You may recall a recent post about a fairly clever, attention-grabbing way a car dealership is is trying to entice existing clients to bring in service work. (I’ll spare you the rehash–just click here to read that post.)
Kandi, a faithful AlexanderG Whiz blog reader tells me she also received this postcard:
“I think overall it was a great piece of literature and like you said a great marketing tool for them if they follow through on the promise. I’ve owned a Honda since I was 16 and have had nothing but great service from coast to coast at any dealership I have been too, but rarely take advantage of all the mail items I get from them other than the occasional oil change coupon. So it will be interesting to see their approach to this ad.”
Well, Kandi, I booked our second car–a decidedly older, non-Honda Saab. When I checked the car in, I asked the service rep if this was a new promotion. He said yes, and that they had so far received a healthy response. He said it was “Their way of saying thanks to their loyal customers.”
I said that it was also a great way to potentially double their business, and he didn’t disagree. In my previous post, I speculated upon some reasons why this campaign was worth a shot:
- The dealership probably sent these cards only to active customers–those customers (like my wife) who bring in their Honda for regular oil changes, tune ups, etc. They want to double their business from these presumably satisfied customers; guessing that most customers have two cars (like us)– and that if they don’t have another car on their service roster from that family address there’s a reason. The reason is likely that it’s a different make of car, purchased elsewhere (Yup, that’s us); therefore it’s being serviced elsewhere. Of course, the Honda dealership wants that car in their service bay.
- They find your alignment indeed does need work, and true to their promotional material they do it for free. That makes you happy and predisposed to coming back, right?
- There’s every chance that they may find something else wrong with your car and offer you an incentive to fix it while you’re there–the classic up-sell.
- If they don’t find anything wrong, they’re banking on their service personnel’s professionalism, the shuttle service or the coffee in the waiting lounge to make you think of them when your car does need service. Heck you might even kill time and wander the lot looking at the new Hondas…
- If nothing else, they have touched a regular customer with a generous offer–this increases brand loyalty. As you know, the news media is rife with stories of automobile companies across the board scrambling to retain market share.
After my experience, I think these are all valid points addressed in this marketing strategy. By the looks of the packed waiting room at the dealership, I’d say the promo and their other efforts are paying off.
All in all, it was good experience–they found several things needing attention on my car, but didn’t hard-sell me. In fact, on one particular repair they said I would be better served taking my car to the Saab repair shop. They did find my rear alignment was off and fixed it for free, along with topping off fluids and getting me a price on new tires. If nothing else, I left feeling very good about the dealership and even more disposed to buying a new Honda when the time comes.
I have to hand it to them–this promo is a winner.