How to Increase Service Retention with the Latest Technology

The world of consumer marketing is dynamic and ever-evolving, with new trends and strategies emerging each year. However, one constant factor remains - the customer. Making the customer the primary focus is essential to enhance a dealership's service retention marketing.

Dealerships can significantly improve their marketing ROI by prioritizing service retention metrics that matter to dealerships and leveraging the latest technology tools like Customer Data Platforms and Multichannel Marketing Journeys. These tools provide invaluable insights into customer behavior, enabling dealerships to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns that drive engagement and foster customer loyalty.

Importance of Retaining Customers

Service retention is a measure of a dealership’s ability to retain its customers by keeping them satisfied with the quality of its services. It costs much less to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones - according to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can be 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Moreover, loyal customers can become advocates for a business, spreading the word about its services and products to others. That is why retaining customers is essential for any dealership that wants to stay competitive in today's marketplace.

Tracking Metrics Matter

To truly improve service retention, dealerships need to define what metrics they will use to measure it first. This may include metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, customer retention rates, and customer lifetime value. According to Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits ranging from 25% to 95%. Therefore, focusing on these metrics is crucial for dealerships to enhance service retention and achieve long-term success.

Another essential metric to consider is the customer churn rate, which measures the percentage of customers who stop using a dealership's services over a given period of time. Dealers can calculate the churn rate by tracking the number of customers lost over a period and dividing it by the total number of customers at the beginning. 

Once these metrics are defined, dealerships can use various tools to track them. Customer data platforms can collect information from multiple sources to track retention rates and lifetime value. Dealerships can use the insights gained from these metrics to identify areas for improvement and act on them. 

Customer Data Platform

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a powerful tool that dealerships can use to consolidate and manage customer data from various sources, such as DMS, CRM systems, social media, and customer behavior. This centralized data repository gives dealerships a comprehensive view of their customers, helping them understand customer preferences, behavior patterns, and purchase history. As a result, dealers can use this information to develop targeted and personalized marketing campaigns, enhancing the overall customer experience and increasing service retention.

Implementing a CDP can enable dealerships to segment their customer base more effectively, allowing them to create tailored marketing messages that resonate with individual customers. By leveraging this wealth of customer data, dealers can better understand customer needs and preferences, leading to more relevant and engaging marketing campaigns. Furthermore, a CDP can help dealerships track the success of their marketing efforts and optimize their strategies based on real-time data. This allows dealers to continually improve their marketing efforts, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and service retention.

To harness the full potential of a Customer Data Platform, dealerships must integrate it with additional systems, such as marketing automation platforms, to make the data actionable. By doing so, they can leverage customer data across the entire organization, ensuring a seamless and consistent customer experience. 

Activator's Customer Data Platform with Salesforce automatically collects and unifies data from multiple sources, feeding it into a personalized journey builder to enhance customer engagement and conversion. Our CDP analyzes data and ensures accuracy using Activator's Follow the VIN technology, ongoing email appends, and National Change of Address updates. By unlocking dealers' data, Activator provides a comprehensive view of customers and leads, enabling tracking and optimizing their interactions with the dealership. This allows dealers to automatically fine-tune customer and lead lifecycle journeys, resulting in a deeper understanding of customers' needs, preferences, and behavior patterns that evolve over time.

Multichannel Marketing Journeys

Journeys are not only automated but also based on the engagement and behaviors of the customer. They adjust, adapt, and learn about your customer's preferences over time, creating a purpose-driven service retention plan modeled for the individual customer. In fact, according to a study by Econsultancy, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. This underscores the importance of designing marketing journeys that cater to each customer's unique preferences and behavior patterns, ultimately leading to improved service retention.

Journeys can remind customers about upcoming service appointments or recommended maintenance. Upselling can also be achieved through these journeys by promoting related accessories, parts, and services to customers who have already purchased or transacted with the dealership. By sending targeted, consistent messages across multiple channels and offers based on a customer's behavior, dealers can increase the likelihood of customers making additional purchases. For example, suppose customer satisfaction scores are low. In that case, dealerships can use customer feedback within a multichannel marketing journey to identify the root causes and implement changes to improve their service experience. 

Activator's platform is powered with Salesforce's multichannel journey builder, which empowers dealerships to nurture leads, welcome new customers, promote related products and services, send service reminders, and re-engage inactive customers. By sending relevant content across multiple channels, such as email, direct mail, and SMS (text), based on the customer's actions, the platform creates personalized and automated customer journeys throughout the entire lifecycle. These flexible marketing journeys allow customers to move in and out of sales-based, service-drive-based, and engagement-based journeys, creating a unique path to purchase based on dealership interaction and time-based marketing strategies.

Maximizing Service Retention

Increasing service retention can be a challenge; however, by utilizing CDPs in conjunction with Multichannel Marketing Journeys, dealerships can develop comprehensive strategies that address the unique needs of their customers, ultimately improving service retention and driving long-term success. By building solid relationships, consistently delivering high-quality services, communicating effectively, providing value-added services, and offering incentives, dealerships can improve service retention and maintain a loyal customer base. 

Learn how your dealership can use Activator's Customer data platform and Multichannel Marketing Journeys with Salesforce to achieve your dealership goals, increasing engagement and loyalty while improving your marketing ROI. Talk to a representative to get started. 

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