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How car dealers can leverage aftersales customers as a prime stock source in 2024

  • Sponsored: Marketing Delivery explains how car dealers can harness existing data and tools to bring in additional vehicles and drive demand
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Time 7:48 am, January 30, 2024

With fewer used vehicles returning to the market – especially the preferred three-to-five-year-old examples – many retailers are adapting their approach in 2024, exploiting potentially untapped stock sources.

Retailers can harness existing data, automation tools and a multiplicity of digital channels to bring in additional vehicles and drive demand, notably through their aftersales departments.

Taking a fresh approach can help maximise workshop utilisation while supplementing used stock acquisition. It is a method which specialist firm, Marketing Delivery, says says can reap major rewards, with customers enjoying the benefits.


Here is what Charlotte Murray, commercial director at Marketing Delivery, had to say…

Cleanse data and harness aftersales bookings

Maintaining accurate data provides the firm foundations required for the most productive interactions with customers and it’s important to remember how significantly customer details can change over time, however, it’s a blind spot for many retailers.

In 2023, our team conducted an analysis of records held by automotive retailers across the UK and found that, on average, 27.7% of ‘keeper details’ are inaccurate.


Those retailers who cleanse and maintain accurate data can use it to underpin contact strategies that keep customers coming back to workshops.

It’s also not a simple matter of records passing from the sales department into aftersales. Not all aftersales customers will have bought from the same retailer they choose to service their car.

When looking at customer records from one of our clients, we found that 55% of services due from July to September 2023 were on vehicles not originally sold by that retailer; a potential source of stock that wouldn’t naturally be on the sales radar for renewal and part exchange. Crucially, all of this data can be used to convert aftersales customers into a buying mindset.

Before and after the aftersales appointment, our VoiceBox platform can issue Stock Alerts to highlight available vehicles that might be of interest to relevant customers. We have also seen great success using aftersales data for ‘we want your car’ campaigns – in one instance, timely SMS messages resulted in 10% of customers selling their car back to the retailer.

This type of campaign can work in conjunction with Stock Alerts emails and social media advertising, and can be segmented by car age, so retailers are reaching the customers with the prime stock.

We recently helped Sandown Group reactivate lapsed customers, engaging specifically with those who owned vehicles that were subject to outstanding safety recalls but hadn’t been seen for more than 24 months.

Over a six-month period, this reactivated 645 contacts who could subsequently be invited to value their car as well as have the necessary work done. It generated additional aftersales income – immediate and in the longer term – and helped bolster stock levels.

Encouraging aftersales customers to sell

It is standard practice to encourage customers back to the workshop by issuing reminders about service and MOT tests, and automation can relieve the burden of doing this in a timely and personalised way on a large scale. For example, VoiceBox enables retailers to send personalised maintenance reminders to customers at exactly the right time to maximise booking conversions.

When sending aftersales reminders, we encourage retailers to include links to valuation tools, helping pique the customer’s interest and, for instance, giving the retailer a further opportunity to offer them a test drive while they are waiting for their service.


One thing is for sure: accurate data is a retailer’s friend, and without it, marketing efforts will not fulfil their potential return on investment. Retailers need to start thinking tactically about their approach to securing the best share of quality used cars to continue filling their forecourts over the coming months.

Retailers can request a free, no-obligation data audit from Marketing Delivery by visiting the firm’s website.

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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