Typically, when we discuss the impact of social media, the discussion quickly turns to marketing and branding. While this is the primary purpose for social media platforms, savvy dealership marketers can use specific social media features to improve a customer’s overall experience. Social media is another way to cultivate relationships with customers, connect with the local community, and address their questions and complaints. Many of today’s consumers use platforms like Twitter or Instagram to discuss a problem or seek answers to questions that are not readily available online. So, how can your dealership move past marketing and utilize these platforms to improve the customer experience? Read on for five practical tips.
Check your Social Media Profiles for Questions or Complaints
If you are always just looking to email or a phone call to hear about a customer’s inquiry or problem, then you are potentially missing out on a tremendous opportunity. As mentioned above, many customers are tagging companies on these platforms to ask questions or seek help in solving a problem. Quickly locating these comments and answering them professionally and helpfully shows that your dealership is willing to go the extra mile. So, make sure that you have someone checking your social media profiles at least twice a day. This step will allow you to catch any comments customers may have.
Use Live Video to Inform Potential Customers of Deals and New Models
Again, your customers may not always open your newsletter or respond to the geotag on their smartphone. So, one of the best ways to reach consumers and let them know about what you have to offer is through social media. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Twitter’s live video features allow you to share pertinent information that can add value to your customers. For example, you might be running a new promotion and want to get the word out to your followers. Setting up a live video where you describe the promotion and invite them to take advantage of it adds a layer of personalization. It shows that you are willing to go right where your constituents are to inform them of information that may be helpful.
Start a Twitter Chat to Answer Customer Questions
Twitter’s rapid messaging layout makes it an excellent platform for carrying on discussions and conversations. As a result, it has become the site of events called, Twitter chats. These are where you have a public dialogue with individuals using a unique hashtag. Not only does it increase engagement, but it can better help you provide helpful information that positions you and your dealership staff as thought leaders. For example, you could do a Twitter chat around the topic of car maintenance best practices, buyer research, or car industry trends. The goal is to find topics that are in your niche and add value to customers.
Use Instagram to Personally Thank Customers
When it comes to using photos to share powerful moments that resonate with your audience, Instagram is the best option. Customers enjoy hearing about the experiences that others have had with you. So, why not use Instagram to tell a compelling customer story? First, it is always important to ask for permission before posting any photos or information about a customer. However, if they agree, you could take a photo of their interactions with your company and thank them publically on Instagram. For example, if a long-time customer came in for a routine servicing, send them a “thank you” for their continued support. Not only does this let the customer know you appreciate them, but it sends a positive customer experience message to your followers.
Utilize Facebook Messenger to Chat with Consumers Instantly
Facebook has done a lot to make the car buying process easier for dealers and consumers. Facebook has given dealers a straightforward option for sharing inventory and reaching key audiences. However, one tool, especially concerning the customer experience, is invaluable. Dealerships can use the Facebook Messenger chat feature to communicate with customers instantly. While this is not unique to dealerships, it provides an additional resource of reaching out to potential car buyers. Facebook may be the first place a customer finds you. So, it is crucial that you have someone keep an eye on this feature to answer customer questions or invite them in for a consultation.
Having an excellent customer experience strategy that includes social media will automatically do wonders for your marketing and branding. It lets individuals know that your mission is not only to sell cars but that you also care about providing the service and resources customers need to make an informed decision. The differences of each social media platform offer unique opportunities to improve your customer’s experiences. So, if you do not already include social media in your customer experience strategy, make a point to see how it can become a significant part of your interactions with car buyers.