How a Dealerships Can Build Customer Loyalty

Reward Your Loyal Dealership Customers

Creating long-term relationships with dealership customers is the best way to establish loyalty. People who have purchased vehicles from your dealer lot or car owners who have their cars serviced at your dealership should be rewarded for being loyal. There is a reason why they like coming back and why it’s imperative that dealer management makes an effort to provide perks to these consumers.

Unfortunately, many general managers and owners of dealerships do the exact opposite. The typical advertising mentality is the constant need to acquire new customers rather than nurturing existing relationships. You are also losing your own customers to other dealerships through the same marketing tactic, conquest campaigns. If your auto dealership is guilty of this, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to get repeat business and it’s time to rethink how valuable your customer base is.

3 Types of Automotive Customer Loyalty

A common misconception dealership management has is that it’s the physical business that local consumers are loyal to when in reality the car buyer doesn’t care about your company. When you think about customer loyalty the first thing that comes to mind is they love us. Sure this is true however do they really love your dealership or is their loyalty to the brand of vehicle you sell or maybe they are loyal to a particular car salesperson working in your showroom.

Manufacturer Brand Loyalty

Brand favoritism is the most common form of customer loyalty. Some people just love a very specific make of vehicle and it is the only manufacturer they will buy from. OEMs like Lexus Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Toyota, Honda and Ford have some of the highest repeat customers when it’s time to trade in their old vehicle for a new one. The only competition local dealerships selling specific manufacturers face is preventing another dealership from selling the same brand to your customer. This is why rewarding your customers for their loyalty over the years prevents them from going elsewhere.

Dealership Loyalty

Locals usually have a favorite car dealership they go to when it is time to purchase a vehicle however your competitors are doing their best to convince your not yet loyal customers to give them a try. Just like you try to do to their car buyers. Simply having a business location in town won’t build customer loyalty, your staff has to go above and beyond to provide a level of service that makes people want to come back. It’s not always about selling cars, if your service or parts team provides unfriendly or bad service, you could end up losing a customer for life.

Salesperson Loyalty

Salespeople should take time to build customer loyalty by nurturing one-on-one relationships. Treating customers with respect and providing them with stellar service is one of the best ways to build salesperson loyalty. The benefit of doing this pays off in the long term as people who have worked with you in the past will come back the next time they need to purchase a vehicle.

Loyalty Programs Get More Customers To Dealerships

The OEM your dealership represents may already have a customer loyalty program in place however setting up a local rewards program could be beneficial. Offering incentives that only go to loyal customers will help to keep them engaged and visiting your dealership in between car purchases.

Some offers that can build loyalty include:

  • a free oil change with the purchase of 4 tires
  • gift cards for referring friends and family
  • discounts on parts or regular vehicle maintenance
  • free car washes during the ownership of vehicles purchased from the lot

Dealerships who offer incentives to their local customers will have higher retention rates than dealers who don’t. By building relationships with people who have purchased from your dealership, you’ll create a long-lasting customers who will come back over and over again to your dealer showroom and service center.