Retention

Steve Tuschen
Retention has been a key indicator and it is getting more and more attention. Are people pushing marketing campaigns targeting those that you are looking at losing and those that are lost? If so, what is everyone doing in there quest to increase retention and go after other business?
Roger Conant
Thanks Steve! Well, first off...they hired me to focus on it!(boy, am I grateful for that). And I must say, that's a pretty innovative move for a dealer (service director) to make. And I was very fortunate to work in the Group 1 Automotive SDC (Service Development Center) for 2 years prior to this, which, along with weekly time spent on-site in many of the 18 service centers GP1 has in Houston, gave me an incredible perspective for my job here. But I know very well that this will be a "process" and not an "event"...in an "event" driven industry, so we're honoring the first step in any process... which is to gather information. However, here's my first key insight I will share with you. My take is that the first step is to "close the loop" between sales and service. By that, I mean that those two groups working together will make/break the store retention model. (check out how many of the sessions in the upcoming FixedOps conference are devoted to just that http://fixedopsmag.com/conference-schedule ) I'll end with this. One of my assigned tasks is to fill the role of the General Motors "Voice of the Customer" program here. Just the fact that GM has placed so much money and time into developing that program tells me that they are slowly "getting" the fact that it is smarter to " retain" existing customers...than to get new ones. And that is huge for this industry. Stay tuned...
mark rask
roger those are good comments.....we are having our service bdc department interact more with our sales dept .
Sean Travers
Steve, retention is garnering attention from the OEM's all the way down to service managers. In my opinion, the key is understanding your customer behavior by analyzing the RO activity in your DMS. Creating relevant touchpoints beyond the typical OEM programs is a key to generating a high retention % beyond year 1, and especially after the manufacturer warranty expires. My company recently entered into an exclusive partnership with Carfax to provide dealers with up to date relevant customer defection data. Not looking to sell my solution on here, as that is not what this forum is for, but if you are interested in talking strategy, I'd be more than happy to have an open discussion.
Steve Tuschen
Sean, I agree it has to be at the service manager, if they are not watching there retention numbers and working on getting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, etc visits they are going to lose them before they become profitable for the service department and lose the chance to sell the never vehicle if they are visiting. I have changed up my marketing strategy lately have gone with geo marketing the customer's home instead as well as emailing and mailing customer's and have seen an uptick. I feel I have a strong retention number but until I am at 100 I have work to do.
Sean Travers
@Steve that's a great plan. I am currently having our technology team geocode over 900,000 customer records. We're about 80% done.

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