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
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.