Create the right interaction and drive dollars to your bottom line in 2016.
When it comes to customer service or sales, we often talk about having the right chemistry with a customer. But what does that really mean? What are the right ingredients to attract women shoppers turn them into buyers and keep them coming back to your service center? There are many combinations of the right formula and it can seem very complex to find the optimal combination. Women-Drivers.com has created a handy chart to use as a reference for steps your dealership can take help “re-create” the right synergy and drive more dollars to your bottom-line this New Year.
Today’s car shopping experience starts long before a woman walks in the front door of the dealership. Once the idea of a new car takes hold, information is a few clicks away. Facebook, Twitter and your dealership’s web site are likely to be a shopper’s first stops. What kind of chemistry are you creating with your Internet presence? Is your web site appealing and personal? More importantly, can it engage your buyers? A good web site is one that lets your shopper follow an easy path to desired information, including reviews and car searches. And don’t forget about demographics – make sure your web site shows your target demographic, including women in various life stages. Your web site should also include value-add content in order to bring your shoppers and customers back again. In today’s mobile-enabled world, your web site sneeds a proper mobile version that can be easily navigated and viewed. Don’t forget to include lead generation, and make sure it is not intimidating or too long. Short and sweet is the right formula in the Internet world.
Social media is equally important in your Internet chemistry and allows to keep your message current. Fun and interesting tweets and posts are a great way to get your message shared across networks. Daily posts show that your dealership is actively engaging with your customers, prospects and leads. Video testimonies from happy customers make the experience more personal for your social media followers. Facebook and Twitter are perfect ways to get the word out about special events and offers. But, don’t continuously lead with the “do you wanna buy” posts. Be seen as a trusted resources by providing educational and engaging lifestyle and life-stage content. And be sure to pay attention to your demographics. Reviews by women for women will bring great results, as women rely on reviews more than men.
While the objective of your web site and social media activities is to provide effective communication and digital advertising, don’t neglect your traditional advertising. Anyone can advertise a car; selling your dealership and service center will let your shoppers know you are there for them. Be sure to offer women-centric ads that speak to what matters to women buyers, like safety and practicality. Think of ways to differentiate your dealership from the competition. Since you and your competitor have equivalent vehicles and pricing, how do you show a woman buyer that you are the better choice? Everyone offers the best price and experience so how will you convey this in a TV spot or ad to women? Seek ways to convey trust and show her that your dealership is more convenient and will be there for her during servicing and for her next car purchase. Your advertising chemistry should be one of engagement and service.
When a woman prospect or client arrives at your front door, her perception of your dealership will begin to form instantaneously. Aesthetic chemistry matters, so be sure to make a good first impression. Flowers, artwork, fresh paint and a warm environment can add comfort to what can be a stressful experience. Another very important and often overlooked aspect is a balanced workforce that reflects your demographic shows that you are heading into the future.
Once in the showroom, woman shoppers have a lot on their mind. At this point, your sales advisors have the task of creating the chemistry of direct engagement. A good impression is mandatory, and goes beyond a good appearance and friendly demeanor. Successful sales advisors will be brand ambassadors and able to quickly discern the needs of the shopper. Women today demand a respectful, trusted advisor who is truly interested in finding the best car for her. How well does your sales team understand the nuances of Emotional Intelligence? Being able to perceive a woman’s emotions during the buying process can make the difference between a good sale and a lost sale – a reaction that ignites or fizzles. Sales advisors should be able to detect frustration and concern, which means they must be excellent listeners who understand that they are selling more than a car; they are selling the dealership and years of potential service. A woman client may be buying many things that go beyond transportation, including freedom, confidence or caring for her family.
F & I
Once a woman goes from shopper to buyer, the chemistry moves to the Finance and Insurance Department. This phase can be very stressful. Now she is dealing with a new personality, someone that may be more Type A and will not have the same personality as her sales ambassador. Did she get a fair price? Can she really afford the payments? Is this really the right decision? At this stage, a woman buyer will look for reassurance, a seamless transition and straightforward answers. If she perceives she is being coerced or her questions aren’t being answered to her satisfaction, she will become uncomftaorable; that can unravel the entire buying experience. Keeping it easy, being patient, and being a solution provider here is a must.
When the papers are signed, the next chemistry to develop is between a buyer and the service center. Again, she will interact another group of people and personas entirely. And she may not meet them until one or 3 or 5 months after she bought her vehicle. It can be like starting cold, but shouldn’t be. This critical relationship can deliver revenue to your dealership for five to eight years, and can result in your customer buying her next car from you as well. Getting a car serviced is rarely a welcome task, so it is very important to take steps to ensure convenience and comfort. A courtesy vehicle is a must, as well as a comfortable waiting area with Wi-Fi. Dealerships that build great chemistry go beyond the standard offerings and provide healthy snacks and beverages, PlayStations and child play areas as well as a workout room and business lounge. A waiting customer can be offered educational videos to learn more about her car and servicing. Consider adding retention programs like birthday cards and coupons, bring a friend events, women’s seminars and frequent customer rewards. When she picks up her car, she will thank you for that car wash and vacuum. Be sure she knows that the service you provide is trustworthy and safe.
All of the above suggestions contribute to your overall reputation, but how do you know if you have really created the right chemistry? A Director of Customer Experience can take a true pulse of your customer’s journey and chart course corrections if necessary. Solicit fair and accurate reviews, thanking and acknowledging your customer’s contribution to your dealership’s success and fostering transparency. Be sure to use reviews by and for women in your advertising, outbound emails, web site and social media.
Your Ideal Buyer
Last but by far not least is the chemistry of an ideal woman buyer. Not all buyers will fall into this category, but you and your staff have a real say in how close they come. With your dealership’s help, she can be confident and comfortable throughout her interactions. She can drive away in a car that she loves, feeling satisfied and excited about the purchase. She can feel comfortable communicating with your staff, and feel empowered knowing she has a thorough understanding of her car deal and your ongoing commitment to her satisfaction. If she has a question about her car deal, she knows exactly who to call. She is willing and eager to share her exceptional experience with others, and give glowing reviews and referrals. When it comes time to trade up, she doesn’t hesitate to return to your dealership for her next vehicle. And the chemistry continues.
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.