Dealership Rewards

 

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Many of our clients are relying on rewards as the slow months are coming up. A rewards program gives you unlimited communications to customers along with incentives your competitors can’t match.

When customers earn rewards toward dealership purchases, they’re FAR more likely to return to the store.

What are you waiting for? What’s standing in your way of doing what the best companies are doing? Hertz, Delta, Starbucks, O’Reilly are just a few companies using rewards to motivate their customers.

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Why Does Your Dealership Need a Loyalty Program?

Car dealership owners are well aware of how difficult it can be to retain customers and market to new and current ones. For a lot of consumers, buying a car is a one-time experience and they don’t feel the need to visit the dealership again; so as a dealer, it can be stressful to figure out how to get customers back into their business.

A loyalty program is a great place to start when it comes to finding a way to reach out to new and old customers. Car dealership incentive programs are actually more useful to customers than you may think.

  • Keeping your dealership’s name fresh in your customer’s minds is one of the key ways to get them to return for another visit, even if it is further down the road than you would like. It’s an easy way to remind them about your company. And if you offer exceptional customer service, they are going to remember their experience buying their car through your dealership.
  • Do you think you may be doing something wrong or your customers aren’t as happy as you would like them to be? A loyalty program is going to get you all of the feedback you need to know where your business is struggling and where things should be changed. Offering customers a chance to express their feelings and feedback makes them feel like their opinions matter and is beneficial for you.
  • Everyone likes an incentive! It doesn’t matter if it’s a percent off coupon, a referral reward or simply gaining points to redeem for a reward; any kind of incentive shows your customers that you’re willing to give them more than just what they’ve purchased. For example, if you offer your customers points for coming in and getting their oil changed with your business, they are going to keep returning for services, keep your business fresh in mind and gain something out of each return.

The Big Game Suspense

As we all know, the Super Bowl in right around the corner and I’m pumped! There are so many things to be excited about! ENDLESS AMOUNTS OF FOOD! Payton Manning could be the first ever QB to get a ring with two different teams. While Russell Wilson has a chance to take over the throne, if his hand doesn’t freeze. It is a battle of the ages between the best offense and defense in the NFL. And duh, the suspense of what commercial will be the best.

While I am excited to actually watch the game, there are millions of people out there who don’t give a crap. They are excited for the commercials and that is all they really watch. This year it is costing companies $4 million dollars for a tiny 30 second window. One mistake could put an executive on the chopping block. Or one brilliant move could send a company soaring. No pressure right?

Through out the playoffs Bud Light has been keeping us on the edge with little teasers. We know something weird is going to happen with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I predict them to hit the jackpot, but you never know. Axe is also is in the running for the leader with their warm up ad. Their new ‘Axe Peace’ spray wants us to make love not war. This could hit the emotional trigger for viewers. But I am excited for the unknown.

With teasers and the internet these days, if you feel like digging, you can figure out the best commercials before the Super Bowl. Last year the lights unexpectedly went out and Oreo went into action while the rest of us finished off the nachos. They ran to Twitter to let us know that there isn’t a problem even though the power is out.

oreo

Pure genius! This witty ad was cheaper than any advertisement possible and it made them more money. Sometimes we need to step out of the box and look for opportunities in unexpected places. After this stunt I think we will be seeing funny ads in different places. This ad made it to personal computers and phones in real-time. This makes the message engaging and more likely to pass on to others. Isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Times are changing and so are Super Bowl ads. Over the years the hype about them has dwindled. Who knows what the future holds. Any predictions how much 30 seconds will cost in 20 years? Happy watching everyone!

Cady Henglefelt

cady@remembergroup.com

New Years Resolution For Your Business

Now that we are on our way into 2014. It’s the time to be thinking about how you can change your company for the better. 2013 was a great year, so how can we make changes and elaborate on certain things to make 2014 even better? Take a good, hard look at the way you currently handle your customer retention program.

I read an article on Forbes.com today (http://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2013/12/31/the-only-new-years-resolution-for-small-business/) that said customer loyalty is the holy grail of small business. The article then states that instead of offering insane buy “10 get 1 free deals”, (like those other guys) we should take the time to have conversations with the customers. Ask them what they think needs to be changed, and what they would like to see fixed. Maybe they would like to sit in a hot tub while they wait for there oil change. OK, that is a bit much, but you get the point.

Another big thing to look into, keep up on trends, find out who your key demographics are. You may not want to try and sell a “popular item” to a 16 year old girl, if “other popular item” is all the rage right now.  Make sure to track all your customer data, this will help you figure out what kinds of things your customers like to see.

Speaking of collecting data, make sure to only collect data that is usable. Otherwise you are using up resources and time tracking data that won’t do your business any good. The Forbes article also mentioned that you may not even need to have a loyalty program to have customer retention. Look at Apple products, they do not have a program, but they still have a large fan base. The big picture here is exceptional customer service. You can create customer loyalty with that alone. These customers are more likely to come back again and again if  “John Doe” opens their car door for them and so and so down the street does not.

If you apply these tips and tricks, 2014 will be an even better year for your business.

Creating Customers For Life

Focusing on customer retention is one of the most rapidly growing trends in the automotive industry. Manufacturers are driving retention, and with good reason. Newly appointed GM CEO, Mary Barra shared her thoughts in a 2012 statement, “We believe a single percentage point improvement in sales retention is about 25,000 vehicles or about $700 million annually, so it’s a pretty big financial incentive.” A single percentage point!

While retention to an automotive brand is all well and good, I can still buy that same vehicle from any number of area dealers. The same holds even more true in fixed ops. Not only are we competing for that customer’s service business with other dealerships, we are fighting the independent shops as well as the quick-lube/tire/brakes shops.

What sets your dealership apart? The answer we hear time and time again: we’ve got the best people/parts/products. The best sales/service/selection. The truth may very well be that you do, but your competition is saying the exact same thing. And it is falling on deaf ears. You’re dealing with a more informed consumer than ever before. At the click of a mouse they can learn everything about your dealership, your special offers, what people think about you. They can do the same for your competition.

So how do we attract, create and keep a customer that is loyal to your dealership? The first step is truly separating yourself from the other guys. What are you offering the customer that the competition can’t? We need to stop talking about price and start talking about value. How are you making your customer’s life better? What are you providing that makes it worth choosing your dealership every time?

Think about the last flight you took. The last hotel you stayed in. The credit card you used to pay for those. Did you earn points? Do these multi-billion dollar industries offer a rewards program simply because it’s cute? Come on – these are banks! The truth is that a loyalty initiative is one of the most effective tools available to drive more business, more often.  In today’s economy, a customer is expecting their dollar to go further and are willing to go to great lengths to continue doing business with an organization that rewards them for their loyalty. How far will they go? Rockwell Clancy, VP of Financial Services at J.D. Power and Associates had this to say – “Consumers will often pay higher prices, or stick with a service that’s unsatisfying, simply because they’ve started earning points.”

What does this look like in the auto dealer world? The Walser Automotive Group in Minneapolis, MN, together with the re:member group, created the Walser Rewards program to attract and keep their most profitable customers. It couldn’t be easier to play. Members enroll for free, simply by providing an email address. Once enrolled, 10% of customer pay service work goes into a bank account that they can redeem toward their next vehicle purchase. The results have been amazing – Walser found that Members of their program service more often and spend 40% more in service than non-Members. This resulted in a boost of $4.6 Million in additional service revenue in a 2011 study and it continues to grow every year. Better still – since these points are redeemable only toward a vehicle purchase, Walser is on target to sell over 1,000 vehicles in 2013 from points redemptions. This holistic approach to customer loyalty has helped Walser attract and keep loyal, profitable customers in both service and sales, all while delighting the customer.

Customers that are truly loyal to your dealership are going to do 4 very important things that have a big impact to your bottom line. 1) They visit your dealership more often – not just for the major repairs, but for all repairs. 2) They spend more. A loyal customer is less price-sensitive and more likely to agree to recommended services. 3) They give great feedback. You’ll learn powerful insights from your customers and see strong online reviews – thereby attracting more customers. 4) They refer their friends and family. There is no greater form of advertising than a personal recommendation from a happy customer.

A customer becomes loyal when you present a value that the competition can’t match. When you exceed a customer’s expectations – not simply by satisfying them.

Nate Sieveking is president of the re:member group, the auto industry leader in customized loyalty solutions (www.remembergroup.com). You can email him at nate@remembergroup.com.

Email Marketing: Through the eyes of a web designer

How you view your emails is likely different from how your customers are viewing your emails.  That’s because there are hundreds of thousands of ways your emails are accessible.  Your customers could be viewing your emails from any type of laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, blackberry, etc. From those devices, there are different versions of different operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Unix, etc. From those OS’s your customers could be using any version of any given browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer (Please stop using IE), etc.  Within those browsers, your customers could be using any version of any email client like Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc. I think you get the picture… Any combination of those factors could result in a different way your email is rendered.  Some rendering differences could be a shift in just a few pixels, others could be drastic – breaking your entire message.

HTML email experts, like the ones at the re:member group, see your emails in a much different way – Code. Below is a graphic of how you might view your email in comparison to how the web designers at the re:member group view your email.

blog-image

With so many different combinations of devises, operating systems, browsers and email clients, it is important to make sure the markup language behind your email is valid and robust.  The HTML and CSS in your email defines how it will render across different devices. Don’t trust anyone with an internet connection and web editor such as Dreamweaver to build your emails. Your message could get lost or broken across many devices.  Ensure your message displays properly across all major devises and entrust your emails with designers who can attain pixel-perfection through the means of handwritten, dependable code.

 

Travis Valerius

Web Designer & Developer

travis@remembergroup.com

Simple is the New Black

What attracts you to a particular website, email, or logo? Well for me it all comes down to simplicity. Simple is the new black. It is luxurious, intelligent, sharp, and most importantly a clear message. Simple designs don’t overwhelm your vision with flashing psychedelic pictures or bombard you to click things that you really don’t want to click. (can you say desperate) After all isn’t the whole point of the design to get consumers to do THIS thing.

Simplicity is classy. Let’s think about it. When was the last time you picked up a brochure while on vacation and wanted to immediately have a seizure? You moved so quickly to put it back on the stand that you didn’t gather one thing from it. Those busy designs make the audience stray so far from what they should be reading.

Many people think more equals better, but sometimes that is certainly not the case. I recently learned three steps to improve designs for emails from one of my favorite websites, Six Revisions. In the email below it shows what the primary action is, an illustration of the whole concept, and an alternate action for the audience.

If the attention of your audience is being split between multiple focus points, you might as well count that design as a failure in the books. It’s always easy to get off track and go sparkle happy. Just remember, simple is the new black, for now anyways. Even when your client tells you, “I just want more, make it pop”

blog-exampleCady Henglefelt

Designer

cady@remembergroup.com

952-224-8024

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