How a dealership’s customer loyalty can be improved using connected car technology


Most of us take part in customer loyalty programs of airlines, large retail chains and hotels, but very few use car dealerships’ loyalty programs.  Clients of car dealerships often benefit from such programs even without knowing it, and the programs themselves do not always offer sufficient incentives for clients to return and order services.

Telematics should change this situation by making loyalty programs work for both dealerships and clients and offering discounts to those who really need them, changing the formal of client communications and saving clients the trouble of choosing among various services.

The first thing that will be needed to start changing the customers’ attitude to loyalty programs is a service contract.  It is recommended to sign it for 3-5 years for free with a strong “loyalty” commitment to the dealership.  As part of this contract, the client will have to install the dealership’s mobile app, connect an OBD device to their car and use the services of only this particular dealership to eventually get a compensation equal to the cost of new tires, warranty or further services. The size of the loyalty bonus is determined by an external OBD device that tracks the vehicle’s parameters, and the mobile app installed on the client’s phone.

The mix of connected car technology and a dealership app opens new possibilities for working with the dealership’s CRM system. For instance, the dealership can update the mileage of all “connected” vehicles on a daily basis and forecast the probability of service visits in the following 2 weeks. Apart from this, the dealership can obtain diagnostic reports from clients’ vehicles with information about DTS errors and their statuses. When a critical error is detected, the connected car solution combined with the mobile app connects the client to a technical support operator of the service centre.

The mix of connected car technology and a dealership app opens new possibilities for working with the dealership's CRM system

Very few can correctly interpret errors shown on the dashboard, and most drivers won’t even look for the car’s manual to find the cause of the problem. This is when an OBD unit and a mobile app can come to rescue – combined, they analyse a large array of car data. This way, the dealer can propose an efficient solution for the driver. And, of course, such a solution supports remote diagnostics and enables car dealerships to timely offer their services and those of affiliated insurance companies.

Our platform currently has around 250,000 connected vehicles and 450 dealerships. According to our research, 2/3 of all new cars in 2017 will be Internet-enabled. This means that if dealerships ignore or overlook this possibility, they will lose a lot of potential revenue. Let me explain it using an example of 5 dealerships that managed to increase their annual revenue from a 10% growth of the number of loyal customers. As the table below shows, a 10-15% return of customers to scheduled maintenance (from maintenance to maintenance) can be considered a commercial success.

According to Ernst & Young, the global telematics market will grow exponentially and will reach 104 million connected cars by 2025. Therefore, it is important to use this trend and its great innovation potential to transform data into meaningful and useful information to increase revenues.

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