Here are my top “Best of” retention ideas that your dealership should consider: 1. Reward complaints: Most customers won’t complain. They just won’t come back. However, in all honesty, you need them to complain, in detail. Each compliant is an opportunity for you to solve a problem and keep a customer. Action item: Invite customers to speak up. Announce this invitation by placing placards on every desk. Offer rewards for complaints – and shout that incentive in large block – REWARDS for YOUR COMPLAINT. Use the form to collect customer name and contact information – and block for them to add details. Promise a call from the appropriate manager. Thank customers who provide this information with a free oil change or fluids service, discount on tires or similar service as a thank you. Be sure to discuss complaints, their solutions, and necessary department practice or process changes in weekly meetings. 2. Create magic moments: Car dealers don’t sell cars or service anymore, because what consumers (want to) buy is convenience. Make your processes and practices more convenient and make them so savory they become your secret sauce. When was the last time you mystery “visited” your stores to get a real sense of your customers’ experience? Action item: Bring service and service-menu web pages front and center. Cars are sexy and service is dirty, but which one pays the bills? Make it easier for customers to do their service business with your dealership. For blocks of time each day, have a senior member of the firm greet your customers and learn a thing a two: why are you servicing your car here today? Were we your first choice to have that work done? How far did you travel to arrive here? What bothered you about our check-in process? May I get you a cup of coffee…something to read…tell you about our latest inventory? Monitor how your staff approaches and engages customers as they wait. Customers will sniff out actors immediately, and you lose. Click here for remaining 3 tips.