Buying a new car is a bit of a letdown. Manufacturers' websites are bursting with glossy photos and flashy videos. Call centres and dealers are falling over themselves to be at your beck and call, making it too easy to be swept off your feet, convinced this is the real deal and the romance will last forever. After intense courtship, you finally find yourself at the altar, ready to say, "I do." But as soon as you open your eyes after the pledge, you find the church empty. Every last person has vanished, including the vicar.
It's as if the manufacturers and dealers think customers' journey ends once they drive off with their new car. But in reality, that's when it begins.
The initial experiences customers have just after the purchase, as they familiarise themselves with their new pride and joy, resolve any niggles, and overcome buyer's remorse, are what will make the relationship or break it.
The first three months after the purchase are crucial because they determine whether the customer will remain loyal once their payments are complete. If those three months are painful, it doesn't matter how well the remaining months and years go—the customer will be gone.
So why not keep the congregation together a little longer? Agents or dealers can easily make a couple of reassuring calls and offer assistance if needed. Sending a couple of emails with helpful tips and advice or simply asking for feedback would go a long way too. By showing that you care and addressing any potential issues early on, you can prevent them from escalating into disasters that result in losing a customer you spent a fortune acquiring.
The extra effort would also generate the most fantastic ROI. Retaining a customer costs only a fifth of getting a new one, and even a tiny 5% increase in loyalty can boost your profitability by anywhere from 25% to 95%!
So, seriously, what's the harm in giving it a try?