A leading auto leasing company, D&M Auto Leasing has been in business for more than forty years and maintains locations in Texas cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Houston. Since its founding, the company has remained dedicated to giving back to the community it serves. In addition to contributing to charities such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, D&M Auto Leasing belongs to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.
Located in Arlington, Texas, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce operates a Center for Business Development in support of its goal to promote commerce in the area. The Business Development Center is the focal point of the chamber’s commitment to the business community, which is to provide worthwhile services to its members.
The center focuses on three key areas of service delivery: access to customers; capital; and education. Through a member marketplace and regular events, member businesses gain exposure to customers and a means to increase referrals. Additionally, member-exclusive discounts provide access to new capital opportunities, and educational courses and seminars offer opportunities for continuing education.
D&M Auto Leasing is the largest consumer auto leasing service in the United States, with offices serving Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Houston. The leaders at D&M Auto Leasing attribute much of their success to retaining repeat customers and garnering referrals. Below are some strategies for earning customer referrals.
Ask the right questions. The magazine Entrepreneur notes that simply asking for referrals might be too generic and even overwhelming for the customer. Instead, point-of-sale staff might benefit from posing targeted questions that make it easier to discover people in the customer’s network who might actually be interested. For example, rather than saying, “Do you know anyone who could use our services?” sales staff could say, “Who are you seeing tomorrow at your tennis lesson that might be interested in this product?”
Ask at the right time. Entrepreneur identifies specific points in the sales process that it calls “Points of Enthusiasm.” These are the times when customers feel most positive about their purchase. Sales staff can identify these periods easily when customers verbally express their enthusiasm through a compliment or a sincere “thank you.” Other times include when the customer is paying or as they are filling out a customer satisfaction survey. Since customers rarely reply negatively to such a survey, it creates an opportunity for them to feel good about their purchase, and thus an opportunity for the company to gain a referral.
Since its founding in 1976, D&M Auto Leasing has expanded to include offices in Dallas-Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Houston, Texas. D&M Auto Leasing has achieved this success largely by providing a level of customer service that encourages repeat patronage.
For a company of any size, it is more cost effective to encourage prior customers to return than to generate new business. It is even more profitable to build a loyal customer base that not only returns without prompting but spreads the word about the company to others. To build such a customer base, a business must provide a high level of service and ensure that customers know the value of that.
Businesses that generate extensive repeat business communicate with their customers regularly. This may involve a phone call updating the customer on service performed and reiterating ways in which the business has gone above and beyond expectations. It may also involve handwritten thank-you notes, service reminders, and even birthday or anniversary cards.
These overtures from a business to its customers serve a critical role in building the relationship. They help the customers to feel a genuine connection to the business itself and at the same time feel valued for their patronage, which in turn instills a sense of loyalty.