Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

10 Things in Sales that will Never Change

10 Things in Sales that will Never Change

Here is my take on 10 things that will never change in Sales.  When you have a clear understanding of how these 10 things work, you'll undoubtedly…

Are You Selling Service Contracts in the Lane?

Are You Selling Service Contracts in the Lane?

Several dealers reported record months in the service drive. With a record number of RO’s hitting the lanes each day, it is a gold mine for selling s…

Women in the Dealer Workforce: Where We Are & Where We Can Go

Women in the Dealer Workforce: Where We Are & Where We Can Go

It’s no secret that women make up a small portion of the dealer workforce and turnover among women is high. By not attracting and retaining women in the …

Car Subscriptions - Q and A with Bill Playford

Car Subscriptions - Q and A with Bill Playford

I had the chance to interview Bill Playford about car subscription services, and how they're going to change the marketplace. Take a look what this ins…

Be The Exception

Be The Exception

How brilliant marketers find and follow what makes their stories different in a world full of average content DrivingSales is excited to announce th…

Stop Thinking in Third Person

Dealerships today are continuously seeking new ways to acquire new customers. Endless services and platforms pop up almost daily that offer businesses new ways to reach out to the world and attract new customers – whether that’s through online media, social media platforms, mobile ads or database mining. The problem is that many businesses concentrate far too much on leveraging other companies’ data to identify, segment and target potential new customers; but ignore the most important data in existence – their own. 

Loyalty isn’t something that can be bought and a well-designed loyalty program shouldn’t be expected to do that. A great loyalty program, in fact, shouldn’t be viewed as a customer acquisition tool at all.  People shouldn’t start doing business with you simply because you have a loyalty program. If that’s the only reason they do, you’re probably having a tough time retaining customers in general. Loyalty begins with an interaction and then a soft relationship and is generally something that is earned and with proper engagement it will certainly grows stronger over time.

The best way to start earning customer loyalty is by focusing on first person data – yours. The data you collect from your in store systems can provide critical insights to drive better, and more frequent, marketing and messaging decisions. Mine it regularly and strategically. Your DMS and CRM are both full of information that will assist you in identifying the three main groups of people that you should be focusing on

  1. Your existing loyal customers: This is the group of people that have been doing business with you consistently over a period of time in some cases maybe even years. It may include people who have purchased multiple cars with you and/or people who are consistently servicing their vehicles with you, regardless of where they were purchased. Through your sales and service records, it is very easy to identify these people. These are your Tier 1 customers and the foundation of your business.  Loose a Tier 1 customer and it is very difficult and costly to replace them not to mention their lost revenue.
  2. These existing customers whose loyalty you will need to earn through timely engagement: This group of Tier 2 customers include customers who have purchased vehicles from you but may or may not be utilizing your service department on a consistent basis. Identify these people by looking for service records of customers who are getting warranty work completed, but not regular service. There may also be customers who only get regular service when they bring their vehicle in for warranty work. Additionally look for customers who have inconsistent service records with you. Maybe they have their 10,000-mile service completed with you, but did not visit you again until their 30,000-mile service.
  3. New customers that you can begin earning loyalty from: This group includes everyone who purchases a car from you, (new or used) as well as all new service customers. Pay close attention to customers with really low mileage vehicles that were not bought from you. Chances are that you are the closest franchise dealer to them, so they have a high-percentage conversion into becoming a loyal customer. You may not have earned the vehicle sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the customer.

These are three very different groups of people and you must tailor your retention marketing and engagement activities appropriately. Think of these three groups in terms of relationships. You’re married to the first group. You’ve been on a couple of dates with the second group. You’re on a first date with the third group. As any married person knows, interaction on the first date is much different than after you’ve been married a few years. It’s natural to act different on a first date. You don’t know each other very well, but there is a potential for a relationship. As each date progresses – first date becomes a second date then a third date – each party becomes more invested in the relationship and more familiar with how they should act with each other, and what to expect.

Sadly, a high percentage of loyalty marketing has messages that assume the customer has already married them. Segment these three groups and tailor your loyalty marketing to be appropriate for each stage of the existing relationship. This will help you find increased success in progressing a customer down the path to marriage. 

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now