We live in a world of empowered consumers. They say when, where, and how they’ll buy the products they’re interested in, and businesses everywhere are working to meet their needs and win out over the competition. Today’s consumers are connected online—to businesses and each other—and your dealership stands to gain quite a bit based on how you interact with and respond to these shoppers.
Your online audience is closer than you think, and they’re looking for very specific things when they decide to do business with you. They want to build strong relationships and connect in meaningful ways—and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing when you reach out and share with them online. They’re not looking for a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather personalized, thoughtful interactions that convey your genuine interest in their needs.
In the State of the Connected Customer Report, the numbers tell a story about shopper expectations regarding personalization and service:
- 66% of consumers surveyed said they would consider switching brands if they felt they were treated like a number, rather than an individual.
- 57% replied they would share data with businesses in exchange for receiving personalized offers and discounts.
- 71% of those surveyed said they are favorably influenced by businesses that offer customer service any day, any time.
- 73% responded they are likely to switch brands if service across departments is inconsistent.
To break it down, consumers are looking for consistency, an excellent brand experience, and personalization throughout your interactions. Seem like a tall order? Are consumers asking for everything but the moon? Not really. When you consider the technology and information that’s available to you, it’s feasible to offer a top-quality, personalized shopper experience without working up too much of a sweat. By leveraging the data you already have and upping the ante where your internal communication is concerned, you can have your entire dealership on track to connect with consumers and build relationships that will reinforce the fact that you’re the right dealership for them.
Time to Get Digital
Dealerships are known for reaching consumers via traditional marketing like direct-mail fliers, TV spots, radio, and even the occasional newspaper ad, but the quick pace of today’s shoppers means businesses need to get digital to be more effective. Modern marketing strategies available to dealerships today offer plenty of benefits, including quantifiable results that can guide future campaign strategies. If you’re still wondering how digital marketing can help your dealership stand out from the crowd, consider the following:
- You’ll stay connected with online and mobile consumers. The impression your dealership makes is important. 88% of consumers who search for local businesses via mobile end up going to that business within 24 hours, so it’s essential you optimize for mobile and positively impact shoppers. This is a great way for you to stay in touch with consumers, so let them know your sites are easy to use and full of the content they’re looking for.
- Online interactions are trackable. Not only can you measure the impact you have on your audience, you can also see exactly how your reach is expanding, who’s sharing your content, and what you may need to tweak to gain even more traction. In today’s fast-paced market, numbers and data are powerful; they can be the key to helping your dealership soar above the competition.
- You can precision-target your marketing. With traditional marketing strategies, like billboards, dealerships put material out for everyone to see, but they’re left not knowing exactly who they’ve impacted. If 500 cars drive past a billboard, an advertisement may only capture the attention of 5 consumers—or it may capture the attention of 150 consumers. The problem is that the effectiveness of the billboard isn’t quantifiable. Digital strategies allow businesses to direct their content and messaging directly toward specific consumer groups, based on interests, shopping patterns, and demographics—and then measure the success of their campaigns.
- You get authentic consumer interaction. By beginning a conversation with consumers and building relationships, your dealership will become a valuable resource. Rather than the one-way communication that’s common with traditional marketing, with digital marketing, your consumers get the opportunity to reply, ask questions, and even share your materials with others in their social circles.
- You can offer real-time customer service. 97% of global consumers say customer service is key to earning their brand loyalty. In fact, self-help customer service is growing in popularity—so when your dealership offers things like easy-to-find FAQs and live chat, you’ll be meeting the need for speed and efficiency that drives a majority of today’s shoppers. By ensuring your dealership offers trusted online support, you can significantly improve the customer experience and build better relationships.
It’s important to remember consumers are interacting in an online space and building relationships with each other and with businesses they’re interested in supporting. For dealerships, it’s imperative to focus on building a strong online presence and lean into modern shopper needs for connected buying experiences and personalized interactions.
You can streamline the process and ensure your dealership is ready to meet consumer expectations by investing in technology to help you offer the most comprehensive and individualized communication. AutoAlert’s One-to-One Intelligent Marketing platform is a multi-channel, integrated solution that offers dealers powerful data mining, as well as precision-targeted, personalized consumer communications. On top of that, dealers get real-time tracking and reporting, allowing them to continuously measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
In a crowded marketplace, today’s shoppers want to know they’re heard, understood, and capturing your attention. You’ll be miles ahead of the competition when you engage consumers with modern, personalized communication that speaks directly to their specific needs.
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.