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How to foster customer loyalty during tough economic conditions

Whether you have incentives and discounts or a customer loyalty program you want to promote, be sure you're reaching out to your customers regularly.

There’s much debate among economists about when a recession is coming or if one is on the horizon. Some may even feel that we’re already in one.

While the jury is still out about the current economy’s status, volatility will likely impact the automotive industry. Increased layoffs, economic inflation, and even shrinking vehicle affordability will affect the typical car buyer.

So, what can your dealership do to build and maintain customer loyalty during these uncertain economic times? Here are some tips for motivating customers to stick around, even during an economic downturn.

Focus on offering an excellent customer experience

Because of the pandemic’s volatility, many customers have less patience for businesses than before, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. As a result, your dealership must prioritize creating an excellent and inviting customer experience.

According to HubSpot, an inbound marketing company, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with excellent customer service companies. A great way to start this at your dealership is to learn what’s important to your customers.

Ensure that your staff is distributing surveys and that you’re looking at the feedback. From there, you can begin to create strategies that address their needs.

Stay in front of them – use multichannel communication

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is one your dealership should consider. During times of economic uncertainty, buyers are likely to take even more time to research their options, especially those who are price sensitive. So, you’ll want to ensure your dealership and your brand are top of mind for them. Try focusing on communicating with them using multiple channels.

Whether you have incentives and discounts or a customer loyalty program you want to promote, be sure you’re reaching out to your customers regularly. Many car buyers interact with dealers online, so make sure you’re putting that mailing list and your social media channels to use so your customers hear from you and select you first.

Make referrals a priority

81% of customers trust recommendations from friends and family members over companies, according to HubSpot. One way you can acquire new customers and make them more likely to stick around is to use your customer base as your ambassadors.

When customers receive recommendations about your business from those they trust, it opens up the possibility of building a solid customer relationship. So, create a referral program that benefits the referrer and referee. It not only ensures you reach new customers, but it also rewards your customers.

Don’t forget to say thank you

When possible, ensure that you’re showing your customers that you appreciate their business and customer loyalty up to this point. For example, this could be sending your customers a discount on routine maintenance services like oil or tire changes on their birthday.

There are a variety of ways that you acknowledge your customers and show appreciation for them for their continued support. Use surveys and customer interactions to see how you can make the most impact.

Final thoughts

Today, customers have to consider many different factors when selecting a dealership. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your dealership is one they consider first. By discovering what matters to them, creating an excellent customer experience, and acknowledging their business, you can motivate customers to stay loyal to your dealership.


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Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News.

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