These 4 Secrets Will Help Your Dealership Earn Loyal Customers
Customers become loyal to your dealership because they have learned they can trust you. Their trust might be based on your extensive product knowledge, customer-friendly pricing or service policies, job-related insights or knowing you have their back if they have a breakdown. Probably it’s a combination of factors. Develop strong relationships with your customers, and you’ll lay a foundation for loyalty.
Loyalty goes both ways.
The fact that customers can count on you, for any or all of the reasons noted above, is an undeniable benefit. Your dealership benefits, too. It is far less expensive to retain customers than attract new ones, and the longer you keep them the greater their lifetime value to your dealership. Happy customers love to tell others about their great experience, too. That boosts your dealership brand and can connect you with prospects you might not have met otherwise.
Working to strengthen customer relationships shows you’re loyal to them, too.
These four secrets will help you build relationships that earn loyal customers, if you make them part of your everyday business philosophy.
1. Never take their trust for granted.
Do everything you can to reinforce it. Keep your word. And make their interactions with your dealership as easy as possible. Optimize all your communications for mobile. Use CRM software to collect data about each customer, including notes about conversations with them. Integrate that with your content management platform, so you can tailor communications to customer segments and personalize individual communications.
2. Learn what matters most to them.
Get to know their business – the size and scope of projects, their equipment fleet, their key people. That way, you can anticipate their needs for parts, service, new or rental machines or attachments that can boost their productivity and bottom line. And ongoing marketing content that helps them increase profitability and grow their business.
Don’t assume you know what customers want, ask them. Group surveys, social listening and one-on-one chats can provide the insight you need to make your marketing more relevant and improve your marketing as well as your line of products and services. When you follow through with customer suggestions, tell them. Tell everyone. Proof that you’re listening is a huge loyalty builder, perhaps because it’s all too rare.
3. Go the extra mile.
Doing only what is expected, even if it’s pretty good, doesn’t set you apart from the competition. Wowing customers impresses them, and that builds loyalty. Anticipating their needs is a good start. One way to do that is by offering companion services that help customers manage their business more efficiently.
For instance, here at ADI, we’ve developed an easy-to-use application that allows your customers to store equipment warranty documents and manage claims. It seamlessly links them with you as their dealer and with OEMs. We also offer a series of extended warranty and loss damage waiver products that can help simplify your customers’ lives and earn new revenue for your dealership.
When the rare mistake happens – because no business is perfect – be the first to acknowledge that, take responsibility and jump on finding the best possible fix. Remember that “I’m sorry” and “thank you” are the two most under-used phrases in the English language. But they are easy to use and strike a loud chord of appreciation with customers.
4. Say thanks with meaningful rewards.
Just saying thanks gives a lift to any relationship. But tangible incentives also show customers you care – if they have real value. Formal rewards programs that offer useful, attainable benefits are always appreciated. (Check out our software that makes it a snap to manage your program.) But you can also surprise top customers randomly with one-time discounts, invitations to special events, logoed dealership goodies or a dinner certificate. They all say thanks.
Keep reminding yourself that “what’s in it for them” should be the driving force behind everything your dealership does or plans to do. That’s the #1 secret that will help your dealership earn more – and more loyal — customers.