Aust & NZ
9th Jun 2016

The digital world is full of advice and researching strategies to automate processes will reveal some interesting results. Business process automation, when set up correctly, can completely change the income of a business in either an upward or downward direction. Automating a customer retention process is one way to increase the amount of customers bringing their car back to your workshop, time and time again.

Just recently a Pentana Solutions customer shared some insights into the relationship between marketing automation and customer retention in their particular business. According to this dealer, due to process automation they’ve noted an increase in the last eleven months on the previous eleven months of over $250,000 in service revenue and an increase of $150,000 in parts revenue! Even though the marketing campaigns conducted weren’t specifically targeted to the parts operation, this was the subsidiary effect of the campaign.

‘They’ve noted an increase in the last eleven months on the previous eleven months of over $250,000 in service revenue and an increase of $150,000 in parts revenue’

Now, whilst many people from here will be asking how to get that exact process and implement it in their organisation, it’s not so simple. What is simple, however, is determining if your current Customer Relationship Management system is integrated into your dealer management system (DMS). The importance of capturing prospective customer information in all areas of your dealership is often overlooked. No matter how sophisticated the process may be, without the leads to deliver this process to the chances of success are quite small.

The real question to consider is, what’s holding you back from achieving the same result?

Whilst there are many formulas, there is no definitive answer to the age-old question as to what is the cost of customer acquisition compared to the value of customer retention. Some sources say it costs between four to 10 times more to acquire a new customer that it does to keep an existing one. Gartner, a technology research company say 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer that to keep an existing one satisfied *.

Knowing your customers beyond their vehicle is the first critical step to creating a retention strategy. Your sales / marketing department should understand relationship building in both social and professional environments. The more you know about your customer, the more you can do to keep them and if you think about it, the customers that have been with you the longest are the ones that have interacted with you the most in a positive manner.

The second step is to evaluate your existing customer relationship management software and strategies. When was the last time you made a change for the better and ask yourself are your results where you expect them to be, or in today’s market are they a little short of where you really want to be?