Not long ago, I went to the local Ford dealership with my giddy, newly-licensed daughter. She walked briskly about 15 steps ahead of me, occasionally glancing back with the stereotypical teenage eye-roll indicating her frustration that I wasn’t walking as fast and that I apparently did not share her level of excitement. By that evening, both of us were rather excited. Not only had her dreams of car ownership come true, but I had traded in my previous ride for a big, beautiful shiny new truck. We were happy women! Not only was I content that I was driving off in a vehicle with that wonderful new car smell, I was content knowing that I “owned” that salesman! I had just blessed the guy with not only 1, but 2 fairly quick and simple car sales and my expectations were nothing short of high. I had visions of coupons, offers, free oil changes and inspections – all sorts of “ass-kissing” coming from our grateful salesman.

As we all know, customer loyalty is the heartbeat of any thriving dealership. Fostering true customer loyalty requires some creativity and initiative on your part – but just a little effort will result in BIG rewards. Studies show that if you increase customer retention by just 5%, you could increase profits by a whopping 25% or more! It seems crazy then, that according to NADA and J.D.Powers, almost 90% of retail customers are never contacted after delivery. NEVER!

So here I am, just a stat. I fall into that 90% because after the painless sale of 2 automobiles, the salesman has never bothered to contact me. EVER. In fact, I had the hassle of calling him numerous times to get the window tinting done on the vehicles, that he so graciously “threw in” for us. Unfortunately, customer turnover is a fact of business life, but with a little appreciative TLC from the dealership, I would have faithfully returned, over-and-over. Silly salesman, my daughter was only the first of 3 eventual teenage drivers in our household.

Luckily we are more than satisfied with the vehicles we purchased, we LOVE them – and I will admit, they are affectionately known to us as “Shelby” and “Ladybug”. Yes, somewhat goofy, my truck has a name. Goofier than that, however, is that I cannot recall the name of the man that sold me Ladybug, seems he foolishly never gave me reason to!