It’s Personal: Earning Trust to Improve the Consumer Journey

consumer journey

It’s Personal: Earning Trust to Improve the Consumer Journey

Feb. 21, 2018

Trust is essential when it comes to consumer decision-making, especially in a market that offers so many choices and opportunities. There are endless possibilities open to shoppers, and that’s why it’s so important for dealerships to make great first impressions and continue to make sound decisions that build consumer confidence in order to sell more cars. It starts long before shoppers ever set foot onto the lot, and it continues throughout their buyer journey. The online world has changed things for just about every business, including dealerships, and that means building relationships and personalizing your interactions starts even sooner than ever before.

Create a Foundation of Trust

The trust you build with your customers is a lot like building a skyscraper; without a solid foundation and a lot of structural support, it can crumble. When you work from the beginning—from the very first customer contact—to build meaningful relationships by providing valuable insights and interactions, consumers will begin to see you as a resource, rather than a dealership that’s only looking for the next sale. You have expertise, wisdom, and knowledge to offer, and when you share that with shoppers via your online platforms, they’ll be more likely to gravitate toward your dealership.

Consumers have shifted to primarily digital- and mobile-based ways of researching and completing purchases, which means the ways businesses communicate with them must also shift. If you look for just about anything online—from dentists to shoes to cars—endless choices will pop up, and the businesses that differentiate themselves are the ones that will be picked out of the crowd. Your dealership can differentiate itself by personalizing the shopper experience and delivering unique interactions that make shoppers feel both appreciated and uniquely understood.

Personalization Stands Out

Most people probably don’t realize it, but today’s consumers see around 250 marketing messages per day. The messages are worked into our everyday interactions, platforms, and content; and we’ve become numb to seeing some of them, so it’s often difficult to pick them out of the crowd. All of these businesses are fighting to be recognized by shoppers in the online space, but the ones that deliver personalized content are more likely to stand out. Ask just about any marketer, and you’ll hear the key to getting noticed is personalization. In fact, 90% of marketers agree personalization is the future of marketing. The marketplace is crowded, and in order to reach busy, fast-paced shoppers, businesses will need messages that resonate quickly and stick with consumers because of their individualized content.

It’s not just marketers. Consumers agree that personalization speaks directly to their needs and draws them in to purchase. In fact, 73% of consumers say they would rather do business with brands that personalize and offer more relevant shopping experiences. Your dealership can rise to the challenge and start to capture more consumer interest by boosting its personalization efforts and, in turn, build a broader, more trusting customer base. For some ideas on how to improve personalization and reach more shoppers, check out the following tips:

Learn your audience. Take time out to learn about your target audience and what they’re potentially looking for when it comes to buying, leasing, trading, or servicing their vehicles. The more you know about the consumers surrounding your dealership, the better your messages resonate with them.

Offer value. Before shoppers will feel comfortable turning loose of their valuable personal information, they’ll want to know you have something to offer them in return. Provide content, interaction, and feedback on online forums, as well as your website, in order to build trust in your dealership’s brand.

Give up control. Let potential customers decide what and when they want to share with you. When you ask for information via online forms or other means, be sure to let consumers decide how much to share. You’ll earn trust by offering quality insights that aren’t contingent on gaining vast amounts of personal information.

Encourage communication. Designate a few key players at your dealership to interact with online consumers and answer questions and concerns that may arise. By doing this and answering in a timely manner, shoppers will look to your dealership more often for insights.

Ask questions. When you pose questions to consumers via your online outlets, you are opening the lines of communication and showing your interest in what they find important when shopping and researching vehicles.

Utilize your tools. There are numerous tools available to your dealership—everything from Google Analytics to PandoConnect—that can help you identify shopping behaviors of online consumers and pinpoint in-market customers. When you use the tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to personalize more effectively and gain an edge over your competitors.

Personalization is topping the charts when it comes to making consumers happy, building trust, and bringing them back to dealerships as loyal shoppers. It’s the key to making every shopper feel as if he or she is a dealership V.I.P., and it begins well before the first in-person interaction. When you make personalization a priority in your online interactions via your social platforms and your website, and you’ll see shoppers turn to you for advice, updates, and industry news; and as a trusted source, you’ll also be the dealership they turn to for their vehicle purchasing and servicing needs. It pays to create personalized relationships built on trust—and you’ll see your bottom line reap the benefits.

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