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AutoPoint Blog

Make new customers part of your retention strategy.

Posted by Hilary Biggart Wednesday, September 07, 2016

When you think retention, you usually think about how to retain your existing customers. How to engage them and provide the best possible experience so they keep coming back, from sales, to service, and back again.

But what about new customers? What about new customer engagement and acquisition? The nature of the internet is such that any customer in the market for a new vehicle or a service shop has every option in their area neatly listed for them through one simple Web search.

When customers are already in your system, you can focus on the experience they have on your lot and in your shop. But when it comes to gaining and retaining new customers, how do you capture them against such strong competition?

The answer lies in your marketing strategy. Today, we’ll talk about the kind of marketing you need to have to conquest new customers before the competition gets there first. It’s time to get fierce.

Anticipatory targeting.

The best way to get in before the competition is to know what your customers want even before they do. That’s where proactive segmentation and targeting comes in. Your sales marketing system should use data-driven customer segmentation to predict which customers will likely want to purchase new vehicles and when. From there, it’s a matter of sending relevant, engaging messages to capture those customers before the competition even knows they’re there.

Relevant messaging.

It’s not enough to know when your customers want to purchase a new vehicle, you need to know what kind of vehicle they want. Your marketing system should use messaging that appeals directly to your customers’ individual needs.

Especially when it comes to millennial customers, personalization is everything. Individualized messaging is a differentiating aspect of the customer experience, and personalized messages make or break your marketing impact. Your messages will either be hard above the marketing noise, or get lost in it.

Your marketing system should also use a multi-channel communication strategy that puts your messages in the places customers visit most. Don’t waste your time blindly putting ads out there and hoping the right people will see them. Your marketing should use hyper-targeted messages to ensure your messages will be in the right place at the right time. This increases your impact and maximizes your marketing dollars.

Outside conquests.

The ideal marketing system won’t just rely on your existing customer database—it will use proprietary data from thousands, if not millions, of outside customer vehicle ownership records. This information is invaluable when it comes to snatching new customers away from the competition and attracting new people to your sales lot.

Consistent retention.

Once you actually have new customers away from competitors and on your lot, they become a natural part of your larger retention strategy. Your main goal should be to convert these new customers to service customers, and retain them through every touchpoint in the service journey. When they’re ready to purchase a new vehicle again? Your marketing system will know, and you’ll begin the process all over again. From one visit and one vehicle to the next.

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