According to a 2016 survey, Millennials and Gen X shoppers would choose a root canal or house cleaning over negotiating with a car dealer. Five out of ten car shoppers interviewed said dealerships made them feel anxious or uncomfortable, and many shoppers left feeling pressured into making purchases they didn’t need.
No business would choose to create an atmosphere that leaves customers feeling taken advantage of, especially in the 21st Century. Modern consumers are more brand loyal than previous generations, and they’re more likely to be repeat buyers when they’re happy with the customer experience. That’s especially true when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. According to Cox Automotive’s 2018 Car Buyer Journey report, 4 in 10 consumers prefer to shop at a dealership where they have previous experience.
How can you set your business apart from those old-fashioned car dealerships that make auto buying so difficult for consumers? Try these marketing tips to establish your dealership as the logical choice and win lifelong brand loyalists.
Improve your customer experience
Out of 4,002 consumers surveyed by Autotrader, only 17 are satisfied with the current car buying process. If you’re looking for a place to begin improving your dealership’s brand standing, start by honestly examining your process and making it more customer-friendly. The payoff for your CX efforts will be substantial. More than 6 in 10 consumers surveyed by Autotrader said they’d be more likely to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience, and more than 5 in 10 said they would be willing to pay more for a more desirable customer experience.
Streamline processes through online interactions
While most customers rate the test-driving process positively, satisfaction begins to drop when sales and financing get involved. It’s not hard to understand why. Of the three-hour average time spent at a dealership during the purchase process, more than half the time is spent on negotiations and papers. Integrating deal structuring into your website offers a way to expedite the auto buyer journey, personalize interactions, capture valuable lead information, and improve CX.
Enhance your web presence
Modern consumers prefer to do their own research before making a major purchase like a vehicle. They rely heavily on third-party sites like Autotrader and Blue Book for a big picture view of the market, and as they narrow down their preferences, they begin to look at dealership websites. One way to improve CX is to create an online experience that is both informative and seamless. Your website should be accessible from any size device, and your content should provide useful educational resources that help visitors choose your dealership over others.
Build your local SEO
While it’s true that most car shoppers start their search online, 84% still want to buy a car in person, and 83% find local service networks appealing. To ensure your dealership stands out online, focus your search engine optimization on targeting your ideal local market. Geotargeting improves rank in both text and voice-based searches, and it’s critical for driving foot traffic to your showroom.
Create a virtual test drive experience via video
More and more consumers are turning to YouTube as part of their car buying process, so consider making this one of your dealership touchpoints. Videos of test drives, features and options, and walkthroughs doubled between 2016 and 2017, and 70% of car shoppers who used YouTube were influenced by what they watched, according to V12Data. Try showcasing your most engaging salespeople and happiest customers in videos that provide useful information on popular makes and models for buyers.
Drive results with Morgan & Co.
New Orleans-based media company Morgan & Co. has decades of experience in media planning and buying. We produce smart marketing strategies supported by analytics that capture the true return on our investments. Let our team help you develop a comprehensive strategy for setting your dealership apart from the competition.