Lessons From The Auto Industry For Everyone

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Auto dealerships and car salespeople notoriously have dealt with a bad rap. However, most of today’s dealerships and sales teams are about customer experience. 

Dealers know their reputation matters more than ever to keep consumers away from their competitors online and down the street. Since the pandemic started, auto dealers have made great strides in providing an “Amazon experience” to consumers by giving them easy access online to the information they want – including the right vehicle – as well as simple ways to schedule appointments to make the purchase or service experience easier and faster. 

Sound familiar? These are the challenges every business is seeking to solve. 

Here are the lessons auto dealers have learned that all businesses should be following to drive a better consumer experience: 

Pay attention to your online reputation

Dealerships know they have stiff competition and that consumers have many options to buy that next vehicle. Consumers are researching and selecting dealers based solely on online searches and reviews. In fact, 93% of vehicle buyers and 87% of service customers said online review sites helped in their dealership selection process, according to Digital Air Strike’s 9th Annual Automotive Customer Experience Trends Study.

Reviews are implied endorsements of your business, so having technology that can quickly request reviews from happy customers by email and text message is a quick way to get more positive feedback on public review sites such as Google and Facebook. 

How you respond to positive and negative reviews shows other consumers your level of customer service and the value you place in the entire customer experience. 

Make sure your store is easily found online

Dealerships have stiff competition online, like most other businesses, so you want your company to show up before your competitors. According to the study of the trends, 60% of vehicle buyers say Google is their No. 1 source for dealership research and reviews. Every company should have an updated Google Business Profile to ensure consumers access accurate, updated information on the first page of search results. The profile provides a one-stop shop to read reviews, answer frequently asked questions, see photos of the business, find specials and announcements, and have an easy way to contact the company.  

Provide a 24/7 customer experience

Consumers are online at all hours of the day. They want their questions answered quickly, they want to schedule appointments for the next day, and they want to be acknowledged. Your physical store or office may be closed, but don’t let this deter you. The best way to provide this 24/7 experience is through artificial intelligence. AI chat messaging on your website, Facebook, and text message engages with your customers, asks and answers various questions, schedules appointments, and much more. Many auto dealerships even use AI to send price quotes to car buyers. Let AI do the heavy lifting for your team 24/7. 

Make building customer loyalty an essential part of your business

After the transaction, ensure you are asking for feedback. Address the negative responses quickly, always thank those who provide positive feedback, and have an easy way for those happy customers to post their positive comments publicly. While you can’t pay for positive reviews, you can have a “thank you” contest where positive reviews have a chance to win something – a gift card, discount, or special offer. Keep customers coming back by promoting your special offers, posting more photos from your business, and alerting customers of newly available inventory or services. Use simple text blasts to alert your customers about what’s new. Texting has fast become the preferred method of communication and has a 45% response rate compared to just 8% for emails. 

Implementing CX technology for your business provides for a better customer experience and supports your employees so they can focus on what they do best. 

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