Consumers want to shop for an automobile in the same way they shop for other items online. Online advertisements encourage consumers to make purchases even before they are certain of what they want to buy. The use of artificial intelligence to bring customers to your dealership is the modern way of advertising. The use of social media and other online techniques as a means to collect data about what consumers are looking for and interested in is an excellent way for car dealers to discover what it is their customers are interested in, particularly when they are looking to purchase a new car. This way, the car dealer can entice their customers with the newest cars on the lot by offering them discounts and bonus packages if they purchase a car right now.

Social media can also help your dealership with customer service issues. If a customer has a complaint about something that occurred at the dealership, the customer can go to the dealership website and click on the ‘Contact Us’ link. This allows the customer to send an email to the management personnel instantly. The customer can usually expect a response within twenty-four hours. This is a much more rapid method of getting customer feedback rather than the traditional call centers in which the customer can be stuck waiting on hold for several long and frustrating minutes. We all are aware that when we are upset we need to vent right away, and being forced to wait while on hold just makes us more frustrated.

Marketing has always focused on the four P’s, product, price, place, and promotion. Now with social media, there is a fifth ‘P’, which is ‘people’. Facebook and Twitter offer advertisers the data needed to advertise efficiently and at practically no cost. All that is required is a WiFi connection and some creative PR to get yourself the makings of an advertising campaign.

When you are trying to re-engage your customers through the use of modern methods of advertising, such as Facebook and Twitter, the first step is to create an emotional connection. You want your customers to realize that there are real people running the dealership, not just a faceless corporation or logo.

A highly successful way to show your current and prospective customers that you are a real person is to introduce yourself through social media. You can accomplish this via an email or direct message.  When you see that someone new has joined the group, you can send them a personalized message welcoming them to your online forum.

You can also get your customers engaged in your dealership once more by offering the image of one of your team members on your Facebook page. This way when the customer has a question a familiar face will appear to answer their questions. When a customer likes or makes a comment to something on your Facebook page, just having the face of one of your popular salespersons there will bring a much more positive effect than that of the faceless logo of the dealership.

If you post a blog on the dealership website, you should consider writing a little biography about yourself. By doing this, your customers will get to know you a little better and it helps to build a warmer relationship and rapport.

You might also want to select someone to be the brand ambassador and the face that represents the dealership to the community. This could be anyone from the dealership owner to a popular salesperson.

Another way to engage customers that have become lost is to create an online forum. By creating an online forum, you will help your customers become more engaged and involved with the current happenings at the dealership. With an online forum, you can make yourself available to answer any questions that your customers may have about the dealership or the automotive industry. You can keep them updated and informed about new sales or specials that are happening, as well as give them a heads up on upcoming events or sales.

There really is no better way to get customers involved and interested in your dealership than by holding a contest. Everyone likes to win free stuff. You can offer a year’s worth of free gasoline to the one hundredth car sale of the month, or free mechanic services for a year to the customer who answers some trivia questions about the dealership correctly that are posted on the website each month. These are only a few of the ways you can engage customers with contests at your dealership.

You can also get your customers more engaged in your dealership by asking them to post suggestions and ideas about things they would like to see offered at the dealership. You can offer an award for the best suggestion, such as $50 or $100 cash for a suggestion that the dealership uses. Or, you can give them money off the purchase of a new car for a viable idea that improves the dealership.

Make your customers feel as if they are part of the team at your dealership, after all, they are the most important part of your dealership. If the dealership is getting prepared to celebrate a monumental achievement, such as the 10th anniversary of being in business, make your customers feel like they are a part of the celebration by offering them discounts or coupons for oil changes or tune-ups at the dealership. By doing this, it not only makes the customer feel like you appreciate their loyalty, but they also feel like they are part of the team and its success.

You can start an online newsletter for the dealership. To encourage customers to subscribe to the newsletter, you can offer them a discount. This will not only keep customers informed with everything that is happening at the dealership, such as upcoming sales and other exciting events, but also gives them the opportunity to save money by using the discount received for their subscription.

The final suggestion for getting customers more engaged in your dealership is that you can host either an online or offline tour of the dealership. This tour will show customers what the dealership has to offer them as customers, including which vehicles are currently on the lot and which can be expected in the near future. You can also set up a booth at a community function, which can showcase your dealership and bring in new customers, as well as bring back former ones who were once lost.

 

Source: Forbes

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