Aust & NZ
10th Aug 2021

Six Things Every Dealership Must Consider for Today’s Consumer

#1 Clean Your Database

Have you assessed your customer data in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system lately? An effective CRM empowers your marketing and sales team to store customer data, develop customer relationships and speed up the sales cycle. It should also improve targeted marketing efforts such as service reminders, loyalty discounts and offers that are tied to the end of a warranty.

The driving force behind any successful marketing campaign is based on accurate and insightful data. Duplicate information and invalid entries in your database compromise data quality and can result in sales and marketing inefficiencies, decreased customer retention and revenue loss.

It’s now time to get your data quality back on track. Start by identifying any discrepancies in your CRM. There is no better time to do it than now. Next is to maintain a clean database, which means you’ll need to have proper processes in place. Identify a list of rules and educate all your CRM users on the importance of your customer data.

#2 Reassure Your Customers

In a time with so much uncertainty, you’ll need to reassure your customers that your business isn’t going anywhere. Keep a calm tone with a positive message to ensure your customers know that you have a COVID-safe plan in place to continue operating. You can communicate to your customers through your website, email marketing, social media and SMS. Here are some points to consider:

  • Can customers still reach you during the lockdown period?
  • Should your customer be expecting delays in response, service, etc.?
  • If you are forced to temporarily close your dealership, what services are you still providing during this time and how can they get those done?
  • Are you offering touchless payment options for service and accessory sales?
  • Changes to trading hours, new policies, pick-up, drop-off and car delivery

#3 Improve Your Online Presence

Social media and streaming trends were accelerated by COVID-19. Due to increased remote work and social distancing, odds are high that users will continue to spend more time on these platforms. You need to join in the conversation, get involved in relevant groups and increase your online content today.

Below are some points to consider that will help improve your online presence:

  • Launch a business page on Facebook
  • Build trust with customer reviews
  • Invest in paid Google or social ads
  • Experiment with photo and video content
  • Optimise your website for mobile devices
  • Use analytics tools to track how your site is performing

#4 Sell Differently

The use of public transportation has declined for the fear of infection transmission, which means private vehicles are preferred. Many dealers have quickly adapted to online methods in reaching out to customers, enabling online walkthroughs and car delivery to customers’ homes.

Strategise with your senior managers to understand how to best support your sales team in the near and long term of operating in a constrained world due to lockdowns and government restrictions:

  • Will email and marketing automation play a larger role in the sales funnel development?
  • Are you allowing your customers to take a car home risk-free for 3 days and bring it back with no questions asked?
  • Are you promoting contactless delivery approach?
  • Are you offering deferred payment in your service department?

#5 Focus on Marketing Automation

If you’re able to successfully interact with potential buyers and acquire their email address, you have a good opportunity to nurture them through to final purchase. Forbes suggested that marketing automation is one of the most valuable tools that the modern day marketer can employ and yet this has only been adopted by less than 10% of businesses.

It’s important that you target the right people for each campaign that you’re running. Marketing strategy for luxury cars versus used or more affordable cars like Honda and Toyota can be very different. The prospective customers’ concerns, needs, and wants can differ in this case.

Have you also automated your lapsed service campaigns and retention programs? For dealerships with multiple sites, are you currently managing all your targeted marketing in a single platform? Does your system also allow you to optimise on omni-channel marketing, which allows you to interact with your customers across different types of online mediums?

#6 Get Creative

With new vehicle sales continue to grow, it’s now time to take risks and be creative with your marketing tactics. Having a unique way to market your cars and services makes you stand out from your competition. Not to mention, there is no better time than now to start drawing in new customers and bring them into your loyalty program.

  • Are you promoting any unique offerings or special limited-time offer to create a sense of urgency?
  • Are you using video marketing? i.e. Help your service team answer easy maintenance questions through an informative Q&A series or get your sales team to do a series of step-by-step videos on how to use certain features of the vehicles.
  • Have you implemented live chat features on your website?

Have fun with your creative route and start a brainstorming session with your team today!

If you’d like to discuss any of these tips further, please contact your local Business Relationship Manager today.