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Getting rewards in gear

68% of used car buyers and 47% of new car buyers change brand between purchases.

Source:  Autotrader
With the new car buying season fast approaching, now’s a good time to be considering what you can do to start, build and sustain your relationships with new and existing customers throughout their ‘lifetime’ with you as their trusted dealer.

The test drive

The best place to fall in love with a vehicle is behind the wheel, and if you’re looking to boost test drive numbers then a campaign backed by eCode rewards could be useful for you. Once the test drive has taken place, your branded eCode goes out by email (individually or in larger batches) for the prospect(s) to redeem on your branded portal for a reward of their choice. Depending on your numbers and budget, this could be a low-value reward for the drive, or a higher value offer conditional on purchase, for a longer or shorter tactical period.

The test drive incentive could be particularly valuable in the electric vehicle market, drawing in new prospects to give new and used a try for the first time. If you get good results and positive feedback this, in turn, could form the basis for some local marketing or PR activity for you.

The purchase

A recent free fuel campaign we ran saw new vehicle sales targets exceeded by 35%

If you’re running a tactical sales campaign, back it with a ‘free fuel’ card incentive (relevant, and much more memorable than a cash discount) that will put your brand in their wallet well beyond the drive off the forecourt. Remember to include incentives for ‘approved used’ purchases that attract attention and convert prospects into customers. 

The day of collection

71% of consumers prefer a gift card to other rewards

If you don’t do this already, leave a gift and a personal note in their new car (even if it’s a pre-owned purchase). From the traditional flowers and chocolates to a suitable gift card (the most popular reward, as we know from our own research), the price is small compared to the goodwill it will buy you. 

The first (paid for) service 

Dealer loyalty scheme customers visit the service department twice as often and spend twice as much as non-members.

Source: Performance Loyalty Group

Your offer may include free servicing, but once that’s over, what makes your customers return to you? Regular servicing overall is a great opportunity for a loyalty programme, whether that’s through discounts, gift cards or a points-based mechanism.  Aftersales incentives, accessories and service plan incentives, or parts promotions all develop the relationship, increase sales and build longer-term loyalty.

And beyond 

Among highly satisfied customers, 83% said they 'definitely will return' for future paid service.

Source: J D Power survey

Make sure your recognition programmes reward dealerships that deliver superior service standards, and that best practice stories and successes are shared as exemplars. Consider relevant membership programmes that provide year-round added value benefits. And deliver ‘surprise and delight’ moments using data-driven opportunities, such as the first anniversary of ownership.

Be the brand that customers recommend 

72% of consumers will share a positive experience with six or more people

Source: ThinkJar

Put a gesture management scheme in place for dealing with those ‘awkward moments’ effectively, empathetically and consistently across your estate. This way, you can create advocates by the way you look after customers even when things go wrong.
Finally, consider ‘Refer A Friend’ schemes – in our experience we’ve found that many customers are more likely to refer if they believe that their friend will be the one receiving the reward.
We’ve been working with major automotive brands (manufacturers and dealerships) for over 30 years, so we understand the way your business works.

This article only scratches the surface of generic situations – for a more detailed and specific conversation please do get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to share ideas with you on acquiring, retaining and growing customers for your business; increasing sales and extending your reach.
Posted: 2/8/2018 7:14:33 AM | with 0 comments
  • Advocacy
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  • Loyalty
  • Retention
  • Rewards & Incentives
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