Automotive Customer Retention Strategies For Dealerships

How Can My Car Dealerships Retain Customers

It takes a lot of effort to gain a new customer so why would you not do everything in your power to retain them for repeat business? Nurturing a new or used car buyer after the purchase is an essential part of keeping a dealership profitable. This is why an automotive customer retention strategy should be a part of your marketing plan and budget.

Bring Old Customers Back To Your Dealership

Your dealership offers so much more than just the vehicle inventory in the showroom. Create marketing ideas your business can use to turn recent car buyers into repeat customers. Give them a reason to come back to your dealership.

Some ways you can bring back old customers:

  • Sending offers for vehicle maintenance and repair services
  • Promoting the part department – new tires and windshield wipers
  • Invites to community events, fundraisers and new vehicle unveils
  • Personalized messages – purchase anniversary, birthday and holiday greetings
  • Trade-in offers for previously leased or purchased vehicles

Best Customer Retention Marketing Strategies

A lot of dealerships are missing out on generating smaller sales from former customers by avoiding retention marketing. Why? Sometimes old customers may not be in the current position to buy another car. This is usually the main reason why a dealership decides to not invest in customer retention marketing.

But that doesn’t mean people won’t spend money at your dealership. Offering services to keep their vehicle running will put more cash into your sales and parts departments. Every car, truck and SUV needs to be serviced and at some point the vehicle will need to be replaced. Don’t forget to advertise your collision center if you have one, it’s always good to remind people you also fix vehicles.

Customer Retention Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to retain customers. Sending regular email messages and offers to previous car buyers, you can stay connected with them while monitoring their activity. Depending on your customer management system (CMS), you may even be able to create certain marketing funnels and triggers to improve engagement.

Automotive Direct Mail Marketing

One of the oldest automotive marketing tactics is using direct mail. The standard direct mail pieces for promoting automotive dealerships focus on marketing new vehicles, events and finance offers. You can also use direct mail to send personalized messages to celebrate vehicle ownership milestones. Sending a mix of promotional mail and special greetings, you’ll authentically engage with your customers.

Vehicle and Service Surveys

Getting feedback about the vehicles you sell and the services you offer is a great way to keep in touch with old customers. There are many online survey services available where you can set up a custom questionnaire. Consumers want to give their feedback and it’s one of the best ways for dealerships to address issues in-house. You can also share the results of your surveys in email marketing campaigns or your dealer’s social media pages.

Repeat Customer Loyalty Programs

Everyone loves getting something for being a loyal customer. Implementing a repeat customer loyalty program at your dealership will build a lasting connection. You do what you do best and your customer’s get some perks for coming back to your showroom and service center. It’s a win-win for everyone!