Customer retention is the true key to success. It’s what any business should be striving for. Within the dealership industry, repeat customers are extremely valuable and can make the jobs of your sales and customer team that much easier. So, what can a business do to show appreciation for their customers in a way that makes them want to come back for more? We’ve got a few ideas!
Offer a Loyalty Program or Incentive Plan
One of the best ways to increase customer retention is to offer a loyalty program. Programs that incentivize repeat buying can increase sales, and according to recent studies, 87% of customers want brands to have a loyalty program. In the automotive industry, this is especially true. In a dealership business development center, with the main goal being appointment scheduling, we can offer special repeat services for customers if they schedule now. By offering 3, 6, even 12-month deals for a loyalty program, can make all the difference in customer retention and satisfaction. They want to know that they are cared for, and that their business is important.
Provide Free Upgrades
Everyone loves a free upgrade. If the customer were to upgrade services on their own, there may be a small expense, so offering it as a FREE upgrade is a great way to get that business. Customers who are already receiving services, or have received service from your business in the past, are highly likely to return if they are offered a good reason to. Free upgrades for one customer can also lead to them spreading their good fortune to others via word of mouth. A good review from a customer is an absolute blessing for getting new customers into your business.
Give Them a Free Car Wash
In the industry of scheduling service appointments, trade-ins, and car sales, a free car wash may seem like nothing, but what an awesome way to show the customer you appreciate them! At Customer Traac, we know a free car wash—especially in these Minnesota winters—is quite a gift. It also shows we care about their purchase as much as they do, and we want it to last the lifetime of their relationship with us, and hopefully continue on to their next vehicle.
Celebrate Their Milestones
Did your customer buy their car in the last year? Did they make payments and service appointments regularly and on time? This is something to celebrate! Finding any reason to celebrate a customer milestone can be a great way to show you care and appreciate them. This could even be in the form of points or levels. By giving a customer gold status because they got 3 oil changes through your dealership. You’ll be increasing the likelihood of them continuing that relationship. Make those milestones a big deal, and you may have a customer for life.
Do a Prize Drawing
A prize drawing is something you could do both over the phone or on location. Have a bowl where customers can drop their business cards in for a drawing for a prize once a quarter. If you’re over the phone, ask if they’d like to submit their phone number or email into the pot for a drawing! This makes your job fun, and it makes the customers feel like they’re appreciated and part of something bigger. Follow through and make sure you share the winners on social media, this will entice everyone to continue to put their names in for a drawing, and it can attract other customers as well! You can’t ask for better promotional content than a prize drawing.
Treat Them to Unexpected Discounts
At the end of your call surprise the customer with a discount! This can be a great way to solidify them in your business, especially for repeat customers. After you resolve their issue or make the sale, say “To thank you for being such a great customer, we want to offer you 10% off your next service!” Customers deserve to be rewarded for repeat business, and for just being good customers. Everyone loves a good surprise, and if your business budgets for that in your department, it can be a super awesome way to give back to your customers, without breaking the bank.
Send Thank You Notes
A personalized thank you note can really make a customer feel appreciated. If you’re at a smaller business, a handwritten thank you note to a few of your best customers can be a really fun addition to customer retention programs. Your staff could have a stack of thank you notes on their desk at all times, and when they receive a customer that just was so kind, and so grateful, they could write up a thank you note on the spot, and send it off in the mail. Customers make your business, and without them, you wouldn’t have one. They deserve to be recognized and appreciated! Giving and receiving thanks really makes people feel good and can give an added value to the work you do. Plus, it keeps customers coming back. It’s a win-win!