For car dealerships looking to keep customers coming back for servicing, repeat buys, and referrals, here are the absolute Top 3 Tips for Keeping a Customer for Life predicated on the reality that you are hiring talent capable of basic human interactions:
- COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY Gains Trust: Salesmen worry way too much about closing a profitable deal on the front end when the real profit is made on the backend. Ask the customer if they are comfortable with the deal points, let them know that you care about their comfort level and that their trust is your main objective. Never rush a customer to sign an agreement, make sure they understand the deal points and all rebates, and incentives, even GWPs that are available to them so they feel the timing is good and that you gave them everything they have available. If you win their trust on the front end, you win them in the backend, and maybe for life.
- STAY IN TOUCH with them periodically to see how things are going in their life. Let them know that you’re their “go to” guy or gal. Social media is a great place to stay in touch with your customers. I strongly suggest showing genuine interest in them and “liking” posts that you find common ground on or family pics that they are obviously looking for acknowledgment on. When they see you supporting them in life – on social media, they will be appreciative, and return to you for all of their automotive needs on a regular basis.
- CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAMS are a great way to keep close to your customers. When coupons or specials are offered by the dealership for oil changes or any other discounted services, make sure that you are on top of it. Don’t rely on the direct mail piece to deliver the information, make sure to follow up the promotion with a phone call or text. Some folks think the most important part of a loyalty program are the deals contained in the overall campaign. In reality, it’s the perception the customer has about the brand, the store, and you. When they come into the store to receive their benefit, make sure you are there to say hello, provide a smile, and make sure they feel as if they are special. The reward of successfully retaining a customer for many years and making a friend is by far more rewarding than the $200 you may have made on the front end.
There are surely more tips out there for retaining customers but these three are the absolute no-brainers and involve life practices that you can take with you wherever you go, and wherever you work. Truth be told, if you are hiring hustlers vs humans, you’re doomed for failure.