Have you ever considered the unintended outcomes of your marketing efforts? Post-sale vehicle service contract marketing as an example may include sending out a letter that is specific to a product. That exercise alone, that letter, has the ability to not only generate a vehicle service contract sale, but can effectively translate to a vehicle sale, and service drive business as well.
The Answer to How Can I Help?
When you ask a dealer ‘what can I do to help you’? The answer is most often ‘help me sell more cars.’ Post-sale marketing efforts for vehicle service contracts have been proven to do just that and more.
Customer relationship management (CRM) programs are critical for selling vehicle service contracts once the customer has left the store. Third-party marketers are selling inferior plans to your customers, if you aren’t selling your plan, you are simply missing out on real income. Dealers with their own post-marketing VSC programs help prevent having their customers stolen by third-party companies. It also prevents your customers being driven away from your dealership for service drive business. Data clearly indicates when customers have a vehicle service plan through a dealership, they return to that dealership for the work. When you do have a program, you generate real sales for your dealership. It’s about protecting not only your business, but also protecting your customers.
The Data Tells the Story
Marketing efforts create touch points, and all these touchpoints create an opportunity to sell, whether it’s a vehicle service contract, a vehicle, or parts and repairs, like a cascade or ripple effect. When you send out even just one marketing letter to generate immediate interest in purchasing a post-sale vehicle service contract, we have current data that proves out that it generates vehicle contract sales, and it also generates vehicle sales, walk-in sales, phone calls to the dealership, and business for a dealer’s service drive.
Three years of anonymized data across 600 rooftops shows exactly how post-sale marketing campaigns benefitted dealers. We found that a single letter with a message selling a vehicle service contract can create so many branded touchpoints and deliver many positive outcomes to the dealership. These include evidence that customers who purchase vehicle service contracts come back to their dealer for service and maintenance, feeding the service drive. Consumers who received branded mail also go into the dealership within 60 days of delivery and have purchased a different VIN. For every single one service contract sold in a call center, one service contract is sold at the dealership and 1.42 new car sales are sold at the dealership. Layering in additional digital CRM tactics improved the outcomes even further.
The Power of Your Dealership’s Brand
While an automotive showroom displays one or more vehicle manufacturers brands, a dealership brand is different from those of the manufacturers. Where the manufacturers brand may drive ownership of a vehicle, the dealership’s brand will drive continued service and loyalty. Dealership brand is how you differentiate yourself from other same franchises.
There are many benefits to a post-sale program that includes your dealership branding, your signature, your preferred vehicle service contract product. When a third-party markets to your customers, which happens every day, you receive zero profit. Yet they may even imply that they are affiliated with your dealership. You’ve lost profits and customers by not being pro-active and by not creating a reason for your customers or other prospects to do business with you.
While dealers may feel their sales team is enough for following up with customers, it usually isn’t enough. Sales teams are often focused on moving vehicles and aren’t necessarily trained on post-sale methods. When you work with a reputable company and are provided this type of free, post-sale, branded marketing it causes a great lift to increase sales and profits. The value of the brand exposure as it relates to all aspects of the business makes it a significant value for every dealership. Bottom line is, when you do it, you generate real sales for your dealership.
Kyle McEvoy is President of APC.