When it comes to experiencing some serious business growth, sometimes the hardest part is getting customers to walk through your doors for the first time. But, as soon as they do, your focus should transition to making sure they never go anywhere else, otherwise known as automotive customer retention.
A 5% increase in retention can result in a 25%-95% increase in revenue. Additionally, 10% of your current customers will spend 3x the amount of new ones. With that fresh on your mind, here are some ways you can really hit it home with customer retention and begin to grow your business.
Create a Successful Loyalty Program
One of the most effective ways you can improve automotive customer retention is to implement a loyalty program that rewards your customers for choosing your shop over your competitors. According to Auto News, a whopping 81% of consumers are more likely to continue doing business with a brand that offers a loyalty program.
How to Develop and Implement a Loyalty Program
In a nutshell, the more a customer comes to your shop to get their car repaired, the more rewards they receive. Which in turn is more incentive for them to come back again.
There are 4 key elements that your customer loyalty program should have:
- Rewards are based on volume
- Rewards can be accrued and used for the future
- Notification when rewards are earned
- Rewards can be transferable
A great way to get started is by relying on professionals. Marketing software made for the auto industry, like BayIQ, have loyalty programs built into their system that make it easy for you to implement.
Stay in Constant Contact
If you truly want your customers to come back to your shop, again and again, you will need to keep in contact with them to ensure your shop remains top of mind. This helps you form a relationship with them to become a trusted source for automotive help.
Effective Ways to Stay in Contact with Your Customers
Here are some ways you can stay in contact while also improving automotive customer retention effectively:
- Get them on your email list- Make sure you collect their email address so you can send them appointment reminders, new specials, and requests for reviews.
- Text them with updates- The average open rate for SMS texting is 98% and 79% of consumers make decisions based on information they learn through texting.
- Connect with them on social media- Ensure that your customers know you are active on social media and encourage them to follow you for important (and fun) updates.
- Keep your blog active- Establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry involves sharing helpful information that your customers should know. Write blogs on hot topics and be sure to share them on your social sites.
Ask About Their Experience
Whether a customer’s experience was good or bad, you will want to know so you can work to improve your shop in the areas you fall short.
How do you go about doing that? Ask them for their feedback. Collecting customer reviews is more than an option – it’s the industry standard. In fact, 79% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
How to Collect the Best Customer Reviews
There is really no secret sauce to collecting the best customer reviews online, but here are some best practices you can follow:
- Claim your business on popular review sites (Google, Yelp, etc.) so you have a reputable presence
- Add direct links to those review profiles in multiple places such as a thank you or follow-up email
- Ask every customer for feedback right away
- Always respond to reviews, even the negative ones (and be professional in your response)
This may seem daunting, fortunately, BayIQ can put this on autopilot for you. With their automated system, your customers will be solicited for a review as soon as they leave your shop and you can easily publish those reviews to leading sites like Facebook and Google.
Keep Expectations High
When it comes to automotive customer retention, the key is consistency. One of the worst things you can do is gain a great reputation and solid customer base just to completely drop the ball. With that said, managing your shop and customer relationships can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why you should automate where you can. This ensures customers always get an amazing experience, and as a car shop grows, you can keep up with increasing customers without losing what sets you apart.
Whether it is rolling out a killer loyalty program that encourages repeat visits or sending out automated emails and texts with shop specials, customer birthday discounts, and rewards updates, BayIQ has you covered. BayIQ can be seamlessly integrated into your current systems to make the transition for your team even easier.