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Understanding customer intent has traditionally been separated into three main categories of internet searches, NIT -  Navigational, Informational, and Transactional. 

For many automotive dealers, as sales commonly occur in brick-and-mortar showrooms, it may be difficult for such companies to understand what they can do to improve their online visibility so that it has tangible knock-on benefits to their company, such as increased sales. Utilising the NIT categorization, automotive dealers may start to understand that potential online interactions are not as simple as they first may seem.


Perhaps the visitor has a favourite brand but does not know where that brand’s closest showroom is -Navigational:     Where is the closest Hyundai showroom to me?’


Perhaps the visitor knows what car they want but is unsure about financing options – Informational:    Can I lease the new Hyundai i30?’


Or maybe the visitor has already bought a new vehicle and is looking for alternative services – Transactional:    ‘Hyundai Service and MOT’


It may be though, that using the NIT understanding of user intent is not the optimal strategy for understanding potential customer searches. Instead, intent may be broken down into a different set of questions used to ascertain specific user queries:              

  • Which - Which car is best suited to me and my needs
  • Where - Where should I buy the car that I intend on purchasing
  • Is it - Is this purchase decision right for me at the moment
  • Can I - Can I afford to purchase the car I have set my sights on
  • Am I - Am I getting a good deal in this purchase


For example; when a potential customer is considering car leasing as an option for their next vehicle purchase decision, it is the ‘Is it’ and ‘Can I’ questions that they are likely to be looking for answers to. Such customers do not know if car leasing is the right move for their lifestyle, it is the dealership that needs to answer this question for them.


Moreover, this example shows that answering only some of the questions is also likely to leave out those potential customers who have different intents from their search. If, for example, you only sought to answer questions such as car leasing decision making, and forget to provide information on where you offer your services, you are likely to miss customers who are searching for terms such as ‘buy Toyota Yaris near me’ – will those customers find your dealership easily?


A dealership that is capable of answering these questions will go a long way towards enhancing their capacity to turn potential customers into complete purchases.
If a dealership can answer all or most of the questions that a user may have, they are more likely to have customers stay on their content for longer and to ultimately engage with the dealership in a more positive way. This can result in not only gaining leads, but through the right approach to lead management, can result in loyal customers.



Tags: Customer, Intent, Understanding

Views: 261

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