What is the ‘’Customer Life Cycle’’?
When the sales department have sold the first vehicle along with the service contract, customers must be kept in the “loop” via the service contract when the contract expires. We call it the loop because it is mandatory to keep the customer in the loop when you have invested a lot of money and man-hours to gain the customer’s business, as previously discussed.
There are only two possibilities left to retain an extremely satisfied customer:
- Extend the service contract
- Sell the customer a new vehicle (and re-sell their trade-in)
In my personal experiences throughout the industry, there have many examples of customers and their families who have been loyal all of their life to one vehicle brand. Only if they are extremely satisfied with the dealership and complaints have been resolved according to “CAR” (Customer is Always Right), will you retain the customer for a lifetime. Even in the event of a vehicle breakdown that could not be proved to be factory failure, there have been several occasions in which I personally have supported lifetime customers (based on pure goodwill) to retain the business of the customer and his/her family.
CRM-system supports Customer Life Cycle
Refer to the chapter on CRM-system supports Customer Life Cycle “In Learn how to Put the Customer First!” to view the model for communication to provide the customer with the right information at the right time to make sure they stay in the loop, thus retaining their loyalty.
Below the ’Customer Life Cycle’’ and the loop illustrated.