Auto dealers shouldn’t treat an auto purchase as a one-and-done transaction. There is a lifecycle to consider, and to stay competitive, dealers require the right arsenal of tactics and tools that will help them stay in front of the customers on a consistent and individualized basis. So what can dealers do to implement a simple customer engagement plan that can transform how they communicate with customers and prospects?
There are five stages of customer engagement, Discover, Shop, Buy, Own, and Advocate. The key to success across the lifecycle is to ensure that the tactics are analytically driven and the data is tracked in an efficient manner.
The auto dealer’s image is very important at this research stage and channels such as email and social are most effective. This is the time for dealers to cast a wide net with monthly email broadcasts, and to begin tracking consumer behaviors.
This is a good time for dealers to implement buyer detection strategies to better understand who might be ready to buy. There are a variety of techniques that dealers can leverage at this stage such as: send consumers specific communications, target unsold leads and use multi-wave campaigns to learn the vehicle type a consumer might be interested in purchasing.
Buyer detection tips dealers off to in-market buyers. Dealers should be communicating with prospects during this stage and notifying them about new vehicle launches, inventory on certified pre-owned vehicles, and finance/insurance offers to name a few, all based on individual preferences.
The consumer has purchased a vehicle from your dealership – what happens next? Take the time to develop and execute a well-run follow-up outreach plan that includes communications such as owner welcome, service tracker, anniversary reminders, seasonal specials and response to reviews.
Customers are key to the success of any dealership. Successful dealers recognize that customer engagement does not end once a sale has been made. Dealers need to continue to engage customers throughout their lifecycle to keep them happy and loyal.
Come out and listen to Kristy Elliott, Executive Manager from Sunshine Chevrolet, and Valerie Vallancourt, Director of Marketing at Outsell, and gain a better understanding of how to optimize each stage of the customer engagement lifecycle. This session “The 5 Stages of Customer Engagement and What Auto Dealers Can Do to Optimize Each One” takes place on Tuesday, August 9 at 9:30am.
Author: Valerie Vallancourt & Kristy Elliott
Valerie Vallancourt Bio: Valerie Vallancourt is a dynamic, strategic marketing professional with expertise in creating and executing marketing strategies for revenue growth. Valerie has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, and is currently director of marketing at Outsell, which helps auto dealers drive more revenue by transforming how they engage customers and prospects throughout their lifecycle.
Valerie’s specialties include: implementing innovative inbound/outbound demand creation initiatives to drive revenue generation and pipeline, instituting best practices around marketing operations, and establishing integrated marketing and sales processes for lead qualification and follow up. Valerie is a proven leader in building strong, high-performing teams and collaborating cross-functionally across organizations. Valerie holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Oregon.
Kristy Elliott Bio: Kristy Elliott joined her family’s automotive business in 2014 after an almost twenty-year career in nonprofit higher education and healthcare marketing and development. She is currently the Executive Manager of both Sunshine Chevrolet in Arden, NC and SunStar Network (a BDC Company). Her family also owns Don Elliott Autoworld and Don Elliott Ford in Texas. Kristy is a graduate of Baylor University and NADA Dealer Academy.