Car dealerships are a huge part of the automotive industry, and they rely on their fixed-ops department to manage the pickup, delivery, and shuttle services that keep their doors open. In fact, if you don't have a strong fixed-ops team, you're going to have trouble attracting customers.
But wait: how can you tell if your fixed-ops team is up to snuff? And what does this mean for your digital marketing strategy? Let's break it down:
First things first: what is fixed-ops?
Fixed ops is short for "fixed operations," which refers to the day-to-day tasks required for running a car dealership—from managing vehicle pickups and deliveries to coordinating shuttle services for customers who need them. These tasks are critical to the success of any car dealership business; without them, you'll have no way of getting new cars from manufacturers into showrooms or getting used cars back onto the roads. And that means no sales!
So how do I know if my fixed ops department is doing well?
A good fixed ops team will have strong relationships with your vendors, partners and customers. You should be able to count on them for timely service and reliable communication. They should also be self-sufficient enough that you don't need to micromanage them—but not so autonomous that they're working in their own little bubble without any feedback from management.
Digital marketing is crucial to the success of fixed-ops departments.
When you're running a business, there are all kinds of things you need to keep your eye on. You have to make sure that your employees are happy and productive, that your customers are satisfied, and that the products you sell are high quality.
But there's one thing that can help you with all these things: digital marketing. Digital marketing can help you manage your fixed-ops department more effectively.
If you're thinking about investing in digital marketing for your fixed-ops department, here are the 4 reasons why digital marketing is crucial to fixed-ops departments.
Reason #1: The Internet drives customers to websites and away from physical locations.
If your dealership has a fixed-ops department, you know that it’s not just about managing vehicles in your inventory. You also need to schedule pickups and deliveries, organize shuttles, and keep track of parts and accessories—to name only a few things. And that’s where digital marketing comes in: it helps you manage all these tasks more efficiently, so you can spend less time on paperwork and more time serving your customers.
Here are three ways digital marketing helps fixed-ops departments:
- It aids in scheduling vehicle pickups and deliveries: Digital tools allow you to easily create schedules for employees who manage pickups and deliveries, saving you valuable time. Quickride is software that is designed to help you manage your fleet of vehicles, as well as schedule pickups and deliveries. Quickride allows you to create dispatch schedules that can be easily shared with your drivers.
- It facilitates communication between employees: With email newsletters, text messages, and other forms of communication available on mobile devices, employees can stay connected even when on the go! Plus, these tools provide easy access to important company updates such as new policies or upcoming events like trade shows or car shows—which means less time spent checking emails and more time spent with customers!
- It gives you more control over your fleet: With real-time information about where vehicles are, how fast they’re traveling and whether drivers are following regulations (like speed limits), you can be sure that your drivers are being safe while on the road! With Quickride's real-time tracking you can monitor your fleet from anywhere and get a better understanding of how often vehicles are being used. This makes it easier to manage your fleet and ensure that employees aren’t wasting company time.
Reason #2: Increases sales and saves money.
The automotive industry has changed dramatically over the last decade, and car dealerships need to adapt to keep up with it. As consumers have become increasingly tech-savvy, they demand more from their dealerships and are willing to spend less time and money getting it.
In order to compete with new players in the market, car dealers need to make sure their digital presence is on point—but that's easier said than done. It can be difficult for service directors and managers to allocate resources toward digital marketing when there are so many other pressing needs for the business.
Luckily, there's a solution: by investing in a digital marketing plan for your fixed-ops department, you can increase sales while saving money. We'll go over how below!
The first step to creating a digital marketing plan for your service department is identifying your target audience. A good place to start is with your customer database, which should include information on what makes each person unique. For example, if you have data on their age, income level and location, you can use this information to build out demographic profiles that will help inform your strategies going forward.
Once you've done this, it's time to create a list of your competitors. This should include both local and national businesses that offer similar products or services, as well as other companies that provide parts and repair services. Then, identify which ones are doing the best job at digital marketing. These can be identified by looking at their website traffic, social media presence and online reputation score.
The next step is to create a marketing plan that outlines your goals, how you will achieve them and what resources are required. This should include both short-term objectives as well as long-term ones. It's also important to consider whether you will be hiring an online marketing agency or working with freelancers for this purpose.
Finally, establish a timeline for your plan so you can see how long each phase will take.
Once you have completed this step, it's time to put your plan into action. This includes creating a marketing strategy, updating your website and social media profiles with fresh content that speaks to your target audience and promoting them on relevant platforms (such as LinkedIn).
Reason #3: Protects your company's reputation.
Fixed-ops departments are busy—they have a lot on their plates, and it's easy for mistakes or miscommunication to happen. A digital marketing plan gives you an opportunity to make sure that doesn't happen.
A digital marketing plan protects your company's reputation and allows you to reach customers at just the right time, while they're actively looking for what you have to offer. It also helps you build a connection with your customers so that when they need service or assistance with their vehicle, they know who to go to for help.
Here's how to manage it:
- Determine what the most important data points are for your company, and track those regularly. The three keys to successfully managing online reputation include knowing where you stand on issues like customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and employee turnover; knowing what customers are saying about you online; and taking actions based on that information.
- Monitor social media channels regularly and respond quickly if anything negative happens. This will help you gain control over your online reputation by acting quickly to address any issues that arise before they have time to spread or cause major damage.
- Be proactive when it comes to engaging with customers online—and make sure your employees do the same! By spending time interacting with customers online, you'll be able to better understand their needs and preferences so that when they do come into the dealership or contact you about services/repairs, they'll be satisfied with their experience because it was personalized just for them!
Reason #4: It brings you closer to customers.
Digital marketing brings you closer to your customers—whether that's through social media ads or email campaigns—and helps you understand their needs more fully. This allows you to offer more personalized services, which will help your dealership stand out from competitors and win over new clients. It helps you find out what your customers want, when they want it, and how they want it.
By gathering customer information through surveys, you can then use this data to improve your customer service and make your business more efficient.
You can also use digital marketing to build customer loyalty, which leads to repeat business and referrals. This will help increase sales while lowering costs and increasing profits.
The more information you have about your customers' needs and preferences, the better equipped you'll be to provide them with services that meet those needs exactly as they want them—and at a reasonable price point that makes sense for everyone involved!
Here's how to bring it closer
- Create a social media presence that shows off what makes you different from other dealerships in your area (i.e., show off new cars, products, or services in front of the customer who may have not heard about them yet).
- Create an email newsletter that goes out every week or two highlighting new sales, discounts, and promotions so those who have already purchased from you don't feel like they've missed out on anything (i.e., share deals with existing customers).
- Use online scheduling tools like Quickride so people can book their own appointments at their convenience rather than having someone call them back when it's convenient for them
Takeaway: Every company needs a good digital marketing plan.
Fixed ops is a vital source of revenue for dealerships. But, it's also one of the most neglected departments in most dealerships. Digital marketing can help your fixed-ops department succeed by reaching new customers and keeping old ones engaged with your business.
It’s not enough to simply have a website and social media presence. Your marketing plan should include a strategy for attracting customers, keeping them happy while they’re shopping with you, and converting them into repeat buyers. The key to digital marketing is that it’s always changing and evolving. You need to be constantly learning new things and improving your skill set so you can stay ahead of the competition.