SAN RAMON, Calif. — Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane, Wash., boosted its service-department revenue to $50,000 per month after it used LoyaltyTrac, a service-retention program created by MediaTrac.

Since signing up with MediaTrac, a marketing technology company, the dealership’s service-department revenue has increased 20 percent, customer defection has been all but eliminated, and the average customer spend per repair order is $50 higher for program members compared to non-members.

During the first year on the program, the dealership’s service rewards members generated $15,000 per month in revenue for the service department. Today, those members generate approximately $50,000 per month in revenue. Additionally, owner Gus Johnson has found that LoyaltyTrac customers spend thousands of dollars more than non-LoyaltyTrac customers.

Before signing up with MediaTrac, the dealership did virtually no marketing to its service customers.  “Now, every salesperson promotes the LoyaltyTrac service rewards program as a benefit during the sales process,” Johnson said. As a result, more than 70 percent of customers sign up for the program, and most of those who decline are from out of the immediate market area.

Upon purchase of a vehicle, customers receive a loyalty card with a sign-up bonus of 150 rewards points. This incentive to join the program has resulted in an exceptional e-mail capture rate of over 83 percent.

MediaTrac worked with Gus Johnson Ford to create customized, dealer-branded monthly marketing campaigns offering sales, service and finance specials, such as discounts on oil changes or incentives for a 30-60- 90,000 mile maintenance package. Additionally, customers can add bonus points to their account if they schedule a service quickly or on specific days of the week.

In addition to offering discount and VIP services to members, the dealership partners with local businesses to offer rewards. After six years, more than 10,000 individual loyalty club memberships have been issued and nearly all of those service-rewards club members are still coming back for regular servicing. The cross marketing with local business also helps to grow this Gus Johnson Ford’s customer base.

“Before the program, our average customer defection was around 32 months, right about when warranties were expiring,” said Johnson. “Now it’s at 60 months, which is about how long most people own a vehicle, so in effect we have no defection rate.”

LoyaltyTrac is a customer loyalty and service retention program that helps dealerships develop ongoing service and sales business based upon a member’s real past purchases and future purchase predispositions. Dealers who use the program realize on average an increase of 24 percent in customer visit frequency and a nearly 10 percent increase in customer spending, despite a down market.

Johnson credits MediaTrac’s LoyaltyTrac program with helping him to create and take care of loyal customers. By using the many tracking and reporting tools to fine tune various aspects of the LoyaltyTrac program, he has managed to continually increase service department revenue and create thousands of loyal customers.

“The two main reasons why people come in are because they trust you and because you’re convenient,” said Johnson. “LoyaltyTrac helps with the trust aspect because we are constantly reaching out to them.”