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Should auto dealers focus more on customer retention or customer acquisition?

On the latest edition of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes is joined by Aaron Sheeks, President of The Autominer. Sheeks’s company is dedicated to data mining for auto dealers. Before his time with The Autominer, Sheeks served as the National Sales Director of Gubagoo

Lopes gets straight to the point with Sheeks by asking him if customer retention or new customer acquisition is more important. Sheeks says that the answer is having a full pipeline of opportunities. Whether opportunities come from retained customers or new customers, dealers and sales managers must be committed to filling the pipeline on a consistent basis.

I personally believe that in the dealership, to be successful, the really good auto dealers have a process to bring folks both from a retention and referral standpoint,” said Sheeks, “with great salespeople who do a good job asking for business, and bringing those people into the funnel constantly.”

Sheeks then discusses the crowded market of automotive vendors. The annual NADA show is filled with numerous technology companies that share similar capabilities with identical pitches. Sheeks says the last thing dealer principals need is another login for a tool they are unfamiliar with. The Autominer ensures that the products it provides to auto dealers are working effectively with or without dealership involvement. 

Technology partners have to understand what kind of dealer they are working with to have an idea of the level of involvement they can expect in their solutions. Regardless of how involved auto dealers may be in a product, they trust partners to achieve the expected customer experience goals and deliver the anticipated ROI. 

Sheeks concludes the conversation by bringing the discussion back to the original question on the show. He says that auto dealers must have a strong balance of new customer acquisition and retained or referred customers. Too much of one or the other can lead to poor sales results for the dealership. It’s hard to create new opportunities with potential customers if current customers aren’t satisfied with their experience. Both streams lead to the same river, but both opportunity types require unique strategies.

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Frank Lopes
Frank Lopes
Frank has more than 20 years of experience in auto dealer marketing and has created multiple award-winning campaigns for various retail and e-commerce clients. He also is a frequent writer and speaker at industry events.

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