By Steve Roessler, Chief Evangelist Officer, DriveCentric
Digital experiences are no longer just a part of our business; How your dealership engages customers in digital environments is equally, if not more important, than showroom experiences in 2021.
The future path to increased profits starts with a solid foundation of technology. But it’s the buying experience you provide that makes all the difference with today’s shoppers.
So, how do we deliver the engaging experiences consumers want?
Embrace the Power of Hyper-Personalized Conversations
Auto shoppers have more choices than ever before. According to McKinsey, 70% of the customer buying experience is determined by how they feel they have been treated.
Hyper-personalized conversations are critical to remaining competitive in today’s shopping environment. Engaging customers along their car buying journey requires tracking and understanding shopper behavior.
The average dealership collects thousands of customer data points, but 60% still struggle to execute an effective personalization strategy.
One of the reasons for this is because, without the right dealership CRM, it’s often challenging to find the hottest leads. And this makes it tough to reply with customized messages that fit your buyer’s preferences.
If you can’t rely on your CRM to aggregate your customer data, activities, and conversations in one place so that your team can engage in real-time, then it’s time for a change.
To turn a conversation into an engaging experience, here is an easy checklist that you can use:
- Highly-personalized to the customer journey – Use your customer data to gather key insights that help you engage shoppers with tailor-made conversations and messages that answer their questions.
- Communicate like a trusted friend – If you want to build relationships, empower your sales team to communicate with engaging text messages and personalized videos that result in meaningful conversations. Using a customer’s preferred method of communication is key.
- Lean into AI for real-time interactions – Buyers want information delivered according to their schedule. Don’t be fooled by buzzwords. Lean on artificial intelligence tools with conversational response capabilities. This way, if a consumer interacts with the dealership online when the sales team is currently serving other customers, you can still quickly and effectively respond via AI tools.
- Mobile is mandatory – Mobile tools that make it easy to engage from anywhere are essential to giving your sales team the competitive edge. If you value quick responses and the ability to work deals from anywhere, then mobile CRM cannot be an afterthought.
- Strengthen your social reputation – As word-of-mouth referrals move to digital spaces, don’t let social conversations and online reviews overshadow your brand. Look for technology that fully-integrates social media to expand your reach and meet customers where they spend the most time online.
- Seamless experiences win – Providing first-class, omnichannel retail is just as critical as brick-and-mortar experience. If you’re not offering shoppers a seamless experience from online to onsite visits – your competitors will.
Shift to an Engagement Mindset
To enhance customer communication, employees must shift to a task-driven mindset of consistently engaging customers with informative, genuine responses to build relationships. Doing so will result in better customer experiences and increases in gross profits.
About the Author
Steve Roessler serves as Chief Evangelist Officer of DriveCentric, a leading provider of dealership software solutions. With over 25 years of expertise servicing customers, Steve’s passion is helping dealers embrace new technology and long-term strategies that drive sales and market share growth while providing an exceptional customer experience. Steve is recognized as one of the most prominent voices in automotive advocating for dealerships, customers and the community. With his infectious personality, audiences enjoy a learning environment that’s fun, inclusive and informative.