Are you confused? Frustrated with the growing imbalance of power in the customer buying process? According to a 2016 Auto Trader study, customers are doing over 14 hours of online research before contacting a dealership. Within those hours there is a multitude of intent-driven micro-moments. In a digital age where the empowered consumer is bringing knowledge into the dealership, it’s imperative that you’re leveraging digital communication tools.
So sit back, buckle up and read on to explore tools you can find in your dealership and how they can be used to bring harmony back to the car-buying journey.
Digital communication tools in the dealership
The importance in understanding all digital forms of communication that are available to you in the dealership cannot be stressed enough. A quick inventory of digital resources can set you ahead and bring focus to how you leverage communication with the customer.
Here are a few digital tools readily available to you in the dealership:
– Manufacturer Website
– Dealership Website
– Social Media Marketing to drive traffic to the dealership website
Okay, they exist but how can they be effective?
Knowing they exist means you’re one step closer to the customer. Remember those micro-moments? A recent article from Google looks into each “auto shopping moment”. During these moments of need, customers are turning to resources like online videos and reviews to help answer decision-making questions. It’s here in these moments that dealerships have the opportunity to be there for the customer.
Support the customer before they enter the dealership.
– Many leads are funneled through the manufacturer site for follow-up by email. Ensure you are answering and engaging the customer as quickly as possible.
– From your dealership site you can offer a quick video walkaround of the vehicles on your lot, allowing your potential customer a more in depth view of the vehicle they inquired about.
Support the customer during their purchase decision.
– After searching for vehicles that meet their needs, the next moment in the car-buying journey is pricing. Whether they email you or use a chat box on the dealer website, it’s important to first acknowledge and thank the customer for contacting you.
– A crucial next step is getting the customer the information they’ve requested. This will help build trust and credibility with your dealership during their car-buying journey.
– Once contact has been made, you can suggest a test drive or even additional walkthroughs of a particular unit through video chat apps, like FaceTime.
Support the customer after the sale.
– Utilize your dealership CRM, track and segment customers that are coming up for a policy renewal, overdue for an oil change, recently had a claim approved etc. You can target your customer with offers or information that would be relevant to them. This form of highly targeted and personalized communication shows your customer that you know their needs and habits and value their loyalty.
Click to watch as Scott Wilson, LGM Regional Trainer, walks us through leveraging email as a communication tool inside the dealership.
Dealers – If you’ve successfully connected with your customer then, congratulations! By seizing the opportunity to be there in these moments with the customer, you’re ensuring you achieve your goal in making sure they are getting the best car for them.