ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
Ages ago when I was still young enough to be trick-or-treating, there was a house in my neighborhood that excelled at being different than all the other houses. How did this particular house stand out? Well, in addition to passing out candy on Halloween, they also offered...soda!
That refreshing beverage made them famous with all the kids in the area, and after you've walked miles in Dorothy’s red slippers...you’re ready for a cold drink. It was then that I learned a lesson in how “going the extra mile” directly affects your image and how you are remembered by those you served. The Soda House and the wonderful people in it stood out in every child’s mind on Halloween night for years to come. Each year, we HAD TO GO to that specific house, because we knew we would receive something different.
For the automotive industry, going the extra mile for your shoppers and customers is essential for your brand experience and shopper retention. You want customers to HAVE TO GO to YOUR STORE to get that extra special something because the dealer down the street doesn't offer it. Going above and beyond their expectations has the great effect of increasing overall customer satisfaction, which will also increase positive reviews. When your customers are happy, you can be sure your dealership will have a high rate of returning customers and referrals year after year.
So what can you do to go above and beyond their expectations?
Do something unexpected. Most shoppers feel they have a pretty good understanding of how the car buying process works - do some online research, check out inventory on a website, visit the dealership, haggle a little and then another hour of signing paperwork. But what if you did something unexpected during this “standard” process? Think about the details your shopper mentions during a live chat conversation or while they are on the phone with you. Were they looking to surprise their new graduate with this brand new car? How can you make that surprise even more special?
Throw your shoppers for a loop by offering geo-targeted incentives during a live chat conversation to serious shoppers. Or, surprise a new customer with a gift card for their next gas purchase by stashing the card under their gas tank door!
Address a need your shopper/customer didn’t think to consider. Just like my famous neighbors knew kids enjoy both sugar and a cold drink while they traverse the streets, your dealership can offer things like free WiFi, massages, or snacks for your service customers who have to wait a long time for their vehicle to be ready. Small details, even those that seem so simple, help to make an ordinary experience into an extraordinary experience. Some dealerships have even added a gym to their building! The key here is to offer something different - not the same ol’ loaner vehicle option that every dealership offers.
Create a way for your shopper to identify and relate to you on a personal or cultural level. People like to buy from companies that share something in common with them. Brian Yarrows’ Bertera Chevrolet currently has a great “public service announcement” on their phone menu about zombies. Their message is creative and it puts their dealership in a unique spotlight with shoppers during the Halloween season. It also shows that their dealership is willing to have a little fun! To give you an idea, they refer to their salespeople as “Zombie Slayers”. It’s worth a listen! Dial: 413-283-3401 and learn how to tailor your automotive marketing to a generation that has grown up with tales of zombies and the Zombie Apocalypse as a cultural fad.
With most shoppers thinking that dealerships like to give tricks rather than treats, it is in your store’s best interest to develop a plan and make each shopper’s experience something special and unique. How does your dealership and your staff want to be remembered in the memories of your shoppers and customers after each visit? How you answer that question will ultimately determine if and why they keep coming back to you year after year.
What is your dealership doing to go the extra mile? Let us know how you are making a special experience for your shoppers and customers in the comments below!
Also, make sure to pass out something unexpected this Halloween!
...I think I’ll distribute toothbrushes and Zombie Apocalypse Survival Toolkits.
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