This entry is the second in a two-part series on increasing visibility and leads through auto dealership marketing. In Part One, we discussed the need to assess how you look online to potential leads. Today, we’ll detail two tactics for turning customer reviews and web visits into sales leads.
Online lead generation consists of a few key elements:
- Making your website easy to find through SEO
- Having current inventory, specials and incentives available through only a few clicks
- Strategically developing relationships with potential customers online
- Making it as easy as possible for potential customers connect with you and ask your sales department questions about inventory or pricing.
We’ve given you tips on SEO, and chances are your website already gives the customer easy access to your inventory. But as you know, customer service is a crucial part of running a successful auto dealership. Consumers have more options than ever to source a potential car purchase, and it’s important to not lose leads through an undeveloped online strategy.
What do you currently do if you see a negative review or other unflattering content about your dealership? First, if you found the review on a personal blog or social media site, you should contact the reviewer directly. If it was a customer review site or news article, consider putting out a public response through your own website and social media sites. Some online review sites will allow the business owner – you – to respond directly.
Do your research about the issue, then formulate a response. Give them a direct number to call to rectify the situation. Consider a customer stumbling on a bad review with absolutely no response from the dealer. Now consider that customer reading the bad review and seeing that the GM personally responded to the issue and offered his phone number to rectify it. We’ve seen it happen and we’ve seen this type of response have an impact.
It’s also important for auto dealerships to have a standard response policy for all customer review sites and social media channels. For example, let’s say a user writes “I love the new Chevy Volt” on your dealership’s Facebook page. This person isn’t necessarily shopping for a car, but that doesn’t mean you and your sales staff can’t turn this situation into a lead. Consider responding with interest and provide some value. A good response could include, “We love the Volt, too. Have you seen the model in cobalt blue? Take a look at our newest photo album to see it!”
Working a lead online takes more effort than emailing potential customers pricing deals or specials. At EFG Companies, we recommend providing value and interesting content to keep online users engaged.
Designate a Section of Your Dealership’s Website as a “Lead Funnel”
Once you’ve established a conversation with a potential lead online, it’s important to take the conversation to the next level. Consider our Facebook Chevy Volt conversation from earlier. After the user looks at your photo album, they may ask another question or make a comment on it. We recommend thanking the user for their comment and then directing them to take another action. For example, “Thanks for liking the photo! Are you interested in finding out more about the new Volt? Feel free to contact us directly here.” Then incude a link to your dealership’s “Contact Us” page.
To go one step further, we’ve found that while you’re interacting in the social realm, staying there has the most impact. For example, direct them to a page on your website where actual customers have provided testimonials about the Volt, or to your video library where you’ve featured very excited new Volt owners.
Working online leads is an art form, not a science. Rest assured that it may take time for your sales staff to respond accordingly to online feedback and convert leads into sales.
Have questions about researching how your appears dealership online? We’d be glad to help.