In order to create customer loyalty and new revenue opportunities, vehicle dealerships need to build value and incentive behind their brand. Vehicle service contracts (VSCs) are a unique dealership offering that deliver clear value to the customer and incentive for repeat business in your service lane. Selling more VSCs is always a great way to enhance loyalty and profits, but first you need to know exactly who to sell VSCs to and how to reach them. By using consumer database information collected from your sales department and service lane team, your dealership can strategically identify and market to consumers who don’t already have a VSC in place, and in turn, boost your bottom line.
KEEP YOUR DATA UP TO DATE
It’s imperative to ensure all your dealership’s customer data is accurate and recent. With so much information in your database and so many people moving each year, this can be challenging to manage. Having a customer database in the first place is important for providing quality customer service and keeping in touch—dealerships need to be able to contact vehicle owners about recalls, warranties, repairs, etc. If your data becomes outdated, you’ll miss out on the contact opportunities and potentially lose the customer’s repeat business. If your dealership stays in contact with its customers through regular check-ins and updates, you are able to know if, when and where they are moving. Finding out a customer is moving gives your dealership the opportunity to stay connected with them at their new address and also send marketing materials to their old address, where new residents will most likely be new to the neighborhood. Additionally, sending marketing materials to out-of-date contacts can be a huge waste of money—and now the USPS is charging companies for that kind of bad data.
ENHANCE YOUR DATABASE WITH SMART TECHNOLOGY
Thanks to modern developments in data tool technology, there are services and software that can help keep your data and contact information up to date. Data appending, enhancement and hygiene are common terms associated with processes that work to reduce errors and enhance accuracy of data as it is entered, stored and managed in your system. Data mining software like Perfect Prospect leverage a data mining server, OEM data and third-party data to discover patterns and highlight strategic sales opportunities and you can even request a demo before you buy. Do your research, identify your best option and invest in data services or software that can help your dealership continually maintain correct customer data and introduce strategic points of contact.
REACH OUT TO CUSTOMERS WITHOUT A VSC
If all your data is in order, it’s easy for your dealership to identify all the customers who didn’t buy a VSC at the time of vehicle purchase. According to a DealerRater survey supplied by Automotive News, only 26% of new-vehicle buyers and 40% of used-vehicle buyers purchased a VSC, leaving plenty of room for follow-up VSC sales opportunities. One of the best times to sell a VSC to a customer is in person, when they come into your service lane for maintenance or repairs. In this scenario, you’re able to see through your consumer database that they do not have a VSC and their vehicle is still under warranty.
The survey also revealed that 33% of consumers who visited a dealership for service ended up buying a VSC. In order to get more of these customers in your service lane, you can send direct mail marketing that incentivize them to come in for service. And—a little bit of marketing advice—if you want to avoid your direct mailers getting immediately thrown away, consider avoiding envelopes, keep messages concise and make the mailer itself valuable by having it include a coupon, code or special offer, not just a sales message.