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Top 3 Ways to Increase Customer Retention in the Dealership

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1. Social Media Push

Okay stay with us. It works. It’s rare that the emerging generation of car drivers and current working professionals can both be lured by the same marketing message. However, both markets are crucial for creating long term service retention and it is possible to win both over simultaneously with a few simple techniques. Today, one of the simplest and easiest ways to get more people into your service department is to connect with them through social media. By connecting with your prospects and customers on a platform they peruse hourly, you’re able to stay top of mind and prove yourself to be modern, relatable and current. DealerPRO has integrated social media platforms within the DMS including both LinkedIn and Facebook – enabling dealers to communicate effectively with the click of a button.

Still not convinced? One of Pentana Solutions’ customers, Autotorino – a multi-brand group selling more than 11,000 units per year – improved its customer retention by over 10% in only a few months by utilising the integrated social media tool within DealerPRO. This outstanding result has been recognised with the award of “Best Management Innovation Award” at the Automotive Dealer Day in 2013.

2. Enhance Relationships with DMS integrated Vehicle Health Check (VHC)

Long term customer retention requires creating memorable relationships between the dealership and the customer. Customer experiences that create trust, convenience, and saved time appeal to every customer, independent of age, and keep customers coming back every time. Luckily there are innovative tools in the market that ensure dealerships leave a lasting impression, simply through their utilisation. Current VHC tools create dealership efficiency and put time back in everyone’s hands. Built from the ground up, integrated mobile vehicle health check tools measure the performance of the technician, parts manager, service advisor etc. during a vehicle service, as well as measure how the customers are feeling about the money they’re spending.

By using an integrated mobile VHC tool during service evaluations, service technicians can instantly record the necessary work to be completed and relay it back clearly and succinctly to the customer. The customer will see anticipated repair work and price, colour coded by level of urgency and importance, creating reassurance of a fair and honest service appointment. Within the dealership, the parts advisor is automatically advised that a part is needed and instant VIN specific pricing can be supplied – saving time for all parties involved. Automatic communication continues to be supplied back and forth throughout various departments in the dealership – creating efficiency that is known to cut service appointment times in half. In addition, foresight is provided to both the customer and the dealership. The customer can see what will need to be replaced 6 months down the track, and the delayed work can be automatically  diarised for the dealership to follow up. With so many benefits, customer retention is only one of the benefits of adding  DMS integrated VHC to your dealership.

3. CRM Marketing Campaigns

This last one may seem obvious but we don’t mean old school, worn out marketing campaigning. When used properly, CRM can be a dealership changing tool for creating customers for life but the key lies in relevant material and streamlined processing.

What do we mean by relevant material? You must catch your customers at the right time. People today are bombarded with marketing by mail, email and SMS – so the best way to get their attention is to be there when they need you. Proactive dealers acquire leads, augment the data with lifestyle information and then target their customers at the right time through their preferred means of communication.

Knowing your customers’ behaviour is crucial for maintaining strong relationships. DealerPRO knows exactly when your customers are due for a service, how many average miles they travel a year, usual courtesy car requests, previous service history behaviour etc. which allows the dealer to act at the appropriate time with a relevant campaign. Then, when armed with accurate data and analysis, you can create business rules within the DMS to ensure that follow up is automated and targeted..


These three tangible tools for increasing service retention are easily implemented and can be utilised almost immediately. With a comprehensive, intuitive dealer management system, you’ll have the equipment to not only lure customers in, but keep them for life. Call the team at Pentana Solutions today to speak with an expert or visit our website ( for more information.

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  • Bob - 26/08/2014 17:16

    Clearly, marketing and media integration are crucial aspects of a modern DMS but does anyone have a fully operational Pentana system in the UK? How does it cope with the day-to-day activity in a busy dealership?

  • Jonathan Nwosu - 28/10/2015 23:04

    Some great suggestions on improving customer loyalty. Some really great ideas Ross, good work! ** Edited** The comments function should not be used for marketing purposes.