Dealerships that focus on customer retention see a boost in profitability. A 5% increase in retention can yield a 25% boost to your bottom line.
To keep customers engaged over time, dealerships must offer a memorable service experience. Personalized service creates emotional connections, builds trust, and differentiates your brand.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Investing in customer service and creating a customer experience-driven company culture can boost retention rates. According to Forrester Research, customers will spend more money with companies that offer a good experience.
In this world of disruption and the constant barrage of external forces, consumers are re-evaluating how they connect with brands and the products they buy. They expect the things they do and how they make decisions to be faster, more convenient, friendlier, and more knowledgeable.
The customer experience is the sum of all consumer interactions with a brand across its entire journey with them. It includes pre-purchase connections, the actual purchase, and post-purchase interactions like repairs, additions, or services.
As a dealer, you can focus on automotive customer retention strategies by focusing on your service offerings and making it easy for customers to contact your dealership. You can also use technology to improve the customer experience. Using newer technologies such as AI, ML, AR, and Big Data can help you connect with your customers in new ways and create stronger relationships.
Create a Consistent Service Experience
Creating a consistent service experience across all customer interactions, whether in person, over the phone, via email, or through social media, can help with retention rates. Despite the challenges of creating this consistency, it can be essential to building solid relationships with your customers and boosting their satisfaction levels.
One way to do this is to assign the same customer representative to every call they receive. This ensures that they can deliver consistent support across all their interactions and helps prevent them from feeling like they are being thrown around.
Another critical component of a consistent service experience is collecting real-time customer feedback on quality. This allows automotive brands to identify product issues and quality problems before they arise, earning them more revenue from repair orders and warranty claims and driving less churn as customers stick with their manufacturer and dealership for the long haul.
Moreover, capturing and analyzing customer feedback on quality from all channels and touchpoints is essential for brands to improve product design and manufacturing processes. This allows them to fix quality issues before they affect sales and generate more positive ownership experiences that lead to repurchases.
Offer Additional Value
One of the best ways to boost your bottom line is to increase retention rates. It’s a no-brainer that loyal customers are more likely to return and refer you to their friends, family, and neighbors. It would help to have a well-designed and implemented marketing plan to keep these valuable assets bearing. The most effective way to improve customer retention rates is to provide an unmatched and rewarding experience that aspires to delight customers at every touchpoint.
Create a Community
In a highly crowded market where customers can choose from many products, offering them a community to engage with is an excellent way to increase retention rates. It’s human nature for people to turn to other customers for advice, and a community gives them a chance to talk to peers who have been using the product before they are, increasing trust.
A community can also serve as an ever-present feedback mechanism, enabling members to highlight issues or ways to improve the product. Often, this information can be passed on to product managers or other customer support professionals who can respond quickly.
Finally, a strong community can boost brand loyalty and make the customer feel as though they’re part of something bigger than themselves. A study by Cone Communications found that people loyal to a company that helps the environment or causes other positive social impacts are likelier to stay with them.
To create a great community, start with a thoughtful onboarding experience to welcome new members. This should include a comprehensive introduction to the platform and everything they can do, including rooms, content, and discussion threads. It’s also a good idea to send a series of welcome emails to remind them of the benefits of being part of your community.
Make it Easy
Creating an experience where customers feel comfortable doing business with your dealership is one of the most effective ways to boost automotive customer retention rates. This includes making it easy for customers to find their way through the buying process. For example, having an easy-to-use website that answers questions about specific models, financing options, and contactless delivery is a great start.
It also means ensuring your employees understand that the customer comes first and that they can make small decisions in the field to smooth the experience. This can mean things like greeting customers in the drive, showing them their vehicle information on the Greeter Board, or letting them know about any work that needs to be done before they visit.
As new car technology evolves and the frequency of service visits decreases, creating memorable experiences that build trust and loyalty is crucial. This requires dealers to transition from being product-centric to customer-centric.