Improving the Dealership Experience: Turn Shoppers Into Brand Advocates

dealership experience

Improving the Dealership Experience: Turn Shoppers Into Brand Advocates

Feb. 08, 2018

Your customers will be your dealership’s best marketers when you give them an experience to remember. Their feedback regarding products, performance, and the overall dealership experience can have a huge impact on the opinions of future shoppers, and with a majority of consumers turning toward social platforms to seek advice and recommendations, those who have shopped at your dealership can influence future buyers simply by sharing their insights and opinions. Because of this, it’s even more important your customers leave your dealership feeling happy, satisfied, and ready to spread the word about their positive experiences.

You want to be sure the pros at your dealership are doing everything they can when it comes to converting customers into the ultimate marketing partners, because the influence they wield in the marketplace will have a serious impact on your dealership’s success. When you provide an outstanding dealership experience, customers will be eager to tell their stories—and their word carries more credibility with friends, acquaintances, and other consumers than your dealership’s word alone. In fact, 89% of millennial women turn to recommendations from friends, peers, or family members when they’re looking to purchase products. They look to those who have had previous experience with the brands they’re considering, and more importantly, they look to those they trust to offer up insights and opinions. Consumers who share their positive experiences will end up engaging in online review building for your dealership.

Gaining Brand Advocates

Most shoppers are eager to share their experiences, and with social media helping them along the way, it makes it easier to nurture and build relationships as well, turning customers into life-long brand advocates. Today’s consumers are known for posting online about their shopping experiences—good and bad—and when you go out of your way to interact, answer questions, and respond online to consumer questions and concerns, you’ll go a long way toward forming quality relationships that will translate to long-lasting brand advocacy for your dealership. Remember, it’s up to your dealership to ensure consumers have only the best experiences to share with their online acquaintances—gaining you more followers and fans and bringing more customers to your dealership.

Check out some of our quick tips to ensure you win advocates and create positive experiences your customers want to talk about and share:

Focus on your customers. Let shoppers know you’re there for them—and not just for the sale. Of course you want to sell cars, but when you focus on building relationships, you’ll create a solid foundation both for returning shoppers and new shoppers. Consider offering exclusive incentives, behind-the-scenes insights, and personalized invitations to dealership events for those online advocates who support and share your dealership with others. The little things will go a long way when it comes to building relationships with your advocates.

Let them know you’re grateful. It’s a competitive market out there, and your customers have a lot of choices. Let them know you’re thankful they’re advocating for your dealership. From free oil changes to service coupons to a simple “thank you,” be sure you recognize your faithful brand advocates for following you online, sharing your information, and recommending you to friends and acquaintances. A little recognition goes a long way!

Interact and share. Your dealership advocates want to know you are available to them, so be sure you’re present and active on your online social platforms. Change things up by sharing relevant content that’s fun, enlightening, and thought-provoking; and ask questions to get their feedback and opinions. The more interaction you encourage, the more you’ll get to know your audience—and the more you’ll be able to tailor your content to their needs.

Encourage shopper reviews. Positive reviews are one of the best ways to influence future purchases. In fact, a recent Social Media Trends Study confirms automotive shoppers are turning to social media and review sites more than ever before, with 75% of car buyers saying they are influenced by these when it’s time to buy. When shoppers have a great experience with your dealership, make it easy for them to leave reviews by offering quick formats and easy-to-use technology. Not only will reviews attract attention for your dealership, but you’ll also show customers your ultimate goal is to provide the best service possible.

Keep your website up-to-date. It’s a good idea to be sure your website is running smoothly so customers have a way of contacting you and researching your products. It’s a great way to emphasize the vehicles and services you offer, as well as present an inviting first impression to shoppers. Be sure to link to your social media sites and highlight some of your top consumer feedback to let shoppers know they’ve found the dealership that’s right for them. You’ll build a strong advocate base when customers know you consistently offer the best technology and resources.

When you allow your customers to use their voices to speak up for your brand, you’ll expand the reach of your dealership, as well as build trust in the products and services you offer. A great brand advocacy campaign is extremely important to the success of your dealership, especially in today’s social-driven marketplace, as you’ll reach a broader range of consumers in a shorter amount of time. By focusing on building relationships and trust, you’ll end up with life-long advocates who will drive customers right to your front door and into your showroom!

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