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Automotive Sector

Improving profits in automotive

The UK automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy worth more than £78.9 billion turnover – yet, there are so many areas with so much potential to grow. Our automotive team have worked with many of the leading brands including: Audi, BMW (cars and bikes), Ford, Honda (cars and bikes), MG Motor, Mitsubishi, Pendragon, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volkswagen to help improve customer acquisition and retention and can help you to do the same.
We can help you devise and manage strategies to improve revenue through:

Customer retention through:

Customer acquisition through:

Building customer value through:

Customer experience   

One of the leading major factors that will drive loyalty improving customer experience is a key strategy to grow profits for manufacturers and dealerships alike. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 54% of automotive customers will put service over price on deciding where to buy
  • 90% of dissatisfied automotive customers go elsewhere
  • 87% of "highly satisfied" customers will buy cars of the same brand
  • 85% from the same dealer
  • 8 out of 10 customers leave without purchasing – despite 90% arriving with the specific intention of buying

Put simply there is no point throwing money on conquest programmes, purchase incentives and customer loyalty programmes if the experience is so bad that the customer is driven away.

From initial online research to visiting the dealer, test driving and arranging the purchase, we can help you design a process that will delight customers and make it easy buy their next vehicle. Then we can help you create: tools, development, measurement and dealer incentives that improve the customer experience through rewarding positive behaviours. This should progress seamlessly from the sale to the confirmation, collection to first and subsequent services. A deeply personalised approach marginalising dissatisfaction and to increasing satisfaction through making the customer feel valued and involved in your brand.

Retention products   

Nobody likes nasty surprises – and an unexpected bill can make a real dent in your customer’s satisfaction – which is why it is so important to ensure that customers are covered with retention products like service plans and extended warranties. The major block to this tends to be the sales person who is scared of putting the customer off by adding anything to the price however, if introduced correctly, this can actually help to improve sales conversion.

By the correct communication and motivation of these product benefits, we have helped increase sales of these products by between 47% and over 2000% and can share these techniques to help you achieve the same for your brand.

Customer Loyalty   

According to JD Power automotive manufacturer retention rates as low as 10.4% and even the best doing just over 60% the majority of dealerships achieve just one in five customers and missing out on thousands in service fees this is despite the fact that loyal customers are:

as likely to repurchase
as likely to refer
more will buy a new product
as likely to forgive
as likely to try new things
the cost to sell to
profits per 5% + retention

Customers start thinking about their next vehicle from the moment their new car is delivered (and often before) so it important to start them on a journey to not just buying their next vehicle from you but also to become a brand ambassador, recommending you to their friends, family and colleagues.

We can help you deliver a personalised experience created to nudge customer behaviour along that journey and moving their experience from being a customer to a member of your brand family with tools that include:

  • Membership benefits and vip treats for business or personal customers with up to 98% saving on shopping, health clubs, cinema, eating-out, transport, holidays and leisure and business expenses
  • Invitations to exclusive brand events and previews
  • Exclusive treats like holidays, experiences and vouchers with accessories and add-ons
  • Concierge services to save customers time and provide a true VIP experience
  • Service and maintenance reminders
  • Sneak previews and invitations to test drives

Dealer Principal and management motivation   

One of the major blocks to creating a more successful growth strategy can be the strategies appearing to be at odds
with directives from line and senior management within the dealership. We can help you to align these stakeholders
to your strategies then reinforce these through recognition and reward based on their team delivering the customer
experience and business growth.

It is this kudos of being recognised as a leading department or dealership (along with invitations to exclusive trips and
incentive travel) that can drive positive reinforcement through the business and get you the results you require.

Customer Acquisition – conquest campaigns   

Particularly for new models, you may want to target competitor customers or people with a specific profile
(professionals, high income families etc).

  • 1Our data insights team can help you profile and target your perfect buyers
  • 2Creative content can drive demand across multiple channels and have achieved over 10% for door drops and over 30% for email marketing along with targeted social media, digital and press campaigns
  • 3If you choose to use our test drive booking system, it can qualify buyers then match them to an available slot with their local dealer, provide a map and reminder and even issue an award once they have completed the test drive

Sales team incentives and motivation   

Sales incentives can be an incredibly powerful tool to drive sales teams to follow-up on leads, make sales or drive added value sales like finance, accessories or service plans. Programmes we have helped with have driven sales increases of 42% 900% and even 2002%

We can help you understand the profile of participants to ensure your programmes are right. Specifically looking at the Automotive sector, some of the key areas to consider are:

  • Most people going into the automotive industry are looking for kudos compared with say working in a supermarket – this is why it is much more aspirational to work on a leading or prestigious brand. This means that everything in your programme should look to increase their self worth and give them opportunities to get recognition both in the workplace and in social opportunities such as in a pub – what we call ‘pub kudos’.
  • Working in automotive can have many moments of boredom and isolation – promoting a sense of belonging of a wider community, having a friendly voice at the end of a phone line who will help, encourage and motivate them can be key – we often find that our hotline/social media operators are acting as a quasi Sales Manager where they are bored, so contact us to find out what’s happening on incentives – which gives us an opportunity to engage them, suggest solutions others have tried and been successful and send them away motivated to achieve.
  • Motivational programmes should be motivational themselves – fun to participate in and providing recognition simply for taking part. Frequent use of interactive online ‘games’ can make these fun to take part.
  • Quality – by building in qualitative factors, it means that the ‘pub points’ are higher – "I won because I am professional – not some dodgy second hand car sales person."

Value added programmes for accessories, finance and insurance   

We can help you design programmes to help customers to personalise their vehicle, find the perfect way to fund their vehicle and choose add on products like paint protection, insurance and tracking systems. Then we can engage the dealer personnel to drive these programmes effectively and ethically.

This is important not only for the additional revenue for both the manufacturer and the dealer but that the more ways that a customer has a relationship with you, the more loyal they are likely to be. Past successes have included a 4 fold increase in accessories per vehicle and a 9 fold increase in insurance products.

Parts and service programmes   

In addition to being the main source of income for dealerships, aftersales can be a major contributor to improving customer satisfaction through the better reliability and residual values offered by main dealer servicing and genuine parts.

We can help you design programmes to improve service retention through and beyond the warranty, improve sales of tyres, exhausts, air conditioning refills then we can engage the dealer personnel to drive these programmes effectively and ethically.

Trade parts programmes   

Not every customer will take their car to a dealer for servicing and repairs – but it is important that they continue to protect their investment through using genuine parts. We can help you design programmes that engage independent garages and body shops, educate them on the benefits of getting genuine parts from their local dealer and motivate them to do so.

By helping them understand how their business will become more profitable and their customers will be happier too we can create a true business partnership that will benefit everyone. Past programmes have delivered 30-64% increases in sales of trade parts.


Find out more

We invite you to book a free 30-minute strategy call
directly with Tim Peniston-Bird to see how to add value to your initiative.

Click Here to
Schedule time with
Tim Peniston-Bird

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