Holidays Are a Great Time to Build Loyalty

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By Mike Gorun

It’s that time of year when giving takes priority over receiving. Most dealerships I know are extremely generous when it comes to charitable causes, but there’s no need to be humble about it. The more you engage your customers in your holiday gift drives, the more you will be building loyalty with them.

In a recent survey by the American Red Cross, most consumers say they plan to give to their favorite charities despite the slow economy. 79% of people say that they would rather have a donation in their honor than to get a gift they wouldn’t use; and 70% plan to give as much as they did last year. Enabling customers to give contributions through your store’s program is one way to bring customers in, start conversations and create mutual goodwill that can last well into 2013.

Here are a few ideas to build loyalty and tie-in promotions to your current loyalty program around the holidays:

  1. Send an e-mail campaign to your current customer base highlighting which causes you’re involved in and how they can donate. At the same time, promote your loyalty rewards program for 2013 by offering to donate something in their name if they become a member, or giving them “free” points to join.
  2. Take advantage of end-of-the-year crowds by ramping up sales efforts for pre-paid maintenance plans. What better gift can a person give than a year’s worth of peace of mind? Again, maybe you can tie an incentive such as a donation to a charity of their choice when they sign up for a pre-paid maintenance program.
  3. Create a fun, loyalty-building campaign like the “Christmas Cookie” cookbook “that Howdy Honda produced last year. Every person who sent in or posted a Christmas cookie recipe on Howdy Honda’s Facebook page received 10,000 bonus rewards points towards any service of their choice.

The holiday season can add a lot to a dealership’s bottom line; but there’s nothing wrong with leveraging a little goodwill so you can build customer loyalty and set yourself up for a great 2013 as well.

Mike Gorun is Managing Partner and CEO of Performance Loyalty Group, a division of Media Trac. Read the full article here.

 

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