Retention: Six To-Do’s for Customer Retention

Just as much effort is needed into finding new customers as it is to keeping your current customer base. Here are six pointers on maintaining a relationship with your current customers.

Show it.

  1. Never consider that you’ll get the next transaction. Loyalty today is based on the last experience your customer had with you and his/her knowledge that you want to serve again.  (See ‘Communicate’)
  2. THANK YOU! You’ll need to acknowledge their transaction with a follow up email, hand written note, phone call, or text. (See ‘Communicate’)

Communicate.

  1. Phone can be the most effective way to review work done, remind of warranty and to discuss additional work needed found during vehicle inspection.
  2. Email. Be sure subject line is strong to insure a read. Just like a phone call the email is for follow up and opens up an easy communications back to your business. Have a call to action. A simple reply regarding satisfactory work and problem resolution.
  3. Texting a follow up to check on work done. If your customer is OK with texting this is a great way to communicate. (quick, easy, efficient)
  4. Use social media (See below)NOTE: Great pointers from Doug Whiteman on Remarkable Results Podcast episode 9 & 10 on how he does follow-up. Good stuff from Doug.

Social media.

  1. Are you using Facebook and Twitter to engage communication and content to your customer? Once you get your customer to like your FB page or to follow you on twitter, you’ll need to have a method to create good automotive content to keep your customer engaged
  2. In the B2C service business, you will want to provide automotive education and news to keep your customer engaged in your social pages/tweets. Honesty and integrity prevail.
  3. To drive top of mind and loyalty connections, you want your customer, when the need arises, to think of you first because you’ve managed his mind share.
  4. Get your customer involved in your business. Include them in all community events and happenings. (See ‘Shout it out’)
  5. Find the right balance, don’t overdo it. Nice soft approach.NOTE: Episode (#45) with Kim Walker is an engaging discussion on social media and the 50/30/20 Rule.

Promotions.

  1. Specials create buzz, keep it fresh. Remember your buzz is really your brand and culture. You create it every time you have an interaction with a customer, prospect or community.
  2. Don’t hesitate to offer your steady customer the same offer you would a new customer. Don’t give anything to a new customer you wouldn’t give to an established one. Don’t do what the satellite TV providers do while the established customers are paying top buck.

Shout it out. Ask your customers to get involved in community.

  1. Promote events in your community. Invite your customer to be involved.
  2. Host events at your business and ask your customers to get involved.
  3. Have a safety inspection day. Engage your customer. Help them.

Millennials, X-Gen’ers, Boomers

  1. Much talk of late on the millennial’s. They make up the largest part of the work force 77.6 million (slightly more than boomer’s). They and the Gen Xers are sometimes called ‘Digital Natives’. How would you be communicating to them? They typically communicate through sound and video. They may not have the best loyalty to brands so you will need to keep in front of them, with permission. Get them involved in your social streams.
  2. Be sure your website and social streams are exciting. Consider video and sound.
  3. Many boomers have or are getting smart phones. They need a smart phone if they want to communicate with their grand kids and children. If they see a strong value in connecting with you for real info and not fluff, you can keep them engaged in your social reach and connected to your shop.

Yes on top of managing your KPIs, team, training, marketing, technology; above all you must communicate to all the important people in your life and business. Your customer should be on the top of the list.

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.