The keys are handed over. The customer drives off the lot. The sales team celebrates another sale.

For most dealerships and customers, that’s the end of the relationship because, unless there is warranty work or a recall, the customer doesn’t need you anymore. At least not for 6 years, which is how long the average person keeps their car.

Within those 72 months, other dealerships will market to them and online car shopping will become a more practiced mode of car sales.

Will you see them for service? Probably not. Car buyers are happy to take their vehicle for service at one of the 250,000+ independent or chain service shops available across the U.S.

In fact, retention rates are 49% after just 1-2 service visits and drop off by 40% after the warranty expires.

In the past, radio and TV spots as well as direct mail, would help drive customers back to the dealership when it was time for a new car purchase. But in the new digital economy, 88% of dealers say they can no longer rely on traditional marketing to deliver customers.

How can a dealership sustain business in a world where conquests are harder to come by and service shops are on every corner?

Loyalty via aftersales service.

If the relationship between customer and dealership ends at the point-of-sale, the dealer is leaving behind $1,000s in aftersales service and the opportunity of enjoying true customer loyalty.

Customers want interaction and, in today’s digital world, it’s never been easier to engage with them in a personal way to make them feel valued. A little engagement goes a long way. With just 5 interactions a customer is:

  • 3x as likely to refer a friend
  • 6x likely to purchase a new car
  • 2x likely to return for service

Part of the solution is to give customers relevant information and messaging at the right time. What good is blasting a coupon for an oil change if most people won’t use it?

Strategic messaging encourages a customer to take advantage of dealership incentives and educate them on the benefits of bringing their car in for service at your dealership – including readily available maintenance records for a higher trade-in value. But you can also inform them about amenities exclusive to your dealership such as a clean and comfortable waiting room, shuttle service, free WiFi, kid-friendly waiting areas and more.

With a platform like OneClick Loyalty, the process is automated so you won’t have to consistently manage your customer communications.  Relevant messaging entices the customer to return by building a relationship versus generic direct mail and batch-and-blast emailing.

Your customers don’t need you anymore, that’s true. But by adopting OneClick Loyalty, your customers have a higher probability of coming back to you for service and future new car sales.