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Mastering Owner Retention

The Key to Dealership Success

In the complex ecosystem of automotive dealerships, one question stands tall: Is owner retention important to you? If your immediate answer is “YES,” you’re already on the path to understanding the profound impact of owner retention beyond just selling more cars and trucks in the future. But let’s dive deeper into the essence of owner retention and its critical role in achieving 100% Service Absorption.

1. Understanding Owner Retention

Owner Retention isn’t solely about customer satisfaction indexes (CSIs), though they play a significant role. It’s about measuring the pulse of your customers’ willingness to engage with your Service Department. Ask yourself, “Do my customers enjoy doing business with us?” This question is pivotal. The answer lies not in surveys but in the raw data – the number of customers returning to service their vehicles with you. Is this number increasing, stagnant, or declining? The trend of this number reveals much about your dealership’s health and operational efficiency.

2. The True Measure of Success

A rising number of active customers in your database each month signifies your dealership’s growing owner retention – a clear indicator of success. Conversely, a constant or declining number signals a red flag, hinting at potential dissatisfaction among your clientele or a lack of compelling reasons for them to return.

3.The Economic Impact

Consider this: losing even 100 repair orders a month due to poor owner retention strategies can translate to a staggering loss of approximately $249,756 a year in gross profit. This is based on the assumption of following the RULES for achieving 100% Service Absorption. If these figures seem abstract, apply your dealership’s sales-to-repair order ratio and profit margins to grasp the potential financial impact fully.

4. Crafting a Comeback Strategy

So, how do we reverse the tide? The solution lies in a robust 12-Month Marketing Plan that resonates with your customer base. Take inspiration from retailers like BED BATH & BEYOND, known for their compelling mailers that stand out and offer tangible benefits, enticing customers to return. This approach is not just effective but essential in today’s competitive landscape.

5.The Bottom Line

Owner retention is the backbone of dealership success, influencing everything from service department profitability to long-term customer loyalty. It demands a proactive, data-driven strategy that offers clear benefits to your customers. By evaluating your dealership’s current standing and implementing a strategic marketing plan, you can significantly enhance your owner retention rates, boosting your service absorption and, ultimately, your bottom line.

For dealerships ready to transform their approach to owner retention and service department success, it’s time to reevaluate, strategize, and act. Your customers have a choice, and it’s up to you to give them every reason to choose you, time and time again.

If you’re serious about improving customer retention, CSI, and maximizing gross profits in the Service Drive, consider DealerPRO training. Our training programs can help you implement and deliver on these improvements, ensuring your dealership’s continued success. Don’t wait; start now and seize this opportunity. Call 888.553.0100.

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