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A car dealer’s past customers can be a great source of sales. Most of us prefer to work with people we know and trust, especially for large purchases like a car. Yet even the most satisfied customer may need some encouragement to become a repeat customer.
Here are 2 key ways to respark and resell to past customers:
Though communication is key to all sales, some customers are more likely to be repeat buyers, so begin by identifying the customers to contact. Customers who interact with your messages, calls, and social media posts are more likely to purchase again,¹ so prioritize these former customers. An effective way to manage this communication is with Dealerpull’s Dealer Management Software (DMS), specifically Dealerpull’s CRM Lead Management software, which allows you to manage email messages, phone calls and online leads effortlessly.
Email campaigns that offer a discount or benefit for a specified time frame are effective, especially when combined with seasonal needs, such as a discounted set of winter tires in the fall or a free spring inspection. These campaigns bring customers into the dealership, which is a good opportunity for a quick look around at what’s on the lot.
Even old-fashioned snail mail can be effective – a yearly thank you card or a personalized service discount coupon can work well - but keep it personal, as few people like general flyers that end up in the recycling bin.
Phone calls are effective too. A text message or a quick phone call on a customer’s birthday or on the anniversary of the most recent car purchase will be welcome.¹ Dealerpull CRM software can help you stay on top of your prospects with reminders of these important dates, and can even keep track of each customer’s preferred method of communication.
You can also check your sales management software and call a customer whose vehicle has a recall or whose lease is getting close to its end. If new inventory is in, text an invitation to the customer to come in and test-drive a new model. Definitely let the customer know if prime rates on the new model are now lower than the when they last financed (a better rate could mean a similar payment on a newer model). A phone call or text says that the customer’s needs are important to you. While you are talking or texting, you could even offer a virtual walkaround of the new inventory for those who live far away.
As with email messages and phone calls, social media is a great way to communicate with past customers. If you have the customer’s social media handles in your Dealerpull software, ‘like’ a social media post, comment to show your interest or support, or repost to your car dealership’s page.
Interacting on social media indicates that you appreciate the past customer, that you pay attention to what they post, and helps you show other potential customers a happy, brand-loyal customer. Tapping into the sales potential of social media is valuable itself, and even more valuable when used to stay in touch with past customers.
An excellent way to show appreciation to past customers and to encourage them to purchase again is with a special event. Send past customers invitations, by mail or by phone, so the invitations are personal. Customers will be aware that the event is to bring in new customers as well, but the personal invitation makes past customers feel special and valued. Bring in some live music and free food. Showcase a cool, new vehicle or rare model in your inventory. Have a gift draw.
These events say, loudly, that you value your past customers, that you care about them.² And a special event is a great way to take advantage of Dealerpull inventory management software. Check it carefully before the event so you know exactly what vehicles you have on the lot. Then, during the event, you can connect each guest to vehicles that meet their tastes and interests.
Past customers know your dealership, they trust your employees, and they are familiar with the brand or brands you sell. Communicate with them regularly, show them that you care, and you will respark sales from a very solid source.