Archive for April, 2012

Younger automotive consumers are more “wired” than ever. Are you connecting with them?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

In today’s marketplace, the stakes are high. Dealers that become complacent and fail to take steps to mitigate the loss of their aging loyalist service shoppers (those 75+ who are a profitable consumer segment for them) as they begin to exit the marketplace, could see a loss of $310 million1 if those consumers are not replaced. To stay competitive, capturing and keeping service dollars from younger owners will become essential.

According to DMEautomotive’s recent white paper, “The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape,” customer pay service dollars are bleeding away from dealers and to aftermarket providers at a rate of three lost to one gained back. As the chart below shows, younger, tech-savvy consumers are shopping even “harder” but, aftermarkets are having more success in capturing these coveted consumers—especially as they move into their prime spending years.

Auto service customers under 35 years of age consider online appointment scheduling and convenience vital to their overall customer service experience. While these service shoppers are intensely price and convenience driven, they are also very receptive to dealer loyalty programs.

These younger consumers trend toward mobile messaging platforms (text messaging and mobile email) and it makes sense for any successful marketing strategy to incorporate this communication channel to better engage this demographic.

The complexities behind service center selection, consumer communications preferences and the role that loyalty programs play in retaining loyal shoppers, while attracting newer, younger, non-loyal customers was analyzed in our second in the series of white papers, “Marketing Success in a Changing Service Loyalty Landscape.”

Consider these key findings:

  • Auto service customers under 35 years of age regard online appointment scheduling and convenience vital.
  • These younger consumers trend toward mobile messaging platforms (text messaging and mobile email).
  • Redefining the service experience will be necessary if service providers are to remain competitive as customer demographics change.
  • Successful marketing strategies will incorporate this communication channel to better engage this demographic.

Fortunately there’s a simple solution that can help you connect with these canny consumers…Yup! There’s an APP for that – Driver Connect, the dealer-branded mobile app from DMEautomotive.

Implementing a dealer-branded mobile app for iPhone, iPad and/or Android platforms, provides convenient appointment scheduling capabilities AND allows you to market directly to those wired consumer’s on their smartphone or tablet. You can also communicate service discounts, specials and monthly sales offers, as well as allow consumers to browse inventory, and access FREE car tools – such as parking assistant, cheap gas locator and more.

As new customers come into the market, and older customers exit, service providers of all types will need to redefine the service experience to retain their best customers and remain competitive.