German carmakers rank among the most celebrated contributors to revenue from the global automotive industry, with as many as 217.37 billion Euros worth of vehicle exports in 2015, while generating revenue of about 400 billion Euros in the same year.
A sustainable business model that has been adopted by top trending companies in Germany like Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler Autos is one that indulges heavily in loyalty marketing in order to contain the harmful impacts of customer attrition.
How Daimler promotes brand loyalty
Daimler considers every loyal customer unique and uses many engaging communication channels to establish a lasting a rapport with them. The new digital platform of Mercedes Benz provides services which go beyond the car itself in improving customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty.
- The “She’s Mercedes” program is tailored to market the Merc concept amongst women while trying to acquire and retain its women customers over the medium term.
- The Community and Inspiration Program trains sales personnel expertly, including networking events, mainly to enhance the proportion of women among the client base.
- New sales formats that adopt digitization across all channels, have been unleashed in order to make customers come back for repurchase.
- Appealing to the younger generation by presenting Mercedes Benz virtual drive in video game format is a novel gesture to improve brand repute.
- At Daimler CACs (Customer Assistance Centres), customer retention is the keyword that is accorded highest priority by way of instant breakdown assistance, warranty extensions, immediate repair updates, parts supply at optimum rates and swift processing of damage claims.
- Daimler promotes the concept of environment friendly mobility solutions and presents flexible solutions to manage shared services in busy urban areas.
- The customer retention programs now operate in 25 countries. Mercedes events like driving on the Arjeplog frozen landscapes and other exclusive programs for loyal owners of AMG and Maybach luxury vehicles, besides enjoying access to Formula-one car races.
The renowned BMW loyalty program
BMW believes that profitability is a function of well-satisfied and loyal customers who are the real assets of a business. It extends a series of offers wherein loyal customers are offered a multitude of “money-can’t-buy-perks”. These offers are exclusive only to diehard BMW customers who have remained loyal to their preferred brand.
- Loyal owners of 7 series are extended the BMW Excellence Club access, that gives them opportunities to interact with major celebrities like Mittermaier, Thomas Gottschalk, to mention a few.
- The direct contact program enables the team to be in constant touch with the subscribers of its flagship model. The proud owners of BMW are provided exclusive access to art exhibitions and fashion shows.
- Some of the other loyalty perks include driver coaching, Sixt SE diamond customer card and the prestigious BMW Carbon American Express Card.
- Individualization and differentiation have been the twin sides of customer retention at BMW. Special wheels, hand hammered silver-rimmed deck, plush seat interiors tailored to suit individual whims and fancies etc are more drivers aimed at retaining brand loyalty.
- On the commercial front, loyalty upgrade programs and subsidized lease credits are offered to loyal customers.
Customer retention initiatives from Volkswagen
Volkswagen is generous in saying “thank you” to its loyal customers and engages in a series of value-added initiatives to retain existing customers. A number of rewards and loyalty programs are operational, providing premium treatment to preferred customers.
- An exclusive 0.50% discount and rate reduction in leasing and finance offers.
- Volkswagen special rates are available only for repeat customers on their repurchase.
- The Volkswagen Owner Loyalty Bonus Program entitles owners to get discounts on their next loyal purchase.
- They get preferential treatment in various respects including purchase of pre-owned cars, scheduling service or requesting for a test drive.
- Quality customer service, on-the-dot resolution of queries, usage of genuine parts on service and the promise of unmatched fuel economy have been facilitating factors to expand new markets, while retaining existing ones.
- Internal management of quality, service and support are fine-tuned to flawless standards to that external customers are satisfied.
In addition to the big three, there are many other renowned players in the German Auto market like Robert Bosch, Hamann Motor Sport and Hartge, to mention a few, who display superior standards of pricing, quality and customer care to pamper their returning customers. The news of alleged collusion attempts by some major auto giants of the industry, had created a ripple in the entire industry. However markets have picked up again, with almost all major companies launching loyalty rewards program, the highlights of which include:
Captivating styling and design
Personalization has become the rule in consumer-oriented Pathwwway marketing. Trucks and other heavy vehicles, in addition to cars are nowadays customized to different classes of users, different terrains and even to the individual needs of customers. Styling and design are to be given utmost attention and investments in continuous R & D will definitely pay off in the long run. Utility aspects that drive consumer loyalty are fuel economy, reliability and genuineness and easy availability of spares.
Innovative pricing mixes for the loyal customers
Loyal customers are extended different discounts, cash back offers and slashed prices on their next purchase. Customers who wish to avail of leasing and finance on their next purchase get lease credits and other favourable terms of financing. Covering extra services at free or subsidized rates is another way to create peace of mind among loyal customers from service hassles. Providing economic options to upgrade to higher end models is also extended to loyal customers.
Customer profiling and analytics
Understanding the customer is of prime importance in Pathwwway customer retention. Keeping in touch with the customer, gauging feedback, updating customers of industry trends and recent changes in company policy are effective gestures. Using technology to serve customer needs and also to conduct analytics go a long way in creating brand affinity among customers.