Never underestimate the power of a free service loaner to build customer loyalty.
My sister’s attachment to her Chicago-area BMW dealer -- Knauz BMW -- is a case in point.
She’s been courted by a BMW dealership that is much closer to where she lives and works. But she says the dealership failed to provide the service she expects from a luxury-car store. Staffers refused to provide her with a free service loaner because she didn’t purchase her new car from their dealership.
She’s had other gripes about this dealership, but the service loaner tops the list.
On the other hand, Knauz BMW had no problem providing her with a brand-new BMW to drive back and forth to work while her car was in the shop. The loaner was more than just a convenience; it was a chance to take an extended test drive.
The free loaner not only wowed my sister, it also impressed her colleagues who saw her drive it in to work. Now my sister won’t think of going anywhere but Knauz for service or for her next BMW. And she won’t stop talking about the experience.
I wonder how many sales Knauz will get out of the free loaner it gave my sister -- and how many sales its competitor will lose.