Your dealership’s CRM or DMS is full of thousands of hard-earned leads, but over time, it’s hard to keep them all engaged. You can do more with the customers in your DMS, rather than calling every 30 days or every few months. Luckily, there are many techniques you can apply to make sure your customers keep returning to your dealership and not a local competitor.
In part 1, GSM offers reasons why customers may be defecting. In part 2, we discuss strategies to boost your customer retention.
Reasons customers defect
Your in-store experience is just as important as your out-of-store customer experience. When customers visit your store, be patient, and listen to their needs or concerns. Starting a conversation with sales talk isn’t the best approach to winning a customer over. Consider asking them how you can help them, or what you can do for them.
Another example includes missed calls. 10% of service calls go unanswered, and 62% of callers will hang up within one minute when placed on hold1. What’s more, inbound calls convert to revenue 10x–15x more than web leads, meaning a missed call is missed revenue2.
* GSM Proprietary Data
Customers likely will not call back if your dealership is inaccessible. Make sure your phones are fully staffed and that your address, business hours, and location are readily available on your website and your Google business page. This ensures customers can quickly reach or find you, instead of giving up and going to a competitor.
Speaking of websites, your website’s page loading time is critical. If your website takes too long to load, your customers will search elsewhere for service specials or inventory. If you notice your website’s bounce rate or particular pages’ bounce rates are high, consider working with your website provider to optimize page and site speed.
Below are some stats on how page load time affects your bottom line3, proving every second counts to the consumer:
- A 1-second delay means a 7% reduction in conversions
- 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less, while 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds
- 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from that website again
Personalization and offer relevancy
By now, customers expect a personalized customer experience that’s relevant to their wants and needs. In fact, a report by Accenture discovered that 41% of consumers switched brands due to poor personalization and a lack of trust, while 43% of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies that personalize the customer experience. Better yet, a whopping 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations4.
Consider a lifecycle marketing program, like GSM’s atomCore, that allows for a personalized experience as a customer navigates the automotive lifecycle. A lifecycle marketing program can help your dealership provide timely and relevant offers based on a customer’s service behavior or mileage. This helps your dealership keep customers engaged and anticipate their vehicle’s service needs.
Frequency of follow up
How often you contact a customer affects retention. An omnichannel approach across multiple channels allows your dealership to add more touchpoints to engage and convert consumers before they defect. Consider combining Digital (Paid Search, Display, Social, Retargeting) and Direct (Direct Mail, Email, Phone Calls) channels to maintain frequent contact with customers. This not only keeps your dealership top-of-mind, but it keeps your dealership in front of them instead of a competitor.
If your dealership doesn’t show up when a customer is searching or in need, your business is lost to a competitor.
To read part 2 click here. Part 2 covers some of the best customer retention strategies.
1 Marchex Analytics Firm
4 Accenture, 2018: Making it Personal