Customer retention in the auto service industry can be tricky, especially since the industry is so very competitive. However, various types of technology have been shown to help increase customer retention while boosting service departments’ ROIs and revenue at the same time. Here are some excellent tips for using technology to enhance service customer retention.
#1 – Accept Mobile Payments
Today’s consumers are used to instant gratification. Rather than going to the grocery store, shopping for an hour, then paying for their purchases by swiping a debit or credit card, they can now order their groceries in advance, have them loaded into their car, and then use a mobile payment service to pay for those groceries. This not only saves time, but it also helps keep consumers’ payment information more secure – something that is incredibly important in today’s high-tech world. If your service department does not accept mobile payments, now is the time to make the change. Your customers can pay their repair bills before leaving to pick up their vehicles, and that is unsurpassed convenience.
#2 – Start Offering Videos
The auto service industry isn’t exactly known for transparency and honesty, but your dealership can be a shining star if it utilizes video apps. Imagine being able to take a video of a customer’s vehicle to show that customer exactly what sort of repairs are necessary, then sending that video directly to a customer’s email or phone number. Your customers will undoubtedly appreciate the transparency such a video can provide, and they are far more likely to return in the future when they need their next oil change or repair, too.
#3 – Create a Loyalty Program
Technology-based loyalty programs are fantastic ways to retain customers, especially when they are built around routine auto maintenance. For example, you might provide your customers with their fifth tire rotation for free, or maybe even give them a 50% discount on their fifth oil change via a mobile app that keeps track of their visits and the services you have provided to them. Things like this make customers feel as if they matter, and that will go a long way toward keeping them coming back time and again.
#4 – Realtime Progress Updates
When customers drop their cars off for repairs or routine maintenance, they are often anxious about the length of time they will leave those cars in your hands. Having a system in place to communicate with your customers via text and provide them with automated updates can help ease this anxiety a great deal. Text communication is much simpler and more effective than traditional telephone or email communication, and it makes it easy for your customers to ask questions about their progress, as well.
#5 – Excellent Recordkeeping
Finally, the last way you can use technology to increase customer retention is through the collection and interpretation of data. If you use these technologies, it is important for you to track how many videos you sent, how many times your customers viewed them, and much, much more. If a customer should ever dispute a repair or an agreement made via text, you should be able to retrieve the conversation and provide a written record of that approval, too. This excellent recordkeeping will help both you and your customers in the long run.
Technology has come a long way in the last few decades, and even the auto dealership industry has found new ways to implement it in such a way that it can significantly increase customer retention. Between accepting mobile payments, facilitating simple text communication, and even enhancing transparency with video, your customers will have no desire to seek out a different dealership in the future.