How To Bring Inactive Customers Back To The Fold
Reactivating lost customers is one of the easiest ways to instantly boost your profitability. But, it’s not as simple as sending a friendly piece of automotive direct mail or leaving a friendly voicemail. If only!
So, what are you left to do? Well, first things first, you need to identify who those lost customers are. Is someone who purchased a car 6 months ago considered inactive? Not if they got a brand new car or a 36 month lease! Same holds true for some buyers after 12 or even 18 months. They might not be lost at all – they’re just not back on the market yet.
One of the easier ways to target a more likely batch of inactive customers is to cross-reference those you haven’t seen in a while against your service sales transactions. If you see someone who hasn’t bought a car from you in a few years coming in regularly for maintenance, then they aren’t lost – you just sold them a car they’re taking great care of. Now, if there’s a customer who hasn’t been into your service department or to see your sales staff in quite some time – you might want to consider reaching out to them.
Just this simple act of cross-referencing data has saved you a bunch of money on advertising. Think of how much less it would cost to send direct mail to just the inactive customers than everyone under the sun! Plus, you’re more likely to hit up a potential customer that might be interested in what it is you have to say.
Now that you have this list, you can spend a little time trying to figure out what made them leave in the first place. If you have their emails, consider having a member of your sales team send them a personal email asking just that very question. If you don’t have their email address, perhaps an automotive direct mailer pointing to a microsite survey could compel them to tell you.
Finally, you’ll want to take a moment to consider what you’re doing to prevent customer loss in the first place. Do you have a loyalty program? Are you sending out service reminders? Service, according to the NADA, is 86% more likely to turn buyers into repeat buyers. Do you offer things like inspections and free car washes? Do you check in close to lease end or at certain ownership intervals with offers to buy back inventory in exchange for a great deal on a newer vehicle? All of these efforts can help to ensure customers keep coming back to you for however long they own their current vehicles and are therefore more likely to come to you when the time comes to roll off with another one.