Keep Existing Customers Spending Money With You


There are no hard and fast rules for customer retention in the auto industry. With such a competitive market driven by costs as well as customer service, you have to present a consistent message and engage with your customers frequently ncer you lose them at the next oil change or service light. While you can’t control when your customer is going to need you next, you do have control over your retention campaign, and it should be executed with seriousness and attention to detail – as though each interaction with your customer might be your last. Let’s take a look at how you can keep existing customers spending money with your dealership.

Understand Your Customers

The more you know about your customer, the more you can do to keep them. The customers that have been with you the longest are the ones that have interacted with you the most in a positive manner and value your relationship. Start looking at your customer list and fill in the blanks with surveys or through conversations with customer service representatives. Do they have kids? Where are they in their career? Do they own a new home, or are they looking to buy? Many life decisions have a financial impact.  These social triggers as well as the technical triggers associated with regular maintenance, give you a deep pool of data to work with to engage with your customer.

Details = Sales

Once you fill in the blanks for your customer list, it’s time to start thinking about why customers leave you. Typically they do it after an unsatisfying interaction, or before their next purchase. In the first instance, the focus should be on improving customer service and creating positive interactions. But the latter of the two is more important. When they prepare to make the next purchase, do you have enough equity with them to be involved in that decision? Anticipating, offering, and reassuring them in their the next purchase decision is going to be paramount for your retention process. Your competition comes into play as well if they offer a compelling product that competes with yours. Stay ahead of them with what you have, which is open communication with your customer and a better knowledge of who they are which will keep existing customers spending money with you.


Meet Their Needs

Once you have an idea of what events or triggers are coming up in your customers’ lives,  you can start to understand and reach out to them with effective messages that meet their needs, or help them in these times of transition. The execution could come in the form of emails, phone calls, direct mail, or social media. It’s all about communicating with them on their terms with messages that resonate.


Take special care to track referrals, as that is great way to really serve the customers that promote you. Your goal should be to know something more about your customer every time they come into your dealership. You can invest in the relationship for stronger retention and trust.


LotSight is a survey tool for your website that discovers what your customers want.

You need to let them know you appreciate their business and want them to purchase from you again. You have overcome the biggest obstacle of getting them to purchase your product in the first place, now offer them additional opportunities to purchase again and again keeping existing customers spending money with you.

You have a limited window to retain your customers and the key is developing an understanding of your customers as individuals. Technology can help you keep track, but acquiring the information is most important.

June 30, 2014 - Written by

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