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6 ways your dealership can capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing

Make it easy for customers to pass on the word about your dealership

The greatest ambassador a dealership or any consumer-facing business has is current customers. People are more likely to consider the outlook of those they trust. According to Nielsen, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before buying something.

When a family member or friend recommends a brand, the business has automatically built trust with the future customer. For this reason, word-of-mouth marketing for dealerships is powerful.

Here are six ways to capitalize on this marketing tactic at your dealership.

1. Find Your All-Star Customers

You want to find customers that are heavily invested in your dealership. There are a variety of ways you can identify these individuals. You can look through your purchasing data or CRMs to see who has been a repeat car buyer.

Additionally, you can cross-reference customer data with Google or Yelp reviews. Social media can also help. Check if anyone posts about you regularly on a social platform. Find these customers and see how to involve them in your outreach and marketing plans.

2. Create Ways for Them to Share About Your Dealership

How you can use these individuals will depend on your needs and their strengths. Involving them in your marketing can look like:

  • Creating a referral program where these individuals can receive rewards for referring a friend or family member
  • Encouraging them to write a review
  • Asking them to share their experience working with you on a social media platform

Consider this and other ways to display their excitement for your dealership’s brand.

3. Be Strategic in The Type of Messaging You Seek from Customers

What do you want other customers to understand about your dealership? Understanding this is especially helpful in creating marketing verbiage like testimonials. You can encourage your customers to speak about your dealership’s unique offerings by asking them pointed questions.

For example, if you have a new online platform to streamline your service and repairs, you can specifically ask your repeat customers about this. If you want to highlight your dealership’s values, ask them to give examples of how your dealership embodies a specific principle. Approach your customers with open-ended and specific questions that allow you to get the needed information.

4. Make it Easy for Customers to Talk About What You Do

Do you have business cards, brochures, stickers, or anything they can give to friends and family they want to refer? You want to make it easy for customers to pass on the word about your dealership. In addition to your dealership address and number, materials should include business hours and any social media platforms you’re on. They can also have testimonials and any values or principles you want to share. The latter is crucial as, according to the public relations company the Havas Group, 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values.

5. Join Forces with a Local Influencer

TikTok, Instagram, and every other social media platform have shown the power of influencers. Fifty percent of millennials trust product recommendations from influencers. Depending on your target age group, a local influencer can be a great addition to your word-of-mouth marketing.

Additionally, this individual can make an impact without a million followers. Nano influencers with 1,000 followers or less typically spark the most engagement among their audience. Check out those with ties to the automotive industry in your area, and see if they’ve been in or would visit your showroom. You’d be surprised who you can leverage as an influencer.

6. Always Say Thank You

People like to feel appreciated for supporting businesses. So, find ways to recognize your audience, especially those who refer others. This could be offering special discounts to individuals who get a certain amount of oil changes or have repeatedly bought their car from you. Think about ways to reward your all-stars. Doing so can keep them returning and inspire them to continue referring you to others.

Final Thoughts

Word-of-mouth is a robust marketing tool. If harnessed correctly, it can set you apart from the competition. Nevertheless, to get those all-star customers that refer you to others, things like offering incentives, guiding them on how they can spread the word, and offering exceptional customer service can enhance word-of-mouth and make it work for you.

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Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News.

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