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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Fall into Customer Loyalty with World Gratitude Day

In today’s consumer driven world, the most important aspect of your business is customer retention. Sure, you also want to work to acquire new customers, but your main focus should always be retaining the customers you already have and making sure they come back to you for future service and vehicle needs. Study after study shows that obtaining new customers will cost your dealership more money than ensuring satisfaction and building loyalty with current customers. How will you ensure your customers feel appreciated and know you value their business? Check out these three ways to fall into customer loyalty by leveraging the spirit of World Gratitude Day.

Send Thank You Notes
Ok, ok… this idea is probably a little cliché, but it works. Nothing shows your thankfulness like a thank you note. This type of marketing shows you took time out of your day to just say thank you. It comes across as heartfelt appreciation to the recipient. Think about having your sales team hand write personal thank you notes to each customer who purchases a vehicle from your dealership. Or, have your Service Advisors hand write notes for customers who have declined service or had service performed. These little gestures go a long way in building loyalty with your customers.

Start an Above and Beyond Contest
Many of your major retail outlets do these types of employee recognition programs all the time. Here’s the idea - provide a spiff to employees when a customer goes out of their way to tell management or the receptionist about their incredible customer service. The incentive will need to be enough to encourage employees to go above and beyond for every customer. The result will be an improvement in employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Spend Time with Every Customer
This last idea is one you’ll see restaurants use all the time. In their world, it’s called manager table visits -each table gets a personal visit from a manager to ensure their expectations of their restaurant experience are met. Using this same principle, have your management team go out of their way to spend just a few minutes with every sales and service customer to make sure their experience at your dealership is meeting their expectations. It is a great way to spot an employee improvement or process problem, understand your customer experience, and address any concerns with customers while they are at your dealership.

In the spirit of World Gratitude Day on September 21st, find ways your dealership staff can show appreciation to your most valuable asset, your customers!

Robert Karbaum
Great post Kristen! I have heard some fabulous stories over the years on how a simple Birthday card works wonders. Before, you could get salespeople to do them by hand, but now you can automate the entire process and make it "look" hand written. People do not get half as many birthday cards in the mail as they used to. The new "norm" is to post something generic on Facebook. Sending a customer a Birthday, or Anniversary card via snail mail will really stand you out from the crowd. You can do Xmas as well. Those are also few and far between these days.
Kristen Williams
Agreed! It seems like in the fast past world that we live in, the "little personal touches" have gone away. If dealerships really want to be seen as a partner in vehicle ownership and build lasting loyalty, they have to bring some of these personal touches back (even if it is automated.... shhhhh! no one will know).
Lauren Moses
Love it. It is honestly something that I have been trying to work into a very busy schedule. And you are so right that the little personal touches have gone away.

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