It’s a well-known fact that retaining customers is less expensive and can be more profitable than acquiring new ones. The reality is essentially, customer churn keeps your dealership stationary. Many dealers blast sales messages across every medium possible – traditional, mailers, and digital; hoping that someone, somewhere will see it and decide to buy a car from them. According to NADA, dealers are still spending upwards of $640 per sale to bring in business on the sales side. And therein lies the problem.
Why spray and pray with your traditional advertising, hoping that the small percentage of people who actually pay attention to your marketing will convert into a sale? Even if you’re the best targeted data marketer in the universe, conversion rates on non-customer lists are low. The fact is that your single largest source of opportunities in both sales and service is sitting right there in your DMS and CRM!
Every dealer’s CRM and DMS contains tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of customers who have touched the dealership in some way, sitting there ripe for the picking. Tracking down opportunities can be as complex as precisely targeting and mining your DMS or CRM with a little help from some vendors. Or, as simple as pulling lists of customers based on search queries and hitting the phones. How many orphan owners does your CRM have? Is anybody following up with those previous customers? With an average 70% turnover rate in sales, chances are good that the salesperson who sold that customer their vehicle no longer works for you. Yet, rather than stay in touch with, follow up and potentially get a second sale from a previous customer, most dealers buy more leads, or increase ad spends, in order to fortify and increase sales. A better strategy is to follow up with customers in your database to ensure that they are revenue contributors for as long as possible, while also working to acquire new customers. Dealerships are great at the second part but many fail at continuously working their existing customer base.
Consider shifting some of your focus towards customers who are statistically ready to trade-in that vehicle they bought from you 3 years ago, or who have a college- ready child who needs a vehicle. You may be surprised by the results.
Only then will you start gaining traction and seeing growth. Until then you’ll simply be running in place.