There’s no mystery to customer retention marketing. 

The Lifecycle approach is the best way to build relationships.

For most products, your relationship with the brand ends with the purchase. A new vehicle, however, requires regular maintenance, updates and more. Every purchase must be viewed as a relationship that requires active and consistent nurturing. Lifecycle marketing is the best way to capture the long-term value inherent in every customer.

Lifecycle marketing means business

Lifecycle marketing is what the term implies – an understanding that automotive consumers travel through stages along their personal ownership experience. Further, it’s the process of recognizing what stage they’re in and tailoring the message appropriately.

You would think the lifecycle marketing approach is a natural best practice, particularly for fixed ops departments whose performance is tied to engaging and retaining vehicle owners. Yet according to Wards Auto, 62% of customers aren’t contacted after a vehicle purchase, despite the fact communication is desired. After all, it’s human nature to want to feel confident – and be reassured – about a big purchase. What’s more, new online retailers are popping up like mushrooms. Aggressive offers from established independent shops never stop. Dropping off a customer’s radar is not good business.

Leverage Data Points Unique to You

Staying in consistent communication with your customers is key to staying ahead of defection, and equally important, in cementing retention. That’s pretty darn important, considering Harvard Business Review showed that increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%. Here’s another point to consider. Customers rarely plan for maintenance. They hear a strange noise or experience a performance issue. More than 40% of service shoppers reach out for “reactive maintenance” versus routine maintenance.

While many dealerships do send follow-up communication, only a select few do it consistently. Lack of resources is often the culprit. OEMs do provide fixed ops marketing programs, but often they are limited in scope, customization, and reporting. “My advice to dealerships regarding lifecycle marketing? Find a partner that’s truly full service”, advises Katherine Paraskakis, who heads up Total Service Marketing at Dealer-FX. “We help dealerships retain customers with personalized campaigns, perfectly timed to match their unique situation. We create, manage and report on each campaign, so the impressive ROI is clear. Better yet, since they’re enrolled with our ONE Platform solution, we leverage unique data points to further personalize messaging.”

What to look for in a Lifecycle marketing partner

According to Harvard Business Review,
increasing retention rates by 5%
boosts profit by 25-95%.

Lifecycle marketing is proven to move customers from “consideration” to “shopping” phase more quickly. Proactively keeping your dealership top of mind with relevant and timely offers prevents customer leakage and offer far more certainty than “spray and pray” tactics. Lifecycle marketing also increases the likelihood that retained customers buy their next car from you.

And the cycle continues…

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