As marketing becomes increasingly digital, customers expect immediate responses and personalized assistance for their unique and specific needs, especially when making a bigger purchase like a vehicle. According to Evergage, 88% of U.S. marketers reported measurable improvements due to personalization efforts, with more than half reporting improvements of more than 10%.
With such tangible improvements that come with personalization, dealerships that don’t embrace this tactic can be losing leads without even knowing it.
But personalizing your customers’ sales experience doesn’t need to be difficult. You can turn to technology to make personalization take care of itself.
How to Personalize a Deal
Personalization is all about making sure your customers feel like their specific needs and concerns are being properly addressed, and your customers aren’t going to feel that way if your dealership isn’t responding promptly.
While it’s not exactly feasible to have staff members up at 3 a.m. to answer questions from late-night shoppers, what is feasible is integrating intelligent messaging technology into your dealership’s marketing strategy.
In a recent survey, we found 73% of customers reported they’ve used intelligent messaging, and 89% of those customers indicated their experience was positive.
These statistics can be attributed to the seamless customer experience intelligent messaging provides at all hours of the day. This means that, no matter what time it is, your leads will be having a meaningful interaction with your dealership when they’re most interested in buying.
In other words, it captures your leads while they’re still hot.
Intelligent messaging is a win-win for customers and dealerships alike: customers get to interact on their schedule, and dealerships get to guide online leads down the sales funnel without being taken away from in-person customers.
To make the experience even more personal, intelligent messaging should be implemented where your customers can expect to reach you. That means your dealership’s website, Facebook Messenger and text message. Instead of your customers blindly calling your dealership and hoping for a response, customers can choose their preferred method of communication, send a message any hour of the day, and get a quality response immediately.
Our study confirmed that 90% of customers ages 18 to 54 use Facebook Messenger regularly, and 47% preferred to contact a dealership online. With an increasing number of people flocking to online messaging tools to engage with sales staff, dealerships should provide multiple points of contact to suit each customer’s personal preference.
As the Leads Pour In
So what happens after your leads reach out through an intelligent messaging tool? Depending on what each customer needs, these tools can provide tailored information to suit his or her requests. This can include customized price quotes, personal vehicle recommendations, dealer incentives, financing options, the ability to get accurate trade-in values, read positive reviews, watch videos and more — all through the intelligent messenger chat window.
However, that isn’t to say that your staff members can’t take over at any time. Instead, the intelligent messenger can automatically redirect conversations to the right contacts at your dealership. Team members are notified via email, text, or push notification and can respond from any device if needed. This takes the weight off sales staff until the lead is ready to take the next steps in their vehicle purchasing process.
Although intelligent messaging is great for meeting the short-term needs of potential customers, they can also be incredibly useful for long-term personalization efforts. Dealerships that implement intelligent messaging have been shown to collect more robust data on customers.
By having a larger and more complete sample, you are better able to understand customer buying behaviors and evaluate key questions that can lead to even greater personalization in the future.
Additionally, the amount of data these tools provide can help you develop more accurate buyer personas that better reflect a customer’s actual sales needs. A recent MarketingSherpa case study determined that businesses that use buyer personas were able to increase marketing-generated revenue by a staggering 171% — and no dealership should be missing out on such revenue.
Intelligent messaging is an easy way to personalize the sales process, increase customer satisfaction and improve customer data collection. When these solutions are integrated into a dealership’s communications channels, those dealerships can expect to see a boost in lead generation. Customers will receive the instant, high-quality service they deserve, and dealerships will have access to key data that can prove useful for improving the sales experience.
Responsiveness and personalization are critical for highly successful marketing outputs, and intelligent messaging offers the perfect solution.
Eliana Raggio is director of industry relations for Digital Air Strike and host of a weekly webinar series featuring thought leaders and industry experts and focusing on best practices.