With digital marketing transforming at a rapid pace, everyone has become more discerning online. Shoppers do 80% of the buying process digitally, so they’re looking for websites that make that as easy as possible. They prioritize a great experience, even over lowest price. This means that dealerships are always looking for tools that can both respond to customer needs in real-time and provide more transparent ROI tracking. Across the board, the chase for better is on.
The good news is that when it comes to conversion solutions, the ones that help customers have a great experience are actually the best for your ROI because they encourage loyalty, engagement, and conversion. Advances in machine learning means accessing, organizing, and using data becomes easier all the time.
The bad news is that many tools do not make the cut: instead of helping customers and dealerships achieve goals, they throw up obstacles that hold them back. So let’s take a close look at some of the most common conversion pitfalls. If any of the tools on your dealership website commits one of these cardinal sins, consider if they can be better optimized or if it’s time to part ways:
They show up at the worst time and won’t go away
Every customer on your dealership website has a goal, whether to browse VDPs, book service, or simply find directions to your store. Picture a customer looking for your opening hours, scrolling across your tabs and menus to find it, when suddenly a special offer on a new truck appears– “I don’t even like trucks” – blocking the screen. Instead of enticing this shopper, this offer literally gets in their way while they were trying to do something else. What’s worse, oftentimes multiple popups appear at the same time, like flies to swat away. Many tools are difficult to dismiss. This is like having a shopper come into your showroom to ask for help with financing, and having a salesperson block their path and insist that they get an oil change. Any conversion opportunity on your website should utilize customer data to optimize timing so that engagements appear at relevant, helpful times. Then, they should record customer feedback in your CRM for continual improvement for future shoppers.
They’re not personalize
In a similar vein, the tools on your website should be personalized to each shopper’s interest. Consider a customer who keeps returning to the same VDP, intrigued by a vehicle but unsure if they can afford it. In this case, a well-timed special offer could be what gets them to move forward. On the other hand, if a first-time visitor is looking for service and that same offer pops up, it’s not only not helpful– it actually alienates that customer: 74% of shoppers get frustrated with non-personalized website content. However, on the flipside, with personalization, 77% of customers will choose, recommend, or pay more for your brand. Tools that personalize content for each shopper provide the experience customers expect. Even better, personalization tracks user behavior more efficiently, providing your follow up team with richer lead data in the CRM.
The first type of redundancy to avoid is multiple tools that all offer similar, or even identical, opportunities. It’s still very common for dealership websites to feature various text and chat tools simultaneously. The goal is to give customers more opportunities to engage, but ultimately, the effect is the opposite: it overwhelms the consumer. If a shopper wants to chat, they’re now faced with the friction of having too many choices for doing the same thing. If the shopper is not looking for one-to-one help, this can feel like multiple pushy salespeople. And, if a shopper does engage with more than one of these interactions, your dealership receives repetitive or “bad” data. Better to encourage a wider variety of digital touchpoints that both help customers progress and send you richer, precise data. Seeing different customer touchpoints– when they engaged chat, when they looked for an e-price, when they booked an appointment– will provide more valuable data for better follow-up and strategizing.
A second redundancy is when customers are asked for information they have already submitted. For example, let’s say George converts on a limited-time offer, filling in his name and contact info. Then he decides to click a “Value My Trade,” only to have to enter the same information again. This is roughly equivalent to calling customer service, being passed to different representatives, and having to repeat yourself multiple times. It gives the impression of a disjointed process, when customers are seeking one that’s smooth and seamless. Look for tools that are streamlined and avoid repetition.
They ask a lot, but don’t provide enough value in return
Customers are actually willing to provide their personal information– as long as they feel they are getting real value in return. The problem is when the value doesn’t balance out the ask.
Again, the key here is to think about what the customer wants to accomplish. A shopper clicks on an e-price button, hoping for efficiency, privacy, and a solid answer. Too often, though, the form takes forever to fill out and the numbers still elude. Or consider chat. It’s designed to answer questions, but does it actually answer them? How fast is it? Does it require personal information right away?
Any time you ask for something, it has to be worth the customer’s while; make it quick, relevant, and easy.
Their CTAs are confusing
Conversion tools should be effortlessly easy to understand. This means they should have clear language, consistent CTAs, and helpful images. I recently saw a Value Your Trade CTA with the text “Learn More.” Someone valuing their trade doesn’t want to learn more– they want to know their trade value. Here, a CTA of “value my trade” or “get estimate” work much better. The clearer your CTAs, the more likely customers are to convert because the buttons should directly relate to the action intended.
So now you’ve gone through your list of vendors and ticked off all the boxes. What about the final question– results? If your conversion solutions provide a great experience for your customers, that’s half the battle, but at the end of the day, they have to prove concrete value to your dealership. So be sure to assess your tools’ performance by setting goals and benchmarks together with your vendors, and evaluating at regular intervals. Verify that you have access to the data you need to assess ROI accurately, including duplicate leads, traffic source and user behavior on your site. Streamline your data into a single dashboard or location so you can analyze it accurately. And use your data to constantly optimize your tools– or decide they’re not worth your while.
At the end of the day, your conversion solutions need to serve your customers and they need to serve you. Demand the best and keep only the ones that improve your customer journeys, help you provide a seamless experience, and give you the greatest value.
Author: Ilana Shabtay
Ilana Shabtay is an expert in sales, inbound marketing, and business development. She is constantly thinking about how to perfect conversion funnels to build brand awareness and turn leads into sales. As Head of Business Development, Ilana works to build relationships and find mutually valuable partner solutions. She contributes thought leadership for tech companies in and out of the automotive industry. EMAIL:email@example.com