There is strong competition from other dealers and independent service shops. With all the money distributors spend to attract and keep customers, a gift is a small and highly effective investment that speaks directly to your customer base on an individual level that is not easily forgotten or ignored.
Many new car dealers know that a gift basket or gift for a new buyer makes sense. It’s a nice introduction to your company and enhances your overall experience. However, there are other opportunities to use the gifts to build relationships. A few examples: a service customer who had a bad experience, a sales customer celebrating their annual purchase anniversary, and your twenty most loyal homeowners who are big spenders over a long period of time. The latter are a group that is already spending money in their store. They don’t need deep discounts to keep coming back, but they will appreciate and respond well to a small token of your appreciation. Disgruntled customer service is likely to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. Why not surprise and delight with an unexpected goodwill gesture once your problem is resolved? Product problems or setbacks may be out of your control, but you can fix the relationship. As for the sales customer who already owns the car, maintaining that relationship will increase the likelihood that that customer will buy their next vehicle from her store. Even a good wholesale parts buyer could be rewarded for going to the dealer instead of ordering parts online or from an independent in the future.
The gifts you choose don’t have to break the bank to be effective. For a new shopper, an elegantly decorated congratulations gift basket or champagne bucket with champagne flutes and a bottle of sparkling cider, cheese and crackers, and some delicious truffles can be found for anywhere from $50 to $75. Include promotional items or even a “gift certificate” saying your first oil change is complimentary. This is an opportunity to make sure your customer comes back to you for service. Your gift provider can make recommendations to fit both the occasion and your budget. The ribbons can be printed with your company name and logo to keep your name in front of the customer. Some lower-end items may include: molded “thank you from ABC dealer” chocolate or a gourmet cookie or pie tin with your company name and logo on the cover.
A small, local gift company, rather than a large chain or discount store, may serve you better for several reasons:
- Giving an outdated or poorly presented gift will have the opposite effect.
- Better service and face-to-face meetings as needed
- Personalized gifts and fresh ideas
- These are creative people who use giveaways to market their own business: ask them for ideas on how to use themes, slogans, link them to your advertising, giveaways for local marketing events, or how to use unusual holidays like Valentine’s Day. say “We love our customers”
- Unique products created just for you
- All the extras that make a gift special: hand-tied bows, personalization, beautiful packaging
- You will save on shipping and delivery costs
If you have questions on this topic, feel free to email me.