SVP, Marketing & Communications
The right customer experience (CX) technology is vital to helping dealerships beat competitors. Technology can help remove the friction between consumers and retailers with an improved shopping experience.
Over the last two years, the client and dealer experience has changed as fewer people are involved in each transaction with less staffing at dealerships. However, there is more profit per transaction, and dealers are experiencing higher sales and service revenue than ever before.
The customer experience has also changed with fewer dealer personnel interactions and more opportunities to research the purchase and transact online.
Customer experience technology will help dealers overcome today’s top dealership challenges:
Challenge 1: Your team isn’t effectively managing leads and customer questions.
Time still wins deals: 60 per cent of consumers said timely responses led them to their dealer of choice, according to Digital Air Strike’s 9th annual Automotive Customer Experience Trends Study. Artificial intelligent chat messaging keeps dealerships open 24/7 while engaging with customers and sharing positive reviews, hours of operation, and location in the messaging window.
Chatbots also ask and answer basic questions, schedule appointments, and more. Employees can come to the dealership in the morning with a fully-booked schedule and their customer questions answered.
Fast customer response is what customers demand, and many dealerships fall short of that expectation. Only 57 percent of vehicle buyers say the dealer responded to them within an hour from the initial inquiry.
Challenge 2: You have low inventory and need to get more pre-orders and trade-ins.
According to the 5,000 consumers surveyed in Digital Air Strike’s new trends study, one-third of vehicle buyers felt significantly impacted by the inventory shortage. Vehicle buyers are willing to pay deposits and wait to get the vehicle they want, so dealers need to advertise their pre-order options. Seventy-one percent of vehicle buyers waited up to three months to get their vehicle, and 50 per cent of vehicle buyers paid a deposit of $500 or more, according to the trends study.
Keep consumers engaged through the pre-order process by sending regular communications to update buyers on the progress of their vehicle from the time they placed their order through the build phase and until they take delivery. Use videos to highlight features on the vehicle to build anticipation and keep the customer excited about their upcoming new vehicle.
Dealers can leverage several tactics to increase used car inventory, including incentivizing sales and service employees to acquire vehicles, hosting end-of-lease turn-in events, and social media promotions letting everyone know the dealership
buys cars from customers.
Challenge 3: You’re struggling to recruit new employees.
Dealers have to rethink the old ways of hiring to succeed in 2022. Seventy-nine percent of job seekers use social media during their search, so posting about your open positions and company culture on your social sites will reach an audience actively looking to work.
An excellent social media recruiting strategy also includes sharing posts that emphasize the benefits of working at your dealership and celebrating long-time employees. Hence, job seekers see career opportunities. Also, take advantage of the power of Google by including open positions, employee reviews, and more on the dealership’s Google Business Profile.
More Trends & Tips from 5,000 Vehicle Buyers & Service Customers
Digital Air Strike surveys verified car buyers and service customers every year to help dealers better understand the customer experience and how consumers ultimately select a dealership for their purchase or service. Request the 9th annual Automotive Customer Experience Trends Study to get more information.
As the senior vice-president of marketing and communications, Christina Wofford brings more than two decades of experience in journalism, marketing, communications, and public relations to Digital Air Strike. Christina is responsible for all marketing and lead generation efforts, including earned media and event planning.