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It's truly a "rat race" when it comes to auto dealer customer loyalty

Rat: Press on the bar, get some food.
Human: Buy or service your car at a dealership with a rewards program, earn some points.

One of the most influential behavioral psychologists of all time, B.F. Skinner, discovered in his groundbreaking radical behaviorism experiments that the rate with which the rat pressed the bar depended not on any preceding stimulus (as Pavlov had insisted), but on what followed the bar presses.

This was new indeed. Unlike the reflexes that Pavlov had studied, this kind of behavior was controlled by conditioning.

A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future.

So the rats in Skinner's trials pulled the lever and got a reward, and they did it over and over. That's just like the shopper who gets reward points; they come back again and again. Stop the reward, the attraction goes away.

More recent studies show that price cuts alone don't breed loyalty, but that rewards programs do. They also provide something almost as valuable as a steady, increased income stream.

Rewards programs provide information. For a customer enrolled in one of your dealership's rewards programs they have to keep their contact info current so they can continue to receive rewards. And you can also track which customers are buying what services, and reward your best customers even more.

Invaluable, huh?!


Paul Long


re:member group

cell: 612.221.0463


Views: 51

Tags: Long, Loyalty, Paul, Programs, Rewards, group, paulnlong, re:member


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Comment by Paul N. Long on February 25, 2011 at 11:35am
I just sent you some stuff via email. Do you have 45 minutes for a GoToMeeting sometime next week?
Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 25, 2011 at 11:19am
I am considering reviewing products here at ADM that are in place at actual dealerships.  Pluses and minuses, hopefully always a positive result.  Personally, I don't know how a good loyalty program could NOT have a positive result, so I thought it would be easy to start with something like that.
Comment by Paul N. Long on February 25, 2011 at 11:16am

No one yet in Houston, but we actually received quite a bit of interest in the area this NADA.  Following up on several dealer groups as I write this.

I didn't really understand what you meant about "writing a review here", or "but that won't get me the review in time." can you explain?

Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 24, 2011 at 8:01pm
HA!  Good one, Paul.  I've looked at it already.  I was thinking of writing a review here, but I always want to do that from a real dealer.  And I recommended re:member to be reviewed by the principal at the dealer, but that won't get me the review in time.  Have anybody on board already in Houston?
Comment by Paul N. Long on February 24, 2011 at 7:55pm

Keith, if you are looking for a loyalty program, please take a close look at the re:member group's Loyalty Marketing Solutions.


I've spent 15 years focusing on loyalty marketing, including building airline frequent flier programs and retail loyalty programs.  Our Dealership loyalty programs truly increase car sales and fixed operations gross profit.  I'll be speaking at this year's DD10 on building loyalty marketing programs.

Ya Gots' ta' Pay' Me!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 24, 2011 at 7:42pm

100% valid - just like broken processes, dealers have broken promises.  A salesperson logs the first service appt that doesn't work out?  Introduces you to a service mgr who may be gone before the end of the year?  Tells you you'll be taken care of?  Ugh.


Unbreak those promises--a rewards program is just what a dealership needs.  We were just looking at one the other day!

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