You and your sales force works incredibly hard to land a new customer – but how hard is your dealership working to retain them for the long haul?
It’s probably a fact of which you’re already keenly aware, but new customers are rarely the most profitable ones for your business. Repeat business, however, is where the serious money can often lie. For example, some repeat customers will give you more than one piece of business annually, they tend to buy pricier pieces of inventory, they buy more frequently overall, tend to be less squeamish about prices. Plus, loyal customers tend to be easier to please and less expensive to serve, giving them a much higher overall value over their lifetime as a customer.
But, beyond performing above and beyond in sales and financing on down to your service department, what more can you do to build a loyal customer base? Well, as any marketing pro will likely tell you, reaching out to a customer marketing list with specifically targeted automotive direct mail is one tried and true method.
It might seem like just spinning your wheels, but simply sending out a thoughtful thank-you card a few weeks after a purchase is enough to keep you in a customer’s good graces. Sending service reminders with a personal touch (ie: from the desk of the sales associate they worked with) is another way of promoting the relationship model you’re trying to achieve. Being careful not to bombard a customer with too much sales-oriented literature in the first quarter after a sale is also wise. As in romantic relationships, there’s often nothing worse than appearing to be trying too hard. That said, if you want to keep a customer in the loop, you could certainly write a quarterly newsletter, not only lauding your latest and greatest inventory, but also pointing out great service deals, community outreach and human interest stories and news of upcoming promotions. These can be sent electronically to help save printing costs. Another way to keep communication flowing between customer and car dealership is to send out different types of auto direct mail, including service related promotions that relate to their specific type of vehicle (or its age).
Remember, customers need to be wooed. And, even as your relationship ages, they’ll still expect you to treat them with respect, loyalty and gratitude. Use your automotive direct mail to send those messages, and you’ll be able to solidify those connections for the long haul.