The Secret to Customer Retention is in the Customer Experience.

Despite what you’ve heard, improving customer retention is not rocket science – in fact, there’s nothing scientific about it. It’s really very simple. And you might be surprised to hear that your entire customer retention problem can be fixed with just one simple word! The word, Ladies and Gentlemen, is ‘WOW’. That’s it. See, I told you it was simple.

WOW or to Wow, means that you have succeeded in making the customer’s experience so great that they are excited enough to actually say the word “WOW” out loud. Wow, means you have exceeded their expectations and that you’ve created a positive ‘moment of magic’ that they didn’t expect. Wow means that you and the customer have just had an interaction that they see as “brag-able” and they just have to tell their friends about it. You need to make them say Wow when they go to your website, when they call your service department and when they enter your service lane. You need to make them say Wow when they pick up their car after it’s been repaired – and you also need to make them say Wow when things go wrong by showing them just how much you really care. All you have to do is start thinking of ways that make customers feel so special that they truly are blown away with the experience – in other words, you have to Wow-em!

And here’s the good news- it really isn’t that hard to do. Sure it takes some work, but what it really takes is a change of mindset by every employee –and that has to start with you, the manager. You have to talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to Wow-ing customers if you ever expect your employees to do it. You have to be Wow-worthy.

There are lots of ways to Wow customers, but just to get you started, here are 3 easy ones that you can’t miss.

  1. Advertise smarter. Let customers know that it’s not “just an oil change”, that you aren’t more expensive, and that you won’t take too long. Let them know that you want to do whatever it takes to earn their business. Let’s face it, you need their business, especially now. Make having service work done at your store fast and easy. Check to be sure your prices are competitive and advertise – in other words, don’t be the best kept secret in town! They really would rather have the work done at your dealership, but they just need some reassurance.
  2. Make waiting fun. While they are waiting, do something different to really WOW them. Wi-Fi, comfortable chairs in the lounge and donuts are no longer enough. Those are expected, they are not wow-worthy. Try entertaining customers with a daily game and give away a car wash, a complete detail, or a discount voucher for parts and service to the winner. Make it a fun experience for your customers to be at your dealership. Nobody else does that and they’ll tell everybody they know about your store. Wow!
  3. Valet the cars. After service is completed, WOW your customers again by having the vehicle valet parked on your service drive. Teach advisors to spend a few moments reviewing their repair order – make sure they don’t just send them to a cashier. Get the transaction handled for the customer right there at your advisor’s write-up station. Take it a step further and walk the customer to their car, open the door, remove the seat cover and floor mat, and then wipe the dash, steering wheel, and left door panel with a clean white rag. Shake their hand, thank them again for their business, and close the door for them. WOW!!!

You can fix most, if not all, of your customer retention problems by doing a few very simple and different things to WOW your customers. The trick is to make them really feel special; give them a reason to buy only from your store. Say thank you and reward them for their loyalty like every major business does today. As I said earlier, customer retention isn’t rocket science. You can do it. Now, get out there and Wow your customers – and they’ll Wow you back. Wow-ed customers visit more, spend more, buy more cars and refer more friends to you. Wow!