If you’re looking to promote your dealership on the Internet, you first need to establish trust. It’s not enough to build a great website, optimize it so that it ranks well within search engine results, then attract qualified local shoppers the instant they’re ready to buy with paid online advertising.
Once prospective customers arrive at your website, they have to trust you. Trust isn’t something that will happen automatically. It has to be earned. Here are four ways to establish trust online.
1. Demonstrate Your Expertise Online
If you want people to trust you, show them that your dealership is staffed with experts. You can do this online by producing high quality, content-rich articles that are relevant to in-market shoppers.
The best place for these articles is a blog embedded on your website. Optimize your articles for the search engines, cross-post them to your social media channels, then throw in a title with a curiosity gap and you could find that your article spreads far and wide.
If that happens, more people will view you as an expert and you’re likely to attract more attention – and trust – over time.
2. Be Human
Yes, you’re running a dealership. That doesn’t mean that you stop being a human. Show people the lighter side of you and your team’s personalities. Bring your pets to the store and take pictures with the new makes and models. Make people laugh a little with non-controversial, funny stories and images. Make a fun video to show how much fun it is to shop at your dealership or bring a car in for service. Post these gems to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
Raise some money for local charities online and enlist your social followers to participate. Be sure to post updates about your efforts to your website. Show an emotional side of yourself by sharing sentimental stories that are making the rounds on the Internet. People will be able to relate to you and trust will soon follow, both with your prospective customers and search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
3. Answer Questions Online
Since you have a content-rich website and active social media channels, you will receive questions from potential customers. Answer those questions online – quickly – so that everybody can see the answer.
It’s another way to demonstrate your expertise because you’re responding to a query on-the-fly as opposed to spending time researching a subject so that you can write an article about it. Also, people will see that you’re attentive when it comes to customer service. And that builds trust.
4. Respond to Complaints FAST
No matter how much effort you put into your online presence, you’re going to get customer complaints every once in a while. Some of those complaints will be online. You might get messages via social media or email messages indicating some level of customer dissatisfaction. When that happens, respond quickly and seek to rectify the issue.
The key: Encourage the customer to email or call you immediately so you divert their energy to you directly rather than continuing to discuss their issue online. It’s another way to demonstrate that you’re serious about customer service.
Once local shoppers trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you. And that’s great for business.