Automotive Specialists ASE recently published on their website that franchised dealers have continued to take a hit on their profits. Data from ASE Global shows in August the average dealership lost almost £17,000, some £2,000 worse than August 2016’s result. The rolling 12 month profit now stands at £182,000. ASE said that as a result of the increased loss, the return on sales percentage dropped below 1% for the first time since August 2012
The Automotive Industry is an exciting and fast paced place to be with constant changes and ongoing investment – it shouldn’t be so difficult to be a successful business. The internet has done great things for the automotive industry, yet it has also made life harder at the same time – Customers now have 24hour access to all the information they could ever need about buying a car meaning; much less ‘physical shopping’ is done and customers are able to make a lot of their decisions before they come into our showrooms. The likelihood, very much supported by Google analytics is; that if a customer sets foot on your forecourt these days, they are likely to buy a car. Great for your salespeople, and the customers who come to you as their first choice.
So the question is now – how do we make sure that we are always first choice?
I never cease to be surprised and delighted by the quality of dealership websites and the advertising they use now. It is fantastic and as long as it is seen by the customer who has taken their decision to ‘e-shop’ it will undoubtedly help them make their mind up where they are going to buy.
Unfortunately, relentless hard marketing to customers who are not yet in that mind space is more likely to have the opposite effect. We all know there is a difference between a customer who is satisfied and a customer who is loyal. Customers can be satisfied with what we do for them but very easily go elsewhere for a better offer. Customers who are loyal want to do business with us again, recommend us to others, and resist the pull of the competition.
All the research done and the evidence collected supports the fact that the best way to achieve customer loyalty is with a proactive, personalised and customer aware contact strategy. This does not mean; a text, phone call, leaflet or letter asking if they are thinking about changing their car…….
Let me work with you to formulate your personalised customer contact strategy!!