Database: Preventing Breakups
Why? Everyone who’s ever been dumped wants the answer. Many never know the reason.
But companies that use dashboards as a retention tool are not only finding out why; they’re figuring out when their beloved customers are showing signs of leaving so they can take the necessary steps to successfully woo them once again.
Keeping the ring on a customer’s finger is as easy—and difficult—as being the parts and service provider he chooses to install the tires on his Nissan or Infiniti, finds Franklin, Tenn.-headquartered Nissan North America (NNA). Because so many competitors are willing to make Nissan’s relationship with its customers crash and burn by providing oil changes, tires and brakes, that’s where Nissan needs to grease the wheels of change so its customers won’t stray.
“Those tend to be your highest-volume services,” says Bob Welby, NNA’s senior manager of sales and marketing manager in the parts and services division. “So one, they’re very high-volume services; they’re competitive out there where the dealers are fighting for that business very hard. Also, we learned through other, independent studies … customers are generally satisfied with their service provider. … So if we’re not competitive in these key volume services, customers are going to go elsewhere where they have them … And if they do that and if they’re generally satisfied, they’re going to stay for the shocks, the heavier work, the muffler work, the major service intervals. So it can be a key indicator to future service patterns for customers, and we want to focus our retail network on them.”
Extrapolating, Welby says Nissan and Infiniti owners who maintain their vehicles through the dealership are much more likely to buy new vehicles from that dealership. It builds a relationship of trust, he says.
Conversely, point-in-time marketing can backfire for businesses that really should be in committed relationships, says Niall Budds, director of strategy and planning for Charlotte, N.C.-based marketing and technology service provider Quaero, a CSG Systems company.
“In a relationship business like financial services or hospitality, that’s really too late,” he says. “You can’t wait until the customer’s walking in the door to close their account. You really need to be tracking retention in advance of that. And that’s one of the challenges, and that’s where we’re seeing our clients investing a lot.”