In a recent Motor Trader article, our operations director, James Hill wrote of the growing impetus for automotive retailers to offer a 24-hour service to meet the needs of today’s consumers.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you need to have your dealership open at all hours of the day but with an increasing number of consumers beginning their buying journey at all hours of the day, it’s important to have a presence at key touch points.
We offer a few tips on how you can better project a 24/7 environment:
Make sure your site is responsive
Dealerweb research shows that the use of phones and tablets in the early buying process is on the rise: over 40% of customers preferred to use a mobile/tablet in favour of a computer when making an online enquiry.
In the evenings, mobile device use rises for a variety of reasons, including using desktops less after the working day and consumers ‘multi-tasking’ by mobile browsing while watching tv etc.
It’s therefore crucial that you ensure that your site is fully responsive on mobile devices. First impressions are key, and a site that doesn’t work properly when researching will not encourage a customer to get in contact or want to visit the showroom during working hours. Make sure your vehicle stock is easily navigable by mobile and conduct thorough testing to ensure swift and responsive navigation.
Schedule social media posts at key times
Social media sites are increasingly becoming more influential in the car buying journey, in fact, 38% of consumers report they would consult social media next time they purchase a car.
In a Dealerweb survey – 39% of customers who preferred to make online enquiries in the afternoon/evening would do so between 18:00 – 22:00, meaning social media campaigns designed to grab attention and drive leads around this time are worth your while.
Scheduling social media posts for the early evening not only gives a perception of being ‘open for business’, but actively provides the user with fresh feeds on topics in which they are interested or brings attention to the customer and stock reviews at a time when they most need it. Over time, you will be able to see what costs are generating the most clicks and leads meaning a more comprehensive and targeted social media strategy outside of traditional hours.
Offer a seamless experience
Customers are unable to visit your dealership 24/7, which means you must try and bring as much of the showroom experience to them out of hours. With the average car buyer spending 59% of the car buying process online, creating a strong brand presence, easily viewable stock and customer-friendly service are just as important on your website as in the showroom.
This approach relies on a strong link between the customer's online journey and their physical one, so make sure that you bring as much of the showroom experience to your web channels. This can include videos of your dealership/stock, blog articles which address common buyers queries and photos/bios of your staff to encourage familiarity before stepping foot through the showroom door. You can find out more about how to offer a blended retail experience in a previous Dealerweb article here.
Have a decent lead response capture and management system in place.
No one expects retailers to respond to enquiries at all hours of the day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer an impressive response service when it comes to out of hours enquires.
With these enquiries coming from a range of sources (e.g. dealer website, emails, 3rd party classifieds etc.), it is important that all enquires coming through out of hours are automatically captured and logged into a comprehensive lead management system. This way they can be accurately recorded and swiftly responded to during early business hours, with full customer enquiry details and requests at your fingertips. In addition, you want a system that can capture and report on key data – knowing what time customers are getting in contact and through which channels will be integral to offering a better service out of hours.
Find out how our Showroom and React products can help you deliver capture, manage and repond to all automotive leads, anywhere, anytime. Get in touch direct on +44 (0)1392 247477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.