The growing importance of video as a way to engage customers is difficult to deny. According to a think with Google report, video walkthroughs are one of the top three types of content that car shoppers like to watch.

When most auto marketers think of video walkthroughs, they think of a professionally produced video that can be displayed on their website and sent in emails. Those are certainly great to have, but videos don’t have to be pre-packaged or professional to be effective.

Some innovative salespeople are using their smartphones to perform live video walkthroughs while they have the prospect on the line!

When a prospect calls to ask if a dealership still has a vehicle in stock, salespeople will often respond in the affirmative and ask the prospect to come in for an appointment or test drive. When the prospect hesitates or says they just want to know a price, the salesperson is in danger of losing them. One way to build rapport and keep that prospect on the phone is to do a live video walkthrough using your cell phone. If you’re close to the vehicle, offer to do it on the spot. If not, offer to call the prospect back in a few minutes.

To perform a live walkthrough, you’ll need a video chat app on your smartphone. The iPhone’s integrated video chat app is FaceTime. If you have an Android or Windows smartphone, the best apps to use are Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber or Tango. It’s a good idea to have several apps on your phone and to know how to use them all. That way, odds are good you will have a video chat app that is compatible with your prospect.

While it’s possible to do video chat calls using a cellular data plan, it’s not very practical. Video eats up data like nobody’s business, and data is expensive. To offer this type of service to your customers, your dealership will need an external WiFi network.

More dealers are installing outdoor wireless networks to accommodate the growing number of people with their connected devices. For a salesperson out on the lot with customers, it’s great to be able to look up pricing information, message their manager or find the answer to any question using a mobile tablet.

Video is a great way to engage customers and just maybe, get them excited enough about the vehicle to want to come in for a test drive. What do you think?  Have you ever performed a live video walkthrough and what kinds of results did you have?

Author: Erik Nachbahr, CISSP

Greg Geodakyan is the Chief Product Officer at Client Command. He leverages 20+ years of technology and decade of automotive experience to deliver cutting edge shopper identification and omni-channel marketing solutions that drive efficient and effective results for dealers.

Digital Dealer