A study by Cooper Solutions has found that 28% of people feel no loyalty towards their servicing dealer and almost 60% say they have never been contacted by the sales team of that dealer.
The dealer management system specialist says sales and service departments must work more cohesively to maximise customer relationships.
“Franchised dealers have a clear weapon in their arsenal - face-to-face customer interaction,” said Barry Cooper, managing director of Cooper Solutions.
“By understanding individual ownership cycles, sales and service teams are in the perfect position to tailor their approach to every customer. This enables them to engage appropriately and deliver a personal and relevant dialogue. An excellent experience for the customer builds loyalty and long-term retention.”
According to the Cooper Solutions survey, only 11% of people would feel any loyalty towards approaching the sales department first, when it comes to buying their next car.
Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they would feel more loyal towards their servicing dealer if they were proactively approached by the sales department about their future car requirements, when they brought their car in to be serviced.
Cooper Solutions says there clearly is opportunity as only 6% of those visiting a service dealer actually spoke to a member of the sales team whilst they were there.
Its FullCycle system can identify customers that are in a prime position to change their vehicle. By bringing together multiple layers of data, sales departments are armed with critical information to harness effective customer relations.
Cooper added: “The sales and servicing departments of most dealerships are just metres apart, but they’re often a world away from each other when it comes to interacting with customers and maximising revenue opportunities. Now is the time for dealers to make fundamental changes to the way they operate. It is not enough for sales teams to wait for a customer to make an enquiry; it’s time to join-up the two departments to secure future sales.
“With data readily at the dealer’s fingertips, including information such as where the customer bought their last car, when the finance agreement ends, or whether their preference is to buy new, customers can be contacted in a timely, appropriate way. In turn this creates significant potential to turn lost sales into new opportunities.”