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Customer Segmentation in Fixed Operations Marketing

In the competitive landscape of the automotive industry, car dealerships must continuously evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of their customers. A crucial component of dealership success lies in the parts and service department, as it contributes to the bottom line and plays a significant role in customer loyalty and retention. 


Customer I.D.

To maximize the potential of this department, it is essential to effectively identify and cater to the customer segments most likely to do business with your dealership’s service department. Let’s explore the customer segments that car dealerships should target for their parts and service departments and the importance of data collection and exceptional customer service.

Current Customers

One of the most valuable customer segments for a car dealership’s parts and service department is its current customer. These individuals have recently or are currently doing business with the dealership. While this is a reasonably broad customer segment, leveraging customer data, including purchase history and service visits, can provide insights into their preferences and needs and help you create more specific sub-segments. By offering excellent customer service and tailored promotions, dealerships can encourage these customers to return for maintenance and repairs, increasing customer loyalty.

High-Mileage Car Owners

High-mileage car owners represent another prime customer segment for the parts and service department. These customers often require more frequent maintenance and repairs due to the wear and tear on their vehicles. Data analysis that includes tracking the miles on their car can help dealerships effectively identify and target this segment. Offering service packages, discounts, or loyalty programs to these customers can boost service visits and enhance customer retention.

Warranty Customers

Customers who have recently purchased a vehicle and are still within the manufacturer’s warranty period are ideal targets for parts and service departments. These individuals are more likely to return to the dealership for maintenance and repairs to ensure their warranty remains valid. It is crucial to engage this segment proactively, ensuring they are aware of the dealership’s service offerings and exceptional customer service.

Customers Based on Demographics

Demographic data can be a valuable tool for identifying customer segments for fixed ops. Consider factors such as age, income level, and lifestyle preferences. For instance, younger customers may be more inclined to seek out dealerships that offer advanced technology and convenience features in their service departments. Tailoring the service experience to specific demographics can help improve customer satisfaction and retention.

Customers Ready for Upgrades

Car owners who have owned their vehicles for several years may be in the market for an upgrade. Identifying customers with aging vehicles and reaching out with targeted offers can be a fruitful strategy. Service visits can allow the dealership’s sales team to engage these customers, showcasing the latest models and addressing their needs.

Customers Affected by Inventory Shortage

In the current automotive landscape, inventory shortages are a challenge many dealerships face. Identifying customers willing to wait for specific vehicle models can help mitigate this issue. Utilizing customer data to determine those ready to buy and offering personalized communication can help keep these customers engaged and loyal.

Marketing and Customer Experience

Defining your customers is the first step. Once you’ve created your segments, you must create the most effective messaging for each group and ensure each visit is seamless and filled with top notch customer care. Consider what tools and strategies to implement that will capitalize on each group’s unique position.

Data Collection and Customer Service

To effectively target these customer segments, dealerships must prioritize data collection and customer service. Invest in robust data collection systems to track customer behavior, preferences, and service history. Dealerships can also partner with data-driven marketing companies like TVI MarketPro3 to take care of this tedious and ongoing effort. Either way, this data can provide valuable insights into customer segments and allow for personalized marketing strategies.

Don’t overlook exceptional customer service, which is a cornerstone of success in the parts and service department. Service advisors and technicians should stay updated on their training to provide a top-notch experience, address customer concerns, and offer transparent communication throughout the service process. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for future service visits and recommend the dealership to others.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Implementing customer loyalty programs can be an excellent strategy to retain and attract customers. These programs can offer rewards for repeat service visits, referrals, and purchases. Loyalty programs encourage customers to return but also help strengthen their emotional connection to the dealership brand.

Service Quality and Operating Profits

Remember that service quality directly impacts the bottom line of the parts and service department. Satisfied customers generally spend more on repairs and maintenance, increasing operating profits. On the other hand, poor service experiences can result in lost revenue and damage the dealership’s reputation.

TVI MarketPro3’s Segment Driven Strategy

TVI MarketPro3 digs deep into the data to identify the highest potential customers from the dealer’s DMS and several other data sources. We create the following segments:

Active Customers

TVI MarketPro3 defines Active customers as those customers who have done business with the dealership in the last 12 months. Each manufacturer and each dealership may define an active customer differently. 

Inactive Customers

An inactive customer has recently defected with their last RO 13-24 months ago.

Lost Customers

Lost customers are a segment that some manufacturers refer to as endangered or defectors. TVI MarketPro3 defines these customers as having long since defected as they’ve been gone over 25 months.

The offers and messaging sent to each segment must cater to the customer’s current relationship with the dealer. Sending the same message to each customer segment can seem impersonal and fail to meet the specific needs of their vehicles.

Segmentation Summary

Understanding and effectively targeting customer segments is crucial for the success of a car dealership’s parts and service department. Leveraging customer data can help dealerships tailor their marketing strategies for maximum impact. However, data collection and exceptional customer service must be at the core of these efforts to enhance customer loyalty and drive operating profits. This formula ensures that fixed operations departments remain valuable assets in the competitive automotive market.

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