There are several ways to build a stronger relationship with your customers, but it all boils down to some old-fashioned face-to-face time. If you’re aiming to get your potential car buyers from your online sales journey to your actual store, we’re here to share some great tactics. From reviews and social media, to using your network and connections, there’s a lot to test out.
Consumer behavior in the auto industry is undergoing a swift change these days. People find that it is more convenient to browse vehicles, configure the features they need, and even scout for financing options – all online. It is up to you to come up with innovative approaches that would tempt customers into visiting your showroom. They should feel that it is worth their time to actually come in, look around the dealership, and then decide what vehicle they wish to buy. Without further ado, here are some new tactics to try out.
1. Get customers to give reviews
Prospects often make up their mind after just reading reviews – it makes them feel as if they can trust the business. But these reviews can’t be generalized. Customers have to highlight exactly why they felt good after visiting your showroom. They have to talk about the in-person shopping experience and services offered. Ask them to write about the aspects that attracted them. Why not ask customers to leave a review when they are at the showroom? The experience is fresh in their minds, so reviews are likely to be more honest. Set up a tablet in the middle of the showroom or waiting room, and make sure the Google review page is pinned on the device.
2. Use social media to your advantage
Nowadays, social media plays an integral role in influencing the car buying process. Consumers are increasingly turning to social media before making up their minds. This makes social media a great marketing channel for car dealerships to engage new customers (and re-engage existing ones). You can use social media to share posts that link to relevant pages on your website, and engage users accordingly. Paid ad packages work great on social media – they let you target a specific segment, so you reach the most relevant audience. Thus, you get in touch with potential customers who have actively entered your sales funnel.
3. Bank on local partnerships
You don’t have to depend on digital marketing techniques all the time. Talk to local businesses and build partnerships to get high quality leads. Collaborate with other members of the auto industry (not those in direct competition of course) to start a mutually beneficial relationship that expands both of your networks. For instance, you can talk to a rideshare company, where your dealership suggests their app whenever a customer has their car in your showroom. In return, their company can refer current or prospective drivers to your dealership. Other companies you can consider are local car washes, auto parts stores, car detailing shops, and even auto insurance companies.
4. Referral programs are effective
Expert marketers have agreed that referral programs have a lower cost per lead as compared to any other channel. These programs work based solely on trust. Getting the support of an existing customer can work wonders in gaining the trust of their friends, family members, colleagues, etc. For every lead that you are able to convert successfully, you can give incentives to the referrer, such as gift cards, extended warranties, free service evaluations up to a certain value, cash bonuses, or a discount on a particular service. Referral programs can even include employees, where they are offered bonuses if their leads turn into successful sales.
5. Come up with innovative video content
Creating an informative and compelling video attracts viewers to your showroom as it provides details about what they are looking for. You give them a glimpse of the vehicles in your inventory – they can check out the different features, match cars to their requirements, and so on. Videos help customers view your product in a more cost-effective manner. They are more likely to visit if they have a clear visual of what they want, and nothing helps them envision their dream car like an appealing video. A dull and drab text ad isn’t going to cut it anymore!
6. Organize community events
Ultimately, people will visit your showroom only if you provide an enjoyable experience. Sponsoring, hosting, and setting up a booth at local events are excellent ways to build up a solid rapport at a more personal level. If you take part in events organized by others, make sure you have a target audience among the attendees. Encourage them to provide contact information by offering incentives like discounts on repair services. When you host your own event, do it at your showroom. Thus, you can get good leads, while getting the community under your roof at the same time. During these events, you may offer test drives of a new car model and deals on cars to attract customers.
7. Lastly, include a Call to Action on your website
Texting is an amazing way to follow-up and stay in touch with customers. When you add a “Text Us” button on your website and other online listings, it gives customers a chance to connect directly. Customers appreciate the fact that you are open to communicating on a more personal level. The faster you respond to prospective customers, the more likely it is that you will get their business. You can even set up an autoresponder with some key resources that gives the customer a reply within seconds while giving a real salesperson enough time to respond personally.
Remember, none of the strategies will work overnight – it could be weeks before you notice any lucrative results. It is necessary to be patient and implement the strategies mentioned above; you can decide later on what works for you and what doesn’t. Meanwhile, keep your focus on making sure your online presence is impeccable thanks to a high-quality website as well, as most of your customers will go through at least a part of their shopping journey online.