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Recent data shared by Google's Michelle Morris at their ThinkAuto event in September clearly demonstrated why car dealers need to have a mobile strategy. With the exponential increase of mobile search traffic being documented by Google, dealers must have a compelling mobile website that converts these mobile shoppers into showroom ups.
But there is another aspect of the story, which might not be as obvious, that car dealers need to prepare for. Mobile traffic will amplify broken phone processes.
Google is predicting that by 2013 over 29% of searches will be coming from mobile devices while over 18% will be coming from tablet devices. Any car dealer that understands these statistics will certainly be reviewing their mobile search strategy for 2013. Specifically, dealers need to make sure that their paid search strategy is robust in that it covers new, used, service and finance searches conducted by mobile consumers.
Review your mobile visibility with this simple test in your local market on your smart phone. Conduct a few searches in Google and see if your dealership is showing up in the two paid search spots on the limited mobile "window".
For example, if you are a Honda dealer, type in these searches on your smartphone:
If your dealership is not in the top two spots on the mobile device for popular low funnel searches, then you better revisit your mobile marketing strategy and budget.
If you need assistance with your digital marketing strategy for 2013, consider attending the upcoming Digital Marketing Strategies Conference in Orlando just prior to the NADA Convention on February 5-7.
Dealers who have been testing mobile paid search ad formats have come to realize that the "click to call" functionality in mobile ads generates significantly more phone calls compared to email leads from mobile website forms.
In fact, the number of phone conversions can be 3-4 times more than lead form submissions.
With this reality in mind, I am reminding dealers that their phone processes must be placed under the microscope. As mobile ad formats connect with an increasing number of mobile device users, calls from paid advertising will increase as well.
PCG Consulting has been working with PhoneNinjas.com, founded by Jerry Thibeau, to help dealers create sustainable phone processes that increase the likelihood that a consumer calling the dealership will come in for a test drive.
For a majority of our shared clients who religiously use the Phone Ninjas system, appointment rates increase by at least 100% in 90-120 days. You can do the math for your dealership; the upside is significant!
Yet the majority of dealers who we speak to at conferences, 20 groups, or on webinars DO NOT have mandatory scripts for phone call handling. Few dealers even include multi-day phone training as part of the hiring process before new employees can take a phone-up. Dealers spend tens of thousands of dollars each month to make the phone ring yet they do little to make sure the experience is first class.
Dealers who recognize the increase in mobile traffic to their website and invest in mobile advertising must now also prepare their dealership for an increase in phone calls. Unfortunately, broken phone processes are the number one sales "leak" in dealers that we inspect as part of our initial digital marketing and operations assessment.
Take a look at how consumers are using mobile devices to shop for a car in the data graph below from Google:
Will this INCREASE in mobile device activity make the phone be ring more often? Yes!
Phone scripts and phone call accountability is nothing new but lately you could say that the Internet craze has taken management's "eyes off this ball." So what are you waiting for? If you are not happy with how your phone calls are being handled, get some help. Fix the problems before they are amplified by mobile search traffic and the predisposition to call over submitting a lead.
Mobile search traffic is on the rise. Embrace it with a renewed commitment to creating a first class experience when mobile shoppers decide to call your dealership.
If you would like assistance with your dealership's phone processes or would like onsite training for your internal teams, give PCG Consulting a call to discuss how we can assist your dealership maximize all the opportunities to connect with today's online shopper. You can also contact Jerry Thibeau at PhoneNinjas.com directly for more information on their services.
Brian Pasch, CEO
Order a copy of my latest book "Unfair Advantage" on Amazon.com today and get the wisdom and insights from top industry leaders to move your dealership to great profits.