Adapting to change results in an improved bottom line
How well does your dealership adapt to new techniques for improving sales? Do you adopt new strategies, or do you prefer to ‘do it the same way’? Is your dealership up-to-date on the latest buying trends of the large and ever-growing women buyers’ market segment? Are you confident that you meet the needs of women, who now buy over half of all cars and influence up to 80% of auto purchases?
What does a progressive dealership do?
Today’s information-driven world lends itself well to allowing dealerships to collect and analyze customer information to help fine-tune sales and service strategies and increase business.
Many tried and true techniques still work well in a dealership, and it may be tempting to leave things ‘as is’ if sales are okay. Change, as we know, is challenging. However, unless customer and market information is collected and analyzed, it is impossible to tell if a dealership is reaching today’s potential.
Surging ahead of the competition
In order to maximize your customer’s journey and stand out from the competition, collecting and reviewing information is mandatory in today’s competitive environment. And maximizing strategies for specific market sectors, such as female buyers and owners, is a key way to improve revenue.
Tools like Women-Drivers.com, a digital-to-showroom solution, takes the guesswork out of marketing to the largest market segment of car buyers. Women-Drivers.com is more than a typical 5-star review site. They provide women the opportunity to opt-in to a 25-question survey. Almost 100% of women complete the survey, which provides a deep dive into their customer experience. This rich consumer intel research is reviewed by deelrship executives and the advertising team to take the guesswork out of marketing to women.
Reviews have become so common in today’s consumer buying process that 80% of shoppers use dealer reviews to choose a dealership. Women rely on reviews 50% more than men, so having positive reviews, especially reviews from women, is key to driving more female traffic.
Women-Drivers.com provides additional tools such as the ability to integrate women-specific lifestyle and relevant content on a dealership’s website. It also gets pushed to the dealer’s Facebook page. This saves the dealership time and effort, while providing well-researched, timely content for women and families. A dealership stays engaged year round with customers, becomes a trusted resource and stays foremost in a customer’s mind when it is time to buy or lease a new car.
Keeping current with marketplace trends
With numerous ways to shop, today’s auto sales and service marketplace is more competitive than ever. Information is available at the click of a mouse, which means a shopper is armed with an overwhelming amount of information before she even steps into your dealership’s showroom.
A digital-to-showroom approach is important today and will be even more important in the future. It is crucial to have an online presence that is trusted, available and speaks to your market segments. Women-Drivers.com reports that 33% of women visit a dealership’s Facebook page, with 61% “liking” the page for further information. 73% of women find a dealership’s website to be helpful. Dealership and manufacturer websites are the top two sites women research when purchasing a car.
With an out of date website, or one that doesn’t speak to your women customers, you are likely losing business without even knowing it. 5.5 out of 10 women do not purchase at a dealership closest to their home. On average, women will visit two dealerships prior to buying a car, and 60% of women who leave without purchasing will not return to the same dealership. Progressive dealerships are armed with this customer information, and know where the customer journey is susceptible to interruption.
Predictive analytics about shopping, buying and servicing experiences can be used in multiple ways, including honing the individual customer experience, and shaping advertising and marketing efforts. It is immediately applicable in the sales process, and applicable over time in marketing efforts.
Quality and reputation
Understanding your customer’s journey provides numerous benefits and can have a positive impact on your dealership’s bottom line. Happy customers return to buy again or service their existing car. Customers spread the word about their experience, whether it is good or bad. In fact, CSM, an e-magazine for customer service professionals, found that a dissatisfied customer will tell eight to 16 people about a bad experience.
Once a dealership begins to gather important information about a customer’s experience, the analyzed information can be used in many different ways. Trends can be analyzed in sales and service. Working to constantly improve the customer journey will result in continued good reviews. Those good reviews add up to creating a reputation that your customers can trust. Women-drivers.com provides a certification for dealers, which is derived from reviews. This means that customers can trust this reputation because it comes from like-minded people who provided honest feedback. Having a trusted, certified reputation rewards your dealership again and again. The initial effort required to achieve this certification is then paid back many times over.
The roadmap to an improved bottom line
Once a progressive dealership commits to the techniques explained above, the guesswork goes away. Information obtained directly from customers can make the difference in a sale to the next woman who walks into the showroom. Information about the service experience can keep customers returning over the life of their cars. Knowing that your dealership has an effective digital-to-showroom strategy can mean fewer lost prospects. In today’s competitive market, information that is acted upon translates directly to a better customer experience which has the long-term impact of a much-improved bottom line.
Author: Anne Fleming
Anne Fleming is president of Women-Drivers.com. The company has innovative solutions to assist dealers in showcasing their trust + commitment to women buyers and in turn expand their sales to this powerful buying segment.