s next appointment are some of the most important things to do. A good tip is to have a planned service follow up schedule. Having a follow up service is designed for customers who don’t take action until the second or third reminder. Utilizing a system for customer communication, such as an automotive BDC, will make sure the buyer is still interested in your dealership and lets them know you care about them and appreciate their business.
What We Can Do to Help
Dealership customer retention can be a challenge if you don’t have the right tools. On top of this, it’s also important to find new customers to come through your door. If you want that extra push to take your store’s automotive sales process to the next level, Auto Credit Express wants to help by providing high quality auto leads directly to your store. Whether you want to focus on subprime leads, new car sales, or used car sales, we have the solution for you.
Find out more about what we can do for you by calling us at 888-535-2277 or by filling out our contact form. One of our team members will get in touch with you to discuss how we can help your store.