4 Tips for Inspiring Customer Loyalty for your Dealership
Customer loyalty is a great thing. Everybody likes to be appreciated, and when customers return to your dealership again and again – for service or repairs, and when they need another truck or piece of equipment – you’re thankful for their continued business. But are you returning the favor? Customers like to be thanked, too.
- Protecting that loyalty, because you can actually lose customers who feel taken for granted, even if they’ve been buying from you for years.
- Building a cadre of advocates for your dealership — individuals who will actively promote your terrific products and services and staff to their friends and followers. That broadens your reach, uncovers new leads and reinforces your marketing messages in ways you cannot accomplish on your own.
- Generating new opportunities to sell more – more frequently – to your best buyers.
Tip #1: Do a little digging.
You may have long-standing personal relationships with many of your best customers. But your dealership also has strong supporters who may not be so well-known to you. Find out who they are, so you can acknowledge their loyalty and directly harness their enthusiasm.
Scour your social media conversations data, because these are people who post positive comments about your dealership and recommendations about your products or services. Analyze purchasing information stored within your customer relationship management (CRM) or other sales application. And take a closer look at who’s writing online reviews about your dealership.
Advocates are invaluable, because they’re unbiased and they’re real people your prospects and existing customers can easily relate to.
Tip #2: Reach out.
Officially recognize your top purchasers and your strongest advocates. Give them special status as a member of your “gold medal club.” Say thanks with a special offer just for them. Invite them to your dealership to participate in a small focus group about improving your service, or to attend a VIP product demo or other special event.
Tip #3: Look for the silver lining.
Smart business people know that you can often turn unhappy customers into your most avid fans. Someone who takes the time to complain is someone who cares. When you listen, and respond quickly, you’re telling them you care, too. Do everything you can to fix their problem. Take their negative comments to heart to improve your dealership, and let them know you did that.
Positively addressing negativity creates new fans because, sadly, many people assume they’ll be ignored. Listening builds trust and credibility and can set you well apart from the competition.
Show your customer loyalty appreciation and stay top-of-mind, by providing a steady stream of interesting and useful content via your blog, e-newsletter, email, social networking and other interactions. Help your best customers and advocates feel like insiders, by sharing stories about your personnel or a look at how your dealership operates behind the scenes.
Surprise them occasionally, with an extra perk or a special discount. Or pass along a funny industry-related cartoon or anecdote, to show your lighter side and add a smile to their day.
Bonus tip: Give ‘em real rewards.
Tangible rewards make it easy for customers to keep buying from you. Although regular customers have come to expect businesses to offer some type of formal rewards program, they’re still most appreciative when the rewards have real value.
ADI’s Customer Loyalty Platform is designed specifically for dealerships like yours. You can use it to easily track customer purchases or other loyalty metrics and offer automatic monetary “thanks” when customers reach certain thresholds. It’s the perfect complement to a well-rounded program that inspires greater loyalty by recognizing your top customers and advocates.