There is heavy competition out there from other dealers and independent service shops. With all the money dealers spend to attract and keep customers, a gift is a small and very effective investment that speaks directly to your customer base on an individual level that is not easily forgotten or ignored.
Many new car dealerships know that a gift basket or gift to a new buyer makes sense. It’s a pleasant introduction to your company and improves their overall experience. However, there are other opportunities for using gifts to build relationships. Some examples: a service customer who had a bad experience, a sales customer celebrating their yearly purchase anniversary, and your top twenty most loyal owners who spend a lot over a long period of time. The latter are a group that are already spending money at your store. They do not need deep discounts to keep coming back, but they would appreciate and respond well to a small token of your appreciation. The disgruntled service customer is likely to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. Why not surprise and delight with an unexpected gesture of goodwill once their problem is solved? Product problems or mishaps may be beyond your control, but you can fix the relationship. As for the sales customer who already owns the car, keeping that relationship going will increase the likelihood of that customer buying his or her next vehicle from your store. Even a good wholesale parts buyer could be rewarded for coming to the dealership instead of ordering parts online or from the independent down the road.
The gifts you choose don’t have to break the bank to be effective. For a new buyer, an elegantly decorated congratulations gift basket or champagne bucket with champagne glasses and a bottle of sparkling cider, cheese and crackers, and some mouthwatering truffles can be found for between $50-$75 . You could include any promotional items or even a “gift certificate” saying their first oil change is complementary. Here is an opportunity to ensure your client comes back to you for service. Your gift provider can make recommendations to fit both the occasion and your budget. Ribbons can be imprinted with your company name and logo to keep your name in front of the client. Some lower end items might include: chocolate molded to say “thank you from ABC Dealer” or a gourmet cookie or cake tin with your company name and logo on the cover.
A small, local gift company, rather than a large chain or discount store, can serve you better for several reasons:
- Giving a stale or poorly presented gift will have the opposite effect
- Better service and face to face meetings as needed
- Custom gifts and fresh ideas
- These are creative people who use gifts to market their own business – pick their brains for ideas on how to use themes, tag lines, tie into your advertising, give-aways for local marketing events, or how to use unusual holidays such as Valentine’s Day to say “We love our customers”
- Unique products created just for you
- All the extras that make a gift special – hand-tied bows, personalization, beautiful wrapping
- You’ll save on shipping and delivery costs
If you have questions on this subject, please feel free to Email Me.
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