It’s not news that it costs 8-10x more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current customer yet dealerships continue to pour 22 percent of their budget into marketing; most of which is geared toward conquest.

Conquest leads, especially those generated from the Internet, are often dead-ends. Dealerships today are inundated with massive amounts of ‘customer’ leads of both suspect origin and quality.

One place you can be sure to mine for quality high ROI leads, however, is your existing customer base.

Here are 3 areas where dealerships can focus to generate leads, raise retention rates and increase revenue from existing customers.

Your Best Leads Are Existing Customers


The great thing about leases is you know exactly when the customer will need a new vehicle. It’s truly one of your best leads.

Unfortunately, only about half of dealerships actually communicate with their customer during the lease period and struggle to keep the customer when it’s time to turn in the car. The customer often receives their lease package at the beginning and that’s the last piece of engagement between the lessee and dealership.

When met with wear-and-tear fees, overage charges and a lack of understanding of the lease-end process, the customer is confused, frustrated and upset which leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

Lease from there again? No way!

J.D. Power and Associates suggests, dealers and lenders should give customers lease-end information including wear-and-tear charges, how to buy the vehicle and pre-inspections at the start of the lease as well as near the end.

“Consumers that walk out of the dealership fully informed, [with] the terms and conditions, are much more satisfied,” says Jim Houston, senior director of J.D. Power’s auto finance practice.

Reminders and communication throughout the lease term allow a dealership to fully engage and increase the likelihood of retention.


What if you knew what your customers intended to do upon lease-end or as they continue paying off their vehicle. By maintaining communication with the customer, you can learn if they are in the market for a new vehicle while their current vehicle is in equity or if your current lease customer intends to purchase or lease their next vehicle.

Equity puts both the dealership and the customer in a prime spot. Customers in equity will find it’s advantageous to sell or trade in their vehicle and dealerships can leverage this position to sell a customer a new car while acquiring a used car, most likely with low mileage, that they can resell.

It’s a win-win for both parties.

If you know the customer is starting to look for a new vehicle, you can have your sales team follow up with them and educate the customer on incentives, promotions and deals to steer their decision to your dealership.

One of the best ways to retain a customer is to make them decide on purchasing or leasing a car from you before they even begin to look elsewhere.

Knowing their intentions puts you ahead of the competition.


What better lead generator than to have the customer bring it right to you?

When a dealership provides a high-level of service and an emotional connection with the customer, they are more likely to recommend your dealership to their friends and family.

Most people are on the lookout for a service center they can rely on and a dealership that is easy to work with when purchasing a car; a referral means your customers are vouching for you and telling those in their social network that you can be trusted.


OneClick Loyalty makes retention easy and cost-effective. With targeted communication and by delivering the right messages at the right time, dealerships can take advantage of the platform’s data to acquire reliable leads and focus on retention and referrals to drive revenue.