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What dealers need to communicate with customers in 2013?
Dealers can benefit from opening communication channels to find, capture and retain customers while reducing traditional ad spending.
Mobile Application or Mobile Web Site
Internet marketers know that the future of the web is mobile. Consumers will increasingly access data and information from smart phones, tablets and other portable devices. So dealerships need to prepare by beefing up their presences on the mobile web. Is it better to get started by creating a mobile website or by publishing a standalone dealer branded mobile app?
A mobile app is faster, more interactive and can integrate with all kinds of CRM, Social and can leverage many phone features. But the mobile app must be installed to be useful, while a mobile site can simply be navigated on a user's whim. It's also typically cheaper to build a mobile site.
While mobile apps are becoming more and more popular with Internet users, however two years ago, users spent an average of about 20 or more minutes per day on browser-based sites than mobile apps. By last December, that relationship had flipped, and mobile apps were outpacing browser-based sites by more than 20 minutes per day.
If you are thinking about or have a mobile web site its time to retool and take advantage of the rapid rate of smart-phone and tablet adoption by publishing an Mobile application. What does a mobile application offer that a mobile web site doesn’t, simply the potential to build a lasting relationship with your customers pre and post sale.
The first step for dealerships in practicing Social CRM is to implement a Social Media policy. Dealerships need to gain not only control of their social properties but also of their employee’s. Building a Facebook, Google Places, Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram page is just the start. An investment in software and human resources are needed for any successful Social CRM program.
Dealerships can leverage social media not only to communicate with their customer base but also to harvest leads. Many potential customers in your market area actually post that they are in the market for a new car. Dealerships just need to listen and reach out to those potentials either directly or through common friends by way of referrals.
Social media pages need to be nurtured and monitored daily, activity will build followers. Sales Agents should be trained to direct customers to the dealerships pages. In fact many of your customers will make service appointment if you provide the tools on your social media pages to do so.
Reputation management is the process if listening to social chatter and addressing what is being posted both negative and positive. Potential customers are socially researching both vehicles and dealerships. Dealerships with a positive online reputation will be more successful than those dealerships with negative reputations.
Content management enables dealerships to manage and schedule posts. Dealer can shave thousands of dollars off of marketing events such an owner loyalty event or tent sale by leveraging social media outlets.
Customers visiting your web site expect the ability to reach out and communicate with someone from your dealership in real time. You would never let a showroom visitor not be greeted; dealers should give visitors the same type of experience.
The most common question is stock availability and price. Dealer personnel should be trained to encourage a showroom visit by way of appointment to insure the best car buying experience. “you will always get the best price inside of any dealership” we all know this is a true statement. Chat software is inexpensive and should provide many eye opening reports pertaining to web traffic.
We’ve seen 100’s of downloads for dealer branded mobile applications without any supporting marketing. We also know of a large dealer group found in the hot bed of social “the Silicon Valley” dump traditional ad spending for Social marketing, this could be a sign of what’s to come. Chat is also a proven channel of communication where early adopters have succeeded in giving what the consumers want real time communication.