It is almost impossible to believe that Christmas is just 2 days away. This was the longest, slowest, fastest, and most confusing year for many people, and those of us in automotive were not exempt from that.
Who knows what 2021 will bring, but I am willing to bet that most of you are more concerned with ending 2020 as strong as possible. Limited inventory and spikes in cases can feel daunting, but here are some solutions or processes that should be on every dealerships wish list
Make sure that all customer facing team members have a form of virtual communication--and one that you can monitor. Customers are looking for even more information remotely than ever before, and many don’t want to come into the dealership until they are ready to complete paperwork. And while some still want to test drive the vehicle, there is a growing population that will purchase (especially new vehicles) without a test drive, or possibly without ever seeing the car in person until it is delivered or they pick it up.
That leaves a lot of information, discussion, relational building up to a virtual setting. Are you prepared and do you have the tools?
Virtual Communication Tools:
Here are some initial suggestions and explanations of why these tools are necessary now and into 2021.
Yes, this is pretty basic. Doesn't everyone text their customers? I would hope so since text has a much higher open and response rate than emails. However--is your team using a tool within the CRM or an app that you can monitor? Or are they texting directly off their personal phone?
If you don’t have a solution for texting, you need to invest and this is why:
- You cannot monitor the conversation between the salesperson and the customer if it is all housed on their personal phone.
- If the salesperson does not leave good notes in the CRM, there is no record of what the customer was interested in. If that salesperson is not at the dealership when the customer comes in, the process will have to begin from square one (which would drive me crazy as a consumer)
- If the salesperson leaves, so does your book of business.
1-1 Video Communication
Previously sales relied heavily on creating relationships at the dealership. The right salesperson with the right attitude, showing the right vehicle is the formula we were so accustomed to. Customers now are looking online, and then expecting better, faster, more specific information. And video is the best way to deliver that message. Imagine instead of sending a auto-response from your CRM, you set a video welcoming the customer to ABC Motors. And then that is followed up by a short video of their vehicle of interest with your salesperson introducing herself. All of this can be quick and easy to do--but you have to start.
FaceTIme is one way to communicate with customers, but that can also seem invasive unless they are completely prepared and request it. THere are many solutions that will help you build that relationship with the customer and, again, offer transparency with the team and the ability to view the video communications, and if you are looking for suggestions, or would like to hear what we use on a daily basis, reach out and we can help find exactly what you need!
Video Creation for YouTube and Social Media
Another way to connect and interact with consumers is with video that you have created that lives on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok--any platform that showcases walkarounds, tech highlights, Why Buy videos--information consumers are looking for online.
92% of consumers who stated they were buying a car in the next 6 months used YouTube to help in that search process. 92%. Do you have information on your channel, or have you ignored it?
Make sure that this year, you focus on video--specifically YouTube. Creating content does not need much more than an iphone, a good editing app (I like Quik and Splice), and some time to practice. Once you get content on YouTube (and make sure to have a solid title, description, and link to your website for SEO value), you can start making a playlist for the customers. Then, while texting a customer about a specific model they are interested in, you could send over the link to all the walkarounds on your YouTube channel. Or if a customer is messaging you on Facebook, you can send a link to the playlist on your Facebook page.
Once you get into the habit of creating original content (which is what the majority of consumers look at on YouTube), this process will become second nature, and your video skills will be better than ever!
Things to Remember:
- Perfection is not the key--being real and organic is.
- Customers are coming on-lot less and asking for more information. Surprise and delight them with the best video customer experience
- If you are looking for video solutions for 1-1 communication, reach out and we can help!