Auto supply chains are globally complex, and disruptions to the supply chain, material shortages, and the restriction of movement of goods across the globe have resulted in significant hardships within the automotive sector. Many auto dealers and repair shops are feeling the particular effects of the vehicle parts shortage and lack of new inventory.
As the pandemic continues to reshape supply chains, companies may be facing higher manufacturing costs, delays, and the loss of sales. But perhaps the biggest concern is how to retain customers in the face of a disrupted automotive supply chain. As customers continue to be frustrated by vehicle delivery delays and quality concerns, Safeguard has the specialized marketing solutions automotive businesses need to help retain customers and boost loyalty.
Importance of Retaining Customers
Shortages of critical vehicle parts like semiconductor chips, wiring harnesses, tire rubber, seating foam, steel, plastics, and glass have significantly impacted the automotive industry, both for new vehicles and car repairs. These widespread disruptions have created operational challenges, forcing some automakers to stall vehicle production and causing shops to have a difficult time finding needed car parts for repairs.
As consumers continue to face new vehicle shortages and longer than usual wait times for repairs, it’s no surprise then that customer satisfaction has plunged amongst auto buyers. There has never been a more important time for the automotive industry to focus on retaining customers.
Companies that can retain customers not only experience financial benefits but can boost loyalty, see an increased ROI, and even bring in new customers. To see the greatest results, businesses need to dedicate just as many, if not more, resources to retaining existing customers as to attract new customers.
Auto Supply Chain Issues Mean Bad News for Customers
The pandemic has made delivering bad news a more frequent occurrence for automotive businesses. Whether it’s a customer who is facing a larger than expected repair bill, the unavailability of a desired new car model, a car part that can’t be delivered for many weeks, or any number of other unfavorable things, it’s often necessary to deliver bad news. While delivering bad news is not an easy task, businesses need to effectively communicate disappointing information while still retaining the customer.
The most recent surge in Covid-19 cases is worsening supply shortages in multiple categories and further delaying a return to normal. Although analysts had initially predicted that the shortage of semiconductor chips would subside in 2022, now chipmakers have warned that it could last into 2023.
As shortages continue to affect the auto supply chain, prompt communication with customers is crucial. Companies need to engage in transparent communication with customers, managing expectations as soon as they foresee a potential delay, delivering the message with compassion, disclosing all the relevant information, taking responsibility, and providing a plan of action for resolving the problem. Then companies need to keep in touch, informing customers of any progress being made towards a resolution.
Best Practices for Customer Retention
See a greater return on investment (ROI), and inspire brand loyalty with the following effective customer retention strategies:
Set Realistic Expectations
Unmet expectations often lead to disappointment. When a customer is dissatisfied, it is frequently because something didn’t happen the way they expected it to happen. That’s why businesses need to set expectations that they can meet, whether that’s predicting inventory or estimating repair times. If the goal is to retain customers, companies should be working hard to keep customers informed and up to date with what they can expect.
Keep Customers Informed
Frequent communication makes a customer feel valued, so keep in touch with your customers at regular intervals. Keep customers up to date on any new developments, company changes, or new products. There are many ways a business can communicate with customers, including email, newsletters, direct mail, or social media.
Deliver Excellent Customer Service
The foundation of any customer retention strategy is superior customer service. Provide excellent customer service by providing a dependable experience for your customers, as consistency is key to developing a trusting relationship. As you focus on regularly meeting expectations, consistency will build loyalty with customers.
The pandemic has highlighted how closely the auto supply chain and customer satisfaction are intertwined. Even amid shortages and delays facing car buying and servicing, there are still steps companies can take to retain customers, boost loyalty, and drive business success. Rely on the automotive marketing experts at Safeguard for specialized solutions that help you run your business more efficiently, and promote it more effectively. Call 844-4CARBIZZ to get started.
- Widespread disruptions have forced some automakers to stall vehicle production and caused shops to have a difficult time finding needed car parts for repairs.
- Disruptions to the auto supply chain have made customer retention more important than ever.
- A focus on retaining customers helps businesses increase ROI.
- Your local Safeguard Advisor has specialized automotive marketing solutions to help retain customers and boost loyalty.