Relationships over the Long Term

Managing  Relationships with our Customers over the Long Term.

Given our purchase cycles measured in years for most customers, it’s essential that we do this. So back to the point I made earlier.  It is what we do with our Customers that will dictate what they do when the time comes to change their vehicle.

Below points out all the important touch points, in the relationship with any Customer.


Having looked at the chart above how many of the touch points above do you and your Dealership have in terms of contact with the Customer?  Each and every one of them is an opportunity to make the relationship with your Customer stronger.   I have to say in my experience, with the exception of the service department, most sales contact is limited to the bottom parts of the wheel.

Aligning your Contact Wheel with the Customer’s Purchase Wheel

It’s not quite as simple as it seems.  You need to make sure that your contact strategy is aligned with the Customer’s own buying process.  In other words the touch points need to be in synch to be successful.

Below is an example of a Dealer contact wheel which is used in many businesses.  If you don’t currently have one, now is the time to start looking at the process.

Dealer Contact Cycle wheel (example)


The contact wheel should be overlaid with the Customer purchase wheel so that the contact can be meaningful.

As the examples show, the benefits outweigh the effort. We have all been told many times that keeping existing Customers is a more cost effective than finding new Customers!

The way we can contact our Customers today is extensive – SMS, Phone, E-Mail, Web, Retail, Events, Chat.

All of the above are available and create a strong proposition for all Dealer Groups.  Even the smallest Dealers, who may need to outsource this activity, can compete in this market – the benefits far outweigh the costs.

No more courtesy calls

How many calls have you received that have started with the words….” Hello Mr Jordan this is just a courtesy call to thank you / ask you…” etc

Is that what we really mean, or are we just kidding ourselves and our Customers?

I for one would much prefer the call to start….

“We really value you as a customer and we want you to come back and buy more products and services from us in the future and that’s why I am calling to make sure that everything we are doing for you is as you would expect. We also have some new services that you may be interested in.”

Is that not what we really mean?

I am convinced that this type of approach in these days of transparency would be appreciated by our Customers.

As we, as Dealers, are starting to rank higher than Politicians, Estates Agents and, not forgetting the much loved banking professionals, on the list of the most trusted people, there has never been a better time to get your relationship with your Customers up to speed.  To benefit from better Customer loyalty and the ability to sell more products to existing Customers with the end result being more profitability.

If you want more traction with your customers – Make a start now!