Customer Retention at the Dealership: Show Some Empathy

Has customer retention become a low priority for your dealership? It’s all well and good to attract new customers, but it would be a detriment to overlook the customers who are already paying and staying; if you want to sustain your brand, then it’s imperative to focus on the demographic that contributes consistently to your bottom line.

Of course customer retention has changed a lot in the current landscape. We no longer focus just on the phone and email communication. Nowadays, loyal customers are on all the channels that are available to them – social, Web, chat, and more. It’s easy to lose the human element with all of these digital forms of communication. The best way to retain your customers despite the overwhelming number of channels is simple: show a little empathy.

While it might seem difficult to convey understanding under the veil of the Internet, there are some sure-fire marketing strategies that can go a long way to show your current customers they matter. To serve your customers better, open a dialogue. What this means is find out more than the usual information, like names, recent purchases, and other customer history data. Dig a little deeper; do the customers view your dealership negatively? Positively? What are the concerns of your customer? How do your cars and services enrich the life of your customer?

The last thing you want to do is aggravate a customer that has consistently invested in cars from your dealership. The most important thing for them is to feel that their point of view has been heard and understood, so that you can continue a positive, lucrative relationship. This doesn’t happen with a few pat expressions.

Take the time to create content that speaks to your customers on a personal level. Don’t just let your customers talk – listen, too. Their feedback is invaluable. By actively listening and engaging with customers, companies will see a greater ROI all around. In turn, customers will feel that their needs are important and validated by your brand experience.

It is common to focus on making our dealerships — from the floor to the service area — and your team as good as we can. However, in the process it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget what it is like to be a customer. Spending time understanding the world from a customer’s perspective can be key to being able to build a long-term relationship with them. It’s also key in building empathy into your dealership.

Empathy is the act of putting yourself into another person’s thoughts, feelings, circumstances, and personality to better understand and meet their specific needs. When cultivating customer relationships, empathy will always win.