Driving Retention

Loyalty Programs – Rewarding the Customer and the Dealer

Customer loyalty programs can benefit both the customer and the dealer by increasing revenue, building customer loyalty and retention, and promoting the dealer's local brand...
Image of a set of car keys being handed to someone with a red new car in the background
Written by
Mike Gorun
Published on
December 21, 2021

Customer loyalty programs are indisputably a staple in businesses. Many retailers have them and consumers have come to expect them. The problem is that most retailers view rewards programs as an expense, rather than a way of revenue. There are discounts, among other things that come along with rewards programs, and these are the “expenses” retailers concentrate on. However, there is a significant benefit to customer loyalty programs, local branding for your business! A loyalty initiative designed and promoted locally will only build local recognition where you need it the most, right in your backyard.  Don’t rely on your OEM to carry your local brand, take the initiative and grow your customer loyalty.

Have you ever seen someone with a wallet-full of loyalty cards? Every one of those is important, because that individual either regularly shops at those places or plans to in the future.  While physical membership cards have been replaced by digital versions, customers continue refraining from enrolling in a program tied to a business they have no intention of frequently visiting.

Your Rewards Program Can Work for You

Let’s look at it from a retail automotive perspective. How much does it cost to attach those personalized paper plates, license plate frames, or metallic logos to the vehicles you sell? It can be costly, right? But you do it because every vehicle rolling down the road with your logo on it is advertising your location. Whether it’s conscious or subliminal, the potential customer spotting it simply sees the logo and the fact that the vehicle owner chose to purchase from your dealership. At the end of the day, that’s what truly matters.

Loyalty programs offer the same type way of promotion in today’s digital world. Whether it’s a text to someone’s phone, an email reminder, or VIP name recognition on your service drive monitors, those customers will associate your local brand with the benefits you provide, leading them to invest in your dealership and visit more often.    

Assuming your loyalty program is in fact attractive to your customers, they will continue to come back  for more. They will not only return, but return, habitually. Your customers love to rack up rewards towards services and products they value most. Ensure that your rewards are worth earning, and your rewards program is branded, just like those license plate frames.

These programs are designed to increase revenue, while building customer loyalty and retention. It’s a known fact that businesses make more money from retention than acquisition. Even still, many dealers are willing to spend upwards of $650+ to acquire a new customer. Meanwhile, they cringe at the idea of giving an oil change away to a repeat, loyal one. Express the loyalty towards your customers that you hope to receive from them. They have the potential to bring in more business than any efforts to acquire new customers.

Looking to grow your customer Loyalty? Check out LoyaltyTrac!

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