In days of old, the car buyer would head straight to a dealership, discuss their requirements with a sales representative, be shown their options, book a test drive, choose their extras, agree finance and make the purchase.
Today’s car buyer treads a very different path. Now, the steps of the journey are spread across a range of communication methods and platforms, from the web to traditional in-person interaction.
Because of this, it’s a little too easy for dealerships to get lost in the process and miss out on some of the more obvious enquiries. In this post, we’re going to look at four ways new customers may arrive at your dealership.
1. By phone
Although younger car buyers tread a digital path, the humble telephone is still the enquiry method of choice for many.
Unfortunately, if calls are missed or if follow-ups aren’t delivered when promised, the enquiries that land via this channel will quickly perform an about turn and head elsewhere.
Miscommunication via the telephone is an inherent problem within most automotive businesses, as are mishandled leads, which may result in the potential customer deciding against a purchase.
With a more structured, automated sales process driven by technology that has a workflow approach at its heart, the entire sales team will have the time needed to pick up that ringing phone and capitalise properly on such enquiries.
2. Via email
Unfortunately, our inboxes continue to be chock-full of recycled joke emails and spam, but among the junk there will still be a number of genuine enquiries from prospective customers.
Email should form part of your workflow-based enquiry process, enabling you to identify genuine expressions of interest and help sales staff follow-up quickly and effectively by taking them out of the inbox and into a tightly controlled sales funnel.
3. Your website
A stellar digital presence will result in attracting more digital leads and turning them into customers – as long as you’re able to keep on top of enquiries that come via your dealership website.
This isn’t easy, but customer loyalty is often bred from interaction on your website, and it all starts with that initial enquiry.
The software your dealership relies on should have the capability to capture website enquiries in a way that makes them both easy to intercept and act upon by sales staff and give management a clear view of the process.
Today, car dealership websites are far more engaging and interactive than they used to be, which draws prospective customers in and, consequently, does an awful lot of the legwork for your sales team. However, this hard work can be undone if enquiries that arrive via this medium are missed.
4. Social media
People will often turn to platforms like Facebook to ask for a quote, but such messages are often missed if you’re not keeping a constant eye on your social inbox or mentions of your business in social posts and comments.
This is relatively easy to do with the right software, but listening out is only half the battle; you need to interact with such people in order to turn them from digital leads into people who will actually step foot into your dealership.
When people contact or mention your dealership via social media, ensure you have procedures in place that enable sales staff to interact promptly and manage the new lead within the dealership’s controlled workflow.
Don’t get bogged down by the process. Invest in technology that automates the tasks best left to software and focus your sales team’s efforts on eliminating enquiry leaks with our tips above.
How many enquiries is your dealership missing?