Communication is key to success and loyalty

Franchise dealerships are a great model for the consumer – identikit buildings with staff conforming to the latest manufacturer sponsored “CSI” process or system requirements. It’s a great way of ensuring a relatively high level of basic service, comparable to neighbouring dealerships, whatever the marque.

So how does a business differentiate itself from the others?

Human nature dictates that we spend more time with the people who stay in touch with us. It’s no different in a business relationship.

A dealership should be the friendly, helpful part of the relationship, not the needy friend begging for attention or the distant acquaintance who only gets in touch when they want something.

The key to successful communication that encourages loyalty is relevance and regularity. Simply bombarding with weekly special offers will reduce interaction and increase unsubscribes, not the way to develop loyalty.

Various surveys have shown that email is the most popular form of communication, an ever-increasing number of emails being opened on a mobile phone or tablet.

The average open rate for a customer email in the retail industry is around 20%, yet at Marketing Delivery the average for our clients using a relevant and regular CRM programme is 60%. Unsubscribes are negligible as customers reply to and interact with the mobile responsive messages being sent.

Customers are interested in general marque news, may like to be invited to annual Golf events or track days, to offsite events and community sponsorship activities. Customers appreciate driving tips for wet or cold weather, may take you up on the offer to check their car out before a long drive, before the annual family holiday drive to Cornwall or France.

Remember, CRM stands for CUSTOMER relationship management – don’t be distant or needy!