6 Min Read • April 14, 2022
4 Outbound Customer Retention Strategies for Sales and Service
With continuing inventory shortages and historically high vehicle prices, successful dealers are pivoting towards repeat customers as the focus of outbound sales and service campaigns. While you're immersed in the industry, consumers are often confused about supply chain issues, the value of ordering a vehicle and how long they’ll wait for their new vehicle. And for their current vehicles, they’ve never been advised to book recommended service in advance.
As experts, you are your customers’ most trusted resource for information and assistance while providing them with the excellent service and dynamic purchase opportunities they expect. Helping them navigate these uncertain waters will increase customer loyalty while protecting you against aggressive competition in Sales and Service.
Here are four of our favorite outreach strategies (with email and phone templates) to get you started or to use as inspiration for your own campaigns.
1. Vehicle ordering campaigns
Ordering a vehicle is gaining in popularity and as inventory shortages continue, it’s important to let your customers know that you can still get in-demand vehicles even if they’re not currently on your lot. Using your CRM to pull a list of customers who bought within three years and/or have equity in their vehicles you can excite them about their current ordering opportunities while targeting vehicles you would be eager to purchase or acquire in trade.
The following phone script is a basic guide to use when reaching out. (Remember to be kind and friendly and feel free to modify the specifics so it feels natural and invites conversation). You can also condense the message into an email that includes links to your website and the latest digital retailing tools.
Sample phone script:
May I speak to [customer name]? Did I get you at a good time? This is [salesperson’s name] from [XYZ dealership]. I'm calling to thank you for your business and to answer any questions you may have about vehicle ordering or inventory shortages.If you're thinking of buying a car within the next six months, a lot of our customers are ordering popular vehicles early to get exactly what they want, since it may take weeks or even months for them to arrive at our store.
Have you thought about trading in your current vehicle? I’m happy to help you at any time. Do you have any questions? You can also visit our website to learn more. Can I give you that address again? If you need anything, please give me a call.
2. Digital retailing campaigns
The pandemic and consumer expectations have morphed traditional car buying into a hybrid of online and offline interactions. While 71% of consumers still want to buy in person, there are many parts of the process they want to do online, including research, determining a final price and financing,. You can use the data in your digital retailing tool to pull a list of customers who started but did not finish the online buying process and create a campaign that encourages them to pick up where they left off. Providing links to informative, step-by-step videos can often inspire lukewarm prospects to get the information they need to help them make a decision in your favor. The following email template can be used as a guide when reaching out to your digital retailing customers.
Hello [customer name],
I noticed you used our Shop Online tools but didn’t complete the process. I’m reaching out to answer any questions you may have and to help you with any issues you’re concerned about.
I’ve also included a video link below that will explain how easy it is for you to find the perfect vehicle, pick your trim and accessories, select extended limited warranties and schedule delivery. You can even estimate your monthly payments, apply for credit and see your approximate trade-in value — without leaving home.
Check out this video for a step-by-step guide to using our Shop Online tools and please feel free to call me at [phone number] or email me at [email address].
[salesperson’s name] from [XYZ dealership].
3. Lease term campaigns
It used to be that when a customer’s lease was up, a new car was waiting on the lot. That's not the case anymore. Lease customers need to know that preordering is essential if they want a new vehicle available at the end of their lease term. You can use your CRM to pull a list of customers coming up on lease-end within one year and design a campaign to educate them on the importance of ordering in advance.
The following phone script is a basic guide to use when reaching out. (Remember to be kind and friendly and feel free to modify the specifics so it feels natural and invites conversation.) You can also condense the message into an email that includes links to your website and your digital retailing tools.
Sample phone script
May I speak to [customer name]? Did I get you at a good time? This is [salesperson’s name] from [XYZ dealership]. I’m calling to thank you for your business and as you know, your vehicle lease will mature [timeframe]. YYou've probably heard about recent supply chain issues. This means we don't have a lot of new inventory in stock now, but you can preorder to make sure we'll have the exact vehicle you want when your lease is up.
I’m happy to help you at any time. Do you have any questions? You can also visit our website to learn more. Can I give you that address again? If you need anything, please give me a call.
4. Routine maintenance campaigns
Loyal service customers are your bread-and-butter, and you can’t afford to lose their business because your shop is overloaded or overbooked. With people holding onto older cars longer and employee turnover issues, you can eliminate long wait times and lost revenue by proactively reaching out to customers due for a service. This will help front-load your shop so you’re better equipped to handle vehicle emergencies. Pulling a list from your CRM of customers due for a routine maintenance in a month and scheduling them now makes good business sense. If your shop is booking three to four weeks out, you’ll want to make contact even earlier. Your service customers will appreciate it.
Hello [customer name],
It looks like your [vehicle model and make] is just a few weeks away from recommended routine maintenance. There’s been a big demand for service appointments lately, and I'd like to get you scheduled now so you won't have to wait when your service is due. You can use our online scheduling tool, or feel free to reach out if you need help.
I’m on hand to answer any questions you may have at [phone number] or at [email address].
[salesperson’s name] from [XYZ dealership].
As many of the challenges that you face today are out of your control, your best defense against being left behind is proactive outreach focused on providing the best customer experiences in Sales and Service. Your extended efforts now will be paid back in customer loyalty for years to come.