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Car dealers could do more to build long-term loyalty, research shows

Time 4 years ago

CAR dealers could be missing out by not building long-term loyalty with customers after selling them a car, according to new research published by Santander Consumer Finance.

A nationwide study among recent car buyers shows nearly six out of 10 buyers (56 per cent) would value a long-term aftersales relationship with the dealer they bought from, but just over one in five (22 per cent) had established one.

The research highlighted how car dealerships perform strongly on service at the point of sale, with more than two-thirds of car buyers saying the service was good or very good when they bought their vehicle.


Dealers even score well in the year after the deal is completed with more than half (52 per cent) saying the service was good or very good during that time span.

But Santander Consumer Finance’s research shows dealers could potentially gain more business by focusing on building long-term loyalty. Around 34 per cent of consumers surveyed said they would value a long-term aftersales relationship with their dealer but do not currently have one.

Andy Green, director of marketing and innovation at Santander Consumer Finance, said: ‘Motor dealers are doing an excellent job at the point of sale and immediately afterwards for customers but need support in building loyalty and longer term relationships.

‘Keeping in regular contact with customers will help create the loyalty and retention which will drive business growth in an increasingly competitive market. Santander Consumer Finance is committed to working in partnership with motor dealers to help reinforce their business models and growth ambitions.’


The research highlighted other potential areas for dealers to build their business: more than a quarter (28 per cent) of car buyers say they were not offered any additional insurance products when they completed their deal while around 39 per cent say they were offered but did not buy any insurance.

The most popular product sold was a service plan which was bought by 17 per cent of buyers while 10 per cent said they bought GAP insurance from the dealer.

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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