Industry

Beyond A House: The Biggest Purchase We Make

 

You’re considering one of the biggest purchases of your life and you get – wait for it – an email.

But it’s just like the hundreds of emails you get for everything from drug stores to dental appointment reminders.

If you’re asking someone to make the second biggest purchase of their life (behind housing), shouldn’t you at least take the time to make it personal?

 

Letters and handwritten cards have greater importance now more than ever. These days, our email boxes can feel flooded with junk mail every day, and missives from companies are sometimes automatically filtered out, if not thrown in the junk mail folder immediately. On the other hand, hard-copy letters are fewer and further between now, and each one gets a little more attention than before.

Everyone gets mail. It’s not just seniors, either, as more and more young people are opting out of the web and focusing on life away from screens, phones, and computers. Using traditional mail is still the best way to contact everyone. Forty-four percent of millennials pick up mail at least six days a week, compared to 60 percent of Gen Xers and 73 percent of Baby Boomers.

Finally, according to the USPS Office of Inspector General, the decline in mail volume may be more nuanced than some realize.

“Take the drop in First-Class Mail (FCM), for instance. FCM decline varies widely by location… For example, in Dallas, the percent of First Class Mail (FCM) volume lost was greater than in Charleston, WV – where it was close to zero. Moreover, the rate of decline is slowing or has even stopped in many of the areas that have lost the most mail volume. Declines in U.S. Postal Service mail volume vary widely across the United States.”

Mail providers and the U.S. Post Office ensure that your letter gets to the mailbox of the person written on the envelope. On the other hand, digital documents can easily bounce back for a number of reasons, from misspelled addresses to full inboxes or out-of-office situations to spam folders.

When you come right down to it, paper mail just means more. The key is feelings. Seventy-five percent of the inspector general’s survey respondents said receiving personal mail “made them feel special.”

Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re asking a person to make the first or second biggest purchase decision of their lives, you should at least take the time to put it in writing?

4 Unique Skills Your Employees Possess that Can Help You Sell More Cars

All employees are different. They come from different backgrounds, have different past experiences, and possess different skill sets. While you probably already know about certain skills that make them great in their position, you may not know about others that are completely unrelated to their job titles.

By discovering the strengths your employees aren’t currently putting to use, you can find ways to utilize them around the dealership. Not only will this benefit the company as a whole, but letting them do something they’re good at can make them more engaged and happier in their day-to-day role.

While uncovering these unique skill sets can be extremely easy with some employees, it can be a little harder with others. The easy way is, of course, just asking the employee about their hobbies, interest, likes, and dislikes. On the other hand, it may take you watching them as they work to get a better idea of their strengths and unique skills.

So what type of skills should you be on the lookout for? We have a few unique skills below that one or more of your current employees is likely to possess, plus how you can utilize them to sell more cars.

Social Media Skills

You know the guy or girl that checks their Facebook page at every possible chance and stays up-to-date on all the new social media trends? This is the employee you want helping with your social media. Whether or not you have an agency in charge of your social platforms, this employee has an inside look at the dealership and can provide valuable insight on what you should be sharing with your audience. While they can help write posts, they may also be great for creating interaction and engaging with potential customers on social media.

Photography Skills

In today’s online world, images are so important, and with just about everyone owning a smartphone with a quality camera, you don’t have to have an expensive photographer at all times. From snapping inventory shots of your new vehicles to capturing the fun at dealership events, there are a number of ways you can make use of an employee’s love of photography.

Organization Skills

You likely have some employees who can’t keep up with deadlines and often misplace important papers, but you probably have others with impeccable organization skills. These are the ones that would be great for helping you plan events or assisting you in other projects that you just can’t seem to keep your head above. Letting them take the lead on these tasks won’t only help you keep your sanity, but also get them more involved in the dealership.

Fundraising Skills

Being part of the community is something most dealerships strive to do. But often, it gets left to the wayside when things get busy. If you really want to get your dealership involved in charitable causes and fundraisers for various organizations in your area, leave it to the employees that genuinely enjoy helping others and have a knack for getting other people excited about charitable causes. While this will obviously benefit the dealership, this employee is sure to find even more fulfillment in their position.

It may sound tricky at first, but by simply taking the time to learn more about your employees and uncovering their unique skills, you can find countless ways to make them a more valuable employee, plus make your dealership more successful at the same time.

The Key to Managing Your Service Department’s Online Reputation

reputation management

Customers do their research online before deciding who they want to do business with, and even more than they tend to trust their friends and family, 84 percent put their trust in online reviews left by strangers. Low star ratings, bad reviews and even non-existent profiles, can all lead to a poor digital reputation – and a major problem for your dealership’s service department.

Don’t let a bad online reputation cause your customers to go elsewhere. Learn how you can effectively manage your service department’s digital reputation and win more customers by taking a few simple steps.

Establish ways to continually learn about your service department’s online reputation

Learning about your service department’s reputation isn’t a one-and-done type thing. It’s a continual process that never ends, but it can pay off big time when done correctly. As a dealership owner, your job is to employ ways to regularly get customer feedback. Fortunately, there are many ways you can go about doing this.

One of the best ways to elicit feedback is to email your customers a survey shortly after they’ve visited your service department. While you won’t get a 100 percent response rate, customers that are extremely happy or extremely unhappy are likely to respond. From here, you can encourage your happy customers to leave a review online.

Other than soliciting feedback, you should always be monitoring review sites and social media platforms. These include your Google Listing, Yelp Profile, and Facebook Page, to name a few of the most important. By simply watching these sites, you’ll be able to get a good grasp on your online reputation to see what areas are exceeding customer expectations, and which might need improvement.

Proactively respond to the good, and more importantly, the bad

While you should always thank your customers for taking the time to leave a positive review, those left by unhappy customers should be responded to just as promptly – and the quicker, the better. Waiting around hoping they’ll go away isn’t an option in today’s online world and will likely make the problem worse. Instead, look at the problem as an opportunity to one – show other potential customers that you truly care about their experience, and two – make improvements within your department.

In your response to the frustrated customer, first make sure you thoroughly understand the problem or situation. Then, focus on solving the problem and making the customer happy. Once you’ve done that, you can ask the customer to edit their review, and you’ll likely find that most are happy to do so.

Of course, your job doesn’t end there. Now that you’ve handled the complaint with the individual, it might now be time to correct the problem on an operational level, especially if this isn’t the first time the problem has occurred.

Online reviews and ratings can leave potential customers feeling like they’ve found the perfect place to service their vehicle – or they can make a customer want to steer clear. But if you actively monitor and manage your online reputation, you’ll know for a fact that it’s bringing customers in and not shooing them away.

4 Foolproof Ways to Use Your Dealership’s YouTube Videos to Sell More Cars

YouTube Marketing

Like many dealership owners, you already know the importance of search engine optimization and how digital ads can greatly increase your online leads. What countless dealerships aren’t already taking advantage of is the world’s second largest search engine – YouTube.

As consumers become more likely to prefer video over text, this platform has the ability to become one of your main sources of online lead generation. But, of course, without a well-thought-out video marketing strategy, you’re just taking a shot in the dark. Lucky for you, we’ve found what works, and below, we’re going to share with you exactly how to turn your videos into solid lead generators.

Here are four goals your YouTube videos should aim to achieve every time:

1. Build Trust

It’s nothing you haven’t heard before – people want to do business with companies they trust. But how exactly do you build trust with potential customers online? It’s simple – you let them get to know you, so by the time they come in, they feel like they’ve done business with you before. They know what to expect from your product, your team, and your dealership since they’ve already had an inside look.

Types of videos that build trust: Dealership walk-throughs, employee spotlights, customer reviews, and model reviews

2. Generate Excitement

What are you enthusiastic about at your dealership? The new models on the lot? The big sale coming up? Then show off all there is to be excited about in order to stir up enthusiasm and anticipation from your audience. Trust us, this excitement will show in the metrics with increased likes, shares, and comments, so you’ll know when you’ve accomplished your goal.

Types of videos that generate excitement: Model reviews, feature reviews, and sales/promotions

3. Solve Problems

While there are many reasons people decide it’s time for a new vehicle, it comes down to one issue – their current vehicle isn’t meeting their needs. Learn what your customers need, and find ways to solve their problems. Maybe they’re adding a new family member and the ease of installing a car seat is a huge factor. Or, maybe they’re about to have a teen driver and safety technology is at the top of their list. Demonstrate the features that may solve these problems. The same goes for your most frequently asked service questions.

Types of videos that solve problems: Model reviews, feature reviews, feature how-to’s, and service how-to’s

4. Encourage Action

No matter the feelings or emotions your video provokes, it should always contain a strong call-to-action, encouraging the user to take action on your website. Whether your goal for them is to view specific models, schedule a test drive, or apply for financing, make sure their next steps are clear and concise.

Types of videos that encourage action: All videos should, or you’re doing it wrong!

Each video you place on YouTube should serve a specific purpose, for a specific audience. It’s not about throwing something up just so you have a regularly-updated YouTube channel. When done right, YouTube has the ability to become one of your main sources of lead generation.