One way to generate new customers and while maintaining your current customers is through a Loyalty Program at your dealership. Think about how many stores have a “shopper card” or a “preferred customer” program. These stores are marking up prices on items to be able to give discounts on other items. We all understand that, but it makes the customers feel like they are getting a perk for doing business at the store.

We encourage you to create a similar program for your dealership. While a customer loyalty program may not be right for every dealer, it is a program that we have found customers will get excited about and actively participate in. So, what does a Customer Loyalty Program include?

  1. First, have plastic cards printed with your logo on them and have “preferred customer” somewhere across the middle. These cards can be purchased inexpensively from companies like VistaPrint. They make designing them easy and once you have them, you will give them to those customers who sign up for your loyalty program.
  2. Decide on the benefits of your program. We encourage dealerships to set their posted labor rate for non-purchasing customers and then to discount some percentage off the labor rate for customers that purchase their equipment from you. As an example, if your posted labor rate is currently $80 per hour, move it to $90 for non-purchasing customers and then, through your preferred customer program, give purchasing customers a $10 per hour discount. You may also want to create a volume bonus program for your municipalities or commercial customers.  With your customer loyalty program they can earn additional discounts on parts based upon their volume of purchases as the year progresses.
  3. Train all members of your staff to recognize these cards and be able to answer questions on the benefits. When starting a new program, customers will need ample amounts of information before enrolling.
  4. Keep a log of who has enrolled. This can be done through a drop-down menu in your Business Management Software or simply in a notebook.

An effortless way to make customers aware of the program is by putting up a sign in the sales area that says, “Ask about the benefits of being a preferred customer!” That kind of marketing generates more revenue because customers are willing to spend more on the equipment for the perks they receive from the preferred customer program.