Customer acquisition is the most difficult aspect of marketing. There are no shortage of car dealerships and getting a new customer through the door can be time consuming and expensive.
An often overlooked aspect of marketing but equally valuable to any business is customer retention. It is much easier to retain a customer than it is to find a new one. It is important to offer a quality product or service and make sure the consumer has a great experience. Assuming you satisfy your customer, the next step is retaining this customer as a long term repeat.
The most common methods of customer retention in the car business are through social media, service departments, email marketing, direct mail marketing, and follow up calls. By staying in touch with the customer and providing them incentive to come back to the dealer, you are positioning yourself for a future sale. If your customer acquisition costs are $1,000 per unit through traditional marketing, what would 5 free oil changes really cost if it keeps a customer happy and coming back to your dealership? At the end of the day, your cost on these oil changes might be $100 but when the customer wants a new vehicle, he'll know where to go. Service and direct marketing are a deadly combination to keep customers coming back for more.
If you don't have a service department, don't worry. You can still keep customers engaged through social media and email marketing. Both of these methods are free and easy to utilize by a capable BDC. Simply compile all of your customer's contact information and provide them with quality content, promotions, etc. to keep them coming back for more. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and more are all avenues through which you can keep old customers engaged. Try offering how-to videos, articles, cool photos, competitions, and anything you need to keep your audience engaged.
Email marketing is another free tool or minimal expense through companies such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These websites allow you to draft compelling emails that are aesthetically pleasing and even provide you analytics on email marketing campaigns. They help you understand what your customers want to read and keep that communication line open for a future sale.