Created on Saturday, 02 April 2011
Customer retention is one of the most challenging issues facing any retail business today, and the new car sector is no exception.
Competition in our industry is intense; dealers and automakers bend over backwards to ensure that customers are satisfied and remain loyal to a particular dealership and brand.
For small businesses and large corporations in Canada, loyalty programs are one of the most effective means of retaining customers. A recent Colloquy Loyalty Census (2009) reported that Canadians have a 50 per cent higher loyalty program membership than consumers in the U.S.
In the 1990s, some automakers aligned themselves with credit card companies to help strengthen the loyalty to their respective makes. Card use generates points that are redeemable toward the purchase of a new vehicle, from a branded dealer linked to the card issuer.
Some dealers (or dealer groups) may offer their own individual loyalty program, and the savings can be significant. Qualifying customers can receive perks such as free oil changes, percentage reductions off regular maintenance, and discounts off new vehicle purchases.
For consumers looking for an additional incentive to shop at a participating new car dealer, the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) is pleased to announce the recent partnering with Aeroplan, Canada's premiere coalition-loyalty program.
Any new car dealer in Ontario who wishes to do so will have the opportunity to offer the Aeroplan program to their customers. Aeroplan was recently ranked No. 3 in the world in a member satisfaction survey, with 93.6 per cent of all seat requests fulfilled. The program will be administered for TADA dealers by Futura Loyalty Group, the sales agent for Aeroplan in the automotive category.
Since it was created in 1984, Aeroplan members have redeemed more than 600 billion miles from 16 million airline seats to more than 1,000 destinations. This loyalty program is one of the most recognized brands in Canada.
This opportunity allows participating new car dealers to offer Aeroplan miles on consumer purchases at their respective stores. Each Aeroplan partnering dealership has the discretion to include as many products and/or services (i.e., vehicles, tires, maintenance, parts and accessories etc.) as they like.
Consumers can contact their participating dealer once this program is in place, to find out which products and services are eligible to earn Aeroplan miles. Customers who identify themselves as Aeroplan members by providing their member number will have mileage earned from eligible purchases deposited into their Aeroplan account.
Aeroplan miles can be redeemed for a broad range of consumer products and services in Canada, including an extensive array of gift cards from retailers, home electronics, kitchen appliances, clothing, entertainment, hotel accommodations and airline tickets from Air Canada and Star Alliance member airlines.
The TADA/Aeroplan partnership allows members the opportunity to maximize their rewards. For example, a tire manufacturer offers an incentive of Aeroplan Miles for purchasing its brand, and the Aeroplan member uses a participating Aeroplan credit card to make the purchase.
That member would then receive Aeroplan miles from the tire manufacturer and the credit card company, plus Aeroplan miles for making the purchase from the participating dealer.
If you're not an Aeroplan member, joining the program is fast and easy. You can sign up online ( www.aeroplan.com) or at a participating TADA dealer.
The TADA is excited about this new relationship with Aeroplan and the inherent value of the program. We expect many of the new car dealers in Ontario to join within the coming months.
In the retail car business, retaining customers is a priority for all new car dealers. The Aeroplan program gives them a powerful incentive to enhance relationships with their customers.