Six out of ten service customers have never been contacted by sales departments

Cooper Solutions’ highlights the need for effective customer insight to build relations and maximise car sales opportunities

• 28% of people feel no loyalty towards their servicing dealer
• Nearly 6 in 10 people who have their car serviced by a mainstream dealer, have never been contacted by a member of the sales team at the same dealership
• Just 6% of customers visiting a dealer for a service have been approached by a member of the sales team during a visit

The latest survey by Cooper Solutions highlights that during the typical service lifetime of a car, nearly 60% of owners are never contacted by the sales team of that mainstream servicing dealer. Cooper Solutions is urging dealers to bring together their sales and servicing departments to work cohesively and proactively to nurture relationships and drive sales with the support of FullCycle.

“Franchised dealers have a clear weapon in their arsenal – face-to-face customer interaction,” explains Barry Cooper, Managing Director of Cooper Solutions. “By understanding individual ownership cycles, sales and service teams are in the perfect position to tailor their approach to every customer. This enables them to engage appropriately and deliver a personal and relevant dialogue. An excellent experience for the customer builds loyalty and long-term retention.”
According to the Cooper Solutions survey, 28% of car owners feel no loyalty towards their servicing dealer and only 11% of people would feel any loyalty towards approaching the sales department first, when it comes to buying their next car.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they would feel more loyal towards their servicing dealer if they were proactively approached by the sales department about their future car requirements, when they brought their car in to be serviced. And there clearly is opportunity as only 6% of those visiting a service dealer actually spoke to a member of the sales team whilst they were there.

FullCycle is a revolutionary customer data solution that provides invaluable ownership insights, including Experian data, to identify customers that are in a prime position to change their vehicle. By bringing together multiple layers of data, sales departments are armed with critical information to harness effective customer relations. As dealers face more challenges to their bricks and mortar business model from online disruptors and a downturn in the economy, it is crucial that they maximise every single opportunity to retain their customers’ loyalty.

Barry Cooper concludes; “The sales and servicing departments of most dealerships are just metres apart, but they’re often a world away from each other when it comes to interacting with customers and maximising revenue opportunities. Now is the time for dealers to make fundamental changes to the way they operate. It is not enough for sales teams to wait for a customer to make an enquiry; it’s time to join-up the two departments to secure future sales.

“With data readily at the dealer’s fingertips, including information such as where the customer bought their last car, when the finance agreement ends, or whether their preference is to buy new, customers can be contacted in a timely, appropriate way. In turn this creates significant potential to turn lost sales into new opportunities.”

Retain service and sales business, preventing your customers from buying elsewhere

The more we talk to our dealers about FullCycle, the more we learn.

Recent conversations have highlighted secure and least secure customers visiting your dealership – those who are most likely to remain loyal, and those least likely.

The least secure customers are those who have purchased their car from outside the network, from an online broker for instance. Whilst they might bring their cars to a specific dealer for servicing, when it comes to buying their next car, they’ll return to online brokers to find the best deal.

By engaging with your least secure customers properly, you can ensure you retain their service and sales business, preventing them buying elsewhere and possibly deserting the brand completely.

Shared responsibility is crucial to ensure service customers benefit from positive sales engagement

The more positive interactions a dealership has with its service customers, the likelier they are to buy from that dealership when the time comes.

The important thing is to already have an established relationship with your customers. It’s not enough to sell them a car and then contact them a few years later asking whether they want to buy a new car.

Dealerships need to be proactive in communication and create a great customer experience from the very beginning. Service customers most often receive aftersales attention on their service requirements. If the service didn’t go well, sales will lose out without even having the opportunity to overcome the customer’s negative experience or perception.

Shared responsibility is crucial to ensure service customers benefit from positive sales engagement.

Don’t wait to communicate!