A recent Marchex Auto Buyer study had some fascinating statistics about the way today’s consumers decide to purchase a vehicle.
According to the survey, the four most important factors when deciding to purchase a car were trust, competitive price, quality of communication and dealer reputation. Absolute lowest price came in a distant fifth in the overall standings.
If you are a dealer principal or general manager, this is great news for your team. It means what you say, how you say it and the way it is delivered to your possible buyers are key factors in their final decision on buying a vehicle from your dealership and remaining a loyal customer. That knowledge is power.
With today’s plethora of social media channels and platforms, you have a wealth of individual qualitative and quantitative data into how prospects and customers view your brand. Remember, though, that means the good, the bad and the ugly – and you must look at all of it to make the best decisions for your dealership.
But who has the time to look through every social media post, much less analyze and determine anything meaningful from the data?
Enter Social Listening
Today’s social listening solutions index multiple social and digital sources (not just Facebook and Twitter) to help you uncover the sentiment behind what consumers are saying about your brand online. Strategic, smart dealers and their marketing teams are taking this sentiment, analyzing the data and putting action behind their findings.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee you sell on your lot is the same exact model as the one sold at your competitor down the street. So, why should customers buy from you? How do you determine your “Buy Here” message? One way is through dealer-branded lifetime powertrain warranty and marketing programs.
One of the benefits of offering these warranties is that it helps them establish value from the very first interaction with a prospect. They use these warranties as a unique value to create loyalty and establish lifetime value (no pun intended) for their customers.
This helps the dealership move beyond the “how low will you go” mentality as the only factor in acquiring and maintaining customers for life.
Take a minute to decide what it is that makes your dealership unique. What are the words your customers are using when suggesting your dealership brand to their friends and family? Social listening can help you determine all these things and then put the findings to work for you.
What are some other ways we’re seeing dealers use social listening to get ahead?
Many of the dealerships we’re working with look for the sentiment behind the words based on age groups. Millennials more likely will have a different view than a person who is 40-plus years old. The smart marketer will use social listening to determine the differences between these two age groups and offer benefits to each one based on their unique generational needs.
Many times, dealers who use social listening will find one salesperson who is mentioned above and beyond the others.
Why not use social listening to determine who that salesperson is within your organization, then empower that salesperson to train the rest of the team in their approach for greater success? Can they perhaps help show new salespeople what nets the most profit?
How can we use social listening to identify our best sales team member and then share their knowledge to raise everyone on the team to the next level?
Identify Issues Before They Arise
One of the dealerships my company works with described their service department as a big positive when we first employed social listening. But when we analyzed their social platforms, not one positive thing was stated; in fact, it was just the opposite.
Customers were angry about wait times in the service bay. This dealership was able to pinpoint the problem through social listening and solve it before it became a bigger problem.
These are just a few of the ways social listening has helped the dealerships we work with create a value statement and then test that messaging for success.
With the growing AI and data solutions in our space, individualized messaging will continue to evolve. Why not get ahead of the curve and begin listening to what your customers are saying today? It can drive more to your bottom line than you may realize.
Troy Scheer (pictured above, left) is the CMO of Binary Automotive Solutions, a leading provider of customized lifetime warranty programs designed to help dealerships sell more vehicles.