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October 3, 2023

Customer loyalty can mean a steady supply of highly profitable sales now — and in the future.

As our sector turns the corner from the pandemic and accompanying supply chain issues that have plagued the sector for many months, never before has the reputation of individual new car dealerships and investment in customer relations been more important.

During this challenging period, dealership staff have had the difficult task of managing customer expectations amid a lack of inventory. This was especially true for zero emission vehicles and luxury/sports vehicles.

Buyers were often placed on waiting lists and in many cases, sales teams and other dealer staff became a sounding board for frustrated consumers who were less eager to buy what was available — and subsequent economic uncertainty had them holding on to their existing cars far longer than usual.

Dealerships that have responded patiently while also proactively engaging customers, personalizing their approach, marketing special offers, and ensuring there is ongoing communication, have been cultivating consumer loyalty.

As our sector rebounds, there is a level of uncertainty as to how the next several months may unfold. Obviously, there is pent up demand, particularly in the zero-emission vehicle market.

Whether consumers jump at opportunities presented or demonstrate a new level of patience for the right deal and the right product is up for debate. Those who have invested in forging relationships and gained an understanding of preferences of potential customers, means they are equipped to map the vehicles in their current and developing inventory to buyers who may be interested in them.

As the new car market stabilizes and factory production increases, this may bring prices down in both the conventional and zero emission vehicle market. That will be good news for the consumer, but it also means competition may be fierce.

The price or preference for a particular brand are important considerations for anyone in the market for a new vehicle but we must never take for granted the value of customer loyalty and their critical impact on current and future sales.

A customer focused experience remains crucial for businesses to succeed. Loyal customers are less likely to negotiate, more likely to generate service opportunities, and contribute to referral business — and during uncertain times, customer loyalty can mean a steady supply of highly profitable sales now and in the future.

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