When it comes to auto dealer online marketing, there are plenty of digital tools that can help you connect with customers. But don’t rely too heavily on technology to fulfill your customer service functions.

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Savvy shoppers know the difference between an automatic form-letter reply and a personalized message from a sales team member.

 

The following auto dealer online marketing tips can help you strengthen your communication and make a better first impression with potential customers.

 

Improve Response Times

 

A shopper who submits an inquiry online is a qualified lead – but only if you respond to that inquiry quickly. Most dealerships respond to online inquiries within three to five hours, but shoppers expect a reply in 30 minutes or less. Don’t risk losing a lead to a competitor, because of a slow response time.

 

Personalize Follow-up Messages

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CRM software helps dealerships automatically respond to customer inquiries, and while that initial acknowledgment is important, it’s the follow-up message that can have the most impact.

CRM software helps dealerships automatically respond to customer inquiries, and while that initial acknowledgment is important, it’s the follow-up message that can have the most impact.

 

California-based mystery shopping company Pied Piper Management conducted a 2013 study of response times and messages from 11,353 dealerships.

 

The company’s CEO, Fran O’Hagan, told Automotive News that more than half failed to provide quality responses via email. And after the initial automatic replay, in many instances, “… the salesman sends the e-mail equivalent of a form letter.”

 

Don’t use email templates for follow-up replies. Your sales team should take the time to create personable, individualized responses to each inquiry.

 

Give Shoppers Contact Options

 

Communication styles are evolving all the time. Some people don’t have a landline in their home and prefer to communicate mainly via text message. When shoppers send you an inquiry, let them tell you how they want to communicate – by phone, text or email.



Create Strong Customer Service Policies

 

Shoppers, more than likely, will spend a good amount of time doing research online before they begin seriously considering buying a car.

 

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Shoppers, more than likely, will spend a good amount of time doing research online before they begin seriously considering buying a car.

They’ll likely only contact a dealership when they’re about ready to buy – and some of them may even prefer to call you, rather than inquire via email. Your dealership must be prepared to handle incoming emails and calls promptly and professionally.

 

Jenkins & Wynne, a dealership in Clarksville, Tenn., has put a lot of effort into improving its phone call performance. The company has a policy that employees should transfer calls to an extension only if they’re certain someone is at that extension to take the call.

 

Jenkins & Wynne also uses call monitoring software, to determine what aspects of communication need improvement, and the company mandates monthly phone skills training for its staff.

 

Auto dealer online marketing can help your dealership succeed, but only if it’s supported by professional and personalized communication.

 


Want to learn more about automotive website solutions that can help you capture more leads through your dealership’s website? Download our FREE Automotive Website Optimization e-guide now!