Communication is key in running a successful business. But many dealerships are stuck using outdated customer communication methods, resulting in inefficient workflows and gaps in customer care.
A recent study by the J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index shows that better customer communication at dealerships matters.
The research found that overall sales satisfaction increased by 19 points to 839 points for customers who had text communication with their selling dealer versus those consumers who did not (1).
Customers want their dealership experience to be easy and pain free. As technology and consumer trends evolve, dealerships must raise the bar to solidify repeat business.
Here’s a look at ways dealers can set themselves apart from their competition by employing new ways to improve customer communication.
1. Go digital
The increasing adoption of digital communication allows dealerships to quickly and efficiently communicate to their customers. Emerging technologies such as chat bots, email automation, and SMS messenger make it easy to stay ahead of the ongoing needs of customers no matter the time of day or night.
Dealers can integrate these technologies with their applications, website, and social media pages to fully automate their responses to customers. This helps alleviate time constraints on employees, allowing teams to focus on more important tasks.
Here’s some ways to get started:
- Implement a chat bot autoresponder to answer questions on your dealership’s website and Facebook pages.
- Have customers opt-in to SMS messenger alerts to remind them about upcoming service dates or changes in their appointment times.
- Create email autoresponder messages to follow up with customers who haven’t transacted in a while or leads who have gone cold.
- Utilize Quickride’s passenger app to ease customers’ worries about when their shuttle will arrive.
2. Think of the customer journey
Communication doesn’t start and stop when the customer steps their foot in and out of a dealership. The customer journey is a never-ending lifecycle that warrants different communication touch points at every stage of the buying process. That means thinking about how your reaching your customer before, during, and after their purchase.
Additionally, every touch point should have various communication methods. Some may require a phone call or an email, while others can be a text message, FB message or push notification. This approach ensures you’re reaching your customers in the right way at the right time.
Quickride, for example, gives you the option to send push notifications and direct phone calls from drivers to alert customers about their shuttle. A post-ride text survey is also deployed immediately following the shuttle service to alert Service Directors not about rider feedback or of any issues that they could help resolve.
3. Synchronize communication
Consumer loyalty trends are evolving. Customers crave a transparent and personalized communication experience, and have no problem going elsewhere for business if they don’t get it from your dealership.
That means dealerships should have a 360-view of their customer communications. All touch points should links across channel lines and departments. This ensures all members of the dealership team are fully aware of the customer needs before they come in contact with each other.
Customers don’t have to repeat what they’re looking for and they’re not being passed on from one team member to the next. This in turn, helps foster a better customer relationship and increase overall retention.
The demands of customers won’t slow down, but adding new communication methods can instead, meet customers where they’re at and improve their overall dealership experience.