Your company’s reputation matters. This may be stating the obvious but the concept of the customer experience has become so prevalent that by 2020, many industry experts believe that companies will be competing solely on customer experience.
When it comes to selling cars, dealerships already have an up-hill battle. Most consumers view the car buying experience as less than ideal at best. There is even research that says people would rather go to a dentist than a car dealer! They expect the process to be aggravating, based on their experience as well as that of friends and family.
Shoppers are bombarded daily by ads promising the best car, the best price, the best service – most of which is contrary to their experience. Consumers will avoid going into a dealership until they are really ready to buy. This deprives the dealer the opportunity to engage with the customer prior to the sale.
“geofencing targets every mobile device within a dealership’s proximity. More innovative approaches can now match mobile devices to actual consumers in order to identify shoppers who have visited a dealer’s lot within the previous 24-48 hours.”
Fuel Better Experiences with an Integrated Customer View
Dealerships must work to understand their customers’ pain points and to implement strategies to resolve these issues in the overall experience. However, mitigating bad experiences is not enough to sustain a competitive advantage. Consumers want to be wowed and will choose the dealership that best caters to their expectations.
A study by Total Dealer Compliance, a car dealership compliance-auditing firm, looked at the importance of the complaint resolution process as part of the overall experience. The survey found that over 55% of consumers who submitted a complaint were dissatisfied with the resolution provided. “When asked what the biggest pain point was when submitting a complaint to a car dealership, over 50% said it was the car dealerships’ obvious lack of desire to resolve the issue. With the industry recognized for unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices, nearly 80% of respondents believe that customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to the dealership when they have a clearly stated complaint resolution process.”
Providing integrated, end-to-end experiences begins – and ends – with the customer. From the initial point of contact with the dealership, throughout the sales process and post-sales communications, every touch point must be optimized. Providing a highly-personalized experience in which the customer feels valued means using data insights to establish a comprehensive customer-view.
Integrating first-party data such as contact details, customer service records, website inquiries, and so forth with additional third-party data elements will allow the creation of a richer customer view. These consolidated insights will enhance a dealer’s knowledge of the customer journey, support the delivery of personalized and relevant campaigns, and prevent breakdowns in the customer experience.
Examples of third-party data elements that can enhance the view of the customer include:
VIN Marketing Data
Specialized auto data provides detailed information on vehicles and their owners such as:
- Make, model and year of the vehicle they are currently driving
- Data such as in-market for a new vehicle, segmented wealth modeling, email addresses, and full VIN
- Selections such as engine size, fuel type, drive train, engine block, and engine cylinders
- Validated contact details such as emails and phone numbers
You may be missing important details to help you understand your customer’s wants, likes, preferences, and so on. For example, you may want to know which households have children (“may be time to upgrade to a larger vehicle”), who has a teen driver in the house (“time for a first car”), or who is interested in the outdoors (“this new model of truck just came out”).
Details such as income, marital status, occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, and age are some examples of demographics that can be used to create targeted marketing messages to which your consumers are most apt to relate.
New Mover Data
According to a Zillow survey, new movers are 90% more likely than established residents to purchase a car within the first year of their move. Consider these additional statistics regarding movers and automotive businesses:
- Auto dealers and repair shops rank among the top five most-sought-after gift certificates included within new mover marketing welcoming packages
- Hundreds of auto retailers and repair shops nationwide generate an average monthly response rate of 12% using new mover marketing programs
- Auto-focused new mover offers like “one free oil change” and “one free car wash” rank among the top 10 best-performing offers
Imminent Auto Purchase Intenders
With advancements in mobile targeting, auto purchase intenders can now be identified based on actual dealership visit activity. Traditional mobile targeting is limited to only being able to target mobile devices, not the person. For example, geofencing targets every mobile device within a dealership’s proximity. More innovative approaches can now match mobile devices to actual consumers in order to identify shoppers who have visited a dealer’s lot within the previous 24-48 hours.
Consumers are constantly leaving clues as to who they are, what they like, and what they’ll buy next. When these insights are gathered and analyzed, dealerships have the opportunity to personalize outreach and target new customers before the competition may even be aware that they are in market. And with 86% of consumers stating that personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions, taking the time to develop a personalized customer experience will pay off every time.
Author: Kelly Idol
Kelly Idol, SVP, Data Sales for V12 Data, has more than 30 years of experience developing custom-fit data solutions for businesses, associations, universities, and market research organizations.