Revving Up Customer Loyalty to Drive Repeat Business in Car Dealerships

Boosting customer loyalty is crucial for any business, and car dealerships are no exception. Studies show that attracting a new customer can cost up to five times more than retaining an existing one. By fostering strong customer relationships, car dealerships can increase their customer base and create a positive reputation. This article will discuss several effective strategies for boosting customer loyalty at car dealerships. By following these tips, car dealerships can create a loyal customer base that will keep returning for more.

customer loyalty in car dealership

Why is Customer Loyalty Important for Car Dealerships?

Loyal customers are more likely to buy from the same dealership again, which increases sales figures. They may also recommend the dealership to their family and friends leading to positive word-of-mouth advertising and a good reputation for the dealership. So customer loyalty can differentiate the dealership from others in the market.

Also, loyal customers are likely to purchase add-ons, such as extended warranties and maintenance plans, which can increase the profitability of each sale. It is more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. By building a loyal customer base, car dealerships can reduce their marketing costs, focus on providing the best service and build stronger relationships with current customers. 

How to Increase Customer Loyalty in Car Dealerships?

In today’s market, customers are more likely to defect than ever. The global automotive industry is facing significant supply chain challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a shortage of semiconductors– essential components for the production of vehicles. This has resulted in production delays and reduced vehicle inventories at dealerships. The lack of parts and components has also impacted the availability of service and repairs for existing vehicles. A survey by Cox Automotive found that 60% of US car dealerships reported having difficulty obtaining parts for service and repair work. Accordingly, the current situation can result in frustrated customers who may be forced to look elsewhere for their desired vehicle and don’t care about loyalty. But here are some ways to retain customers:

Focus on Customer Service and Build Relationships

Car dealerships can differentiate themselves from their competition by providing exceptional customer service. It means being responsive to customers’ needs, providing personalized service, and ensuring customers feel valued and respected. For example, a dealership could offer a complimentary coffee bar, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating areas for customers waiting for their cars to be serviced. According to a study by AutoTrader, 54% of consumers are more likely to buy from a dealership where they had a positive experience in prior deals or a dealership offering ongoing support. 

Data analytics can help dealerships gain insights into customer preferences and behaviors, enabling them to personalize the experience. Dealerships can leverage data to recommend suitable car models, offer customized financing options, and provide personalized after-sales service. Having a customer journey would be very helpful as dealers can understand what customers would expect in every stage and what they can do to meet these needs in a more personalized way.


Provide a Seamless Experience with Added Value

A streamlined car buying process offers a simple and hassle-free experience by improving efficiency and reducing paperwork and the amount of time customers spend in the dealership. It is what customers are looking for. Online car buying would be a perfect way to streamline the car purchase process. Dealers can showcase their inventory online using stunning 360 photos and videos on a user-friendly website or social media accounts. Financing options, trade-in values, booking an appointment, and all the information car buyers need to make an informed decision can be provided online.

Dealerships can add more value to their business, like offering free maintenance services, complimentary car washes, oil changes, rental cars, or discounts on future purchases. DealerRater’s survey indicated that 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a dealership that offers free maintenance. Customers appreciate being appreciated, and offering perks and incentives effectively shows them that their loyalty is valued. Dealerships can also offer rewards programs, extended warranties, or referral discounts to loyal customers. According to a study by Colloquy, loyalty program members generate 12-18% more revenue for businesses than non-members.


Sean Toussi

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