Building Loyal, Profitable Customers: How to Use Customer Retention Marketing
In today's economy, having a customer retention marketing (CRM) program at your repair shop is a necessary strategy to help ensure a profitable business. If you have a small repair shop, losing just a few of your customers could hurt your bottom line. On the other end, a small increase in your retention rate could increase your profits. It's often said that 80 percent of sales come from just 20 percent of customers, so it's important not to overlook the value of your existing customer relationships.
When researching a shop management program for your repair facility, you may want to look for one that includes the option to subscribe to a CRM program. Every day you could be turning first-time customers into loyal, profitable customers simply by using your shop management system to run your business.
A top-notch CRM program offers a full range of shop marketing management features such as:
• target market promotions access
• service recommendations
• service reminder postcards
• service reminder emails
• marketing support center
• technical support
• CRM summary reports
• daily shop progress report
• new customer thank-you emails
The benefits of a CRM program for customer retention include rewarding loyal customers who visit more often, focusing more on maintaining existing customers versus more expensive tactics to acquire new customers, and increasing shop profits by scheduling regular repair maintenance activities with customers each time they visit the shop.
Most CRM programs allow participating shops to contact their patrons with professional, personalized service reminders, in mail and email form, when they are due for scheduled maintenance. The automated nature of the programs allows CRM shops to reach their customers several times a year, with minimal time investment on their part.
Service reminders are the first step to optimizing your valuable customer database. Service-specific recommendations are pulled directly from your management database and sent to your customers as their vehicles come up for scheduled maintenance. The personalized nature of the cards means they won't be regarded as "junk mail," but rather an important form of communication between you and your customers. One of the biggest challenges most shops face is communicating with repeat customers, and making sure they are scheduling regular appointments to properly maintain their vehicles. Loyal customers are the cornerstone of any solid, successful business. Retaining these core customers is vital to ensuring that your business continues to grow and profit.
One of the most important parts of marketing effectively is getting the right message to the right person. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the hardest parts to accomplish. In addition to sending regular service reminders based on mileage and OE schedules, a CRM program with a target market promotions feature allows you to send special postcard or email promotion campaigns - also known as "email blast" campaigns. You can reach existing customers and new ones with campaigns you select specifically for them. For example, send promotional cards for oil change reminders, seasonal specials, maintenance service specials, fuel economy service, brake specials and lost loyalty campaigns. The personalized, customer-specific elements of the cards will set them apart from traditional bulk mail and your specific customer criteria will make sure they are mailed to the right market.
With the right customer retention program, you will be able to turn new customers into loyal customers who will return to your shop again and again.
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