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[WEBINAR] Getting Personal During Social Distancing with DealerSocket

Written By Carol Marshall

Did you miss our webinar with DealerSocket hosted by our very own, Carol Marshall, and Cavan Robinson of DealerSocket? These industry experts discuss automotive strategy and how your dealership can build virtual connections with buyers during social distancing.

Watch the full webinar below. Then, read on to learn even more ways to use technology to your advantage and create meaningful interactions with customers.

Customers Still Want to Purchase a Vehicle

According to a recent survey by McKinsey & Co., around 25% of consumers are still planning to purchase a vehicle as planned. Additionally, about 35% are planning to purchase within the next 2-5 months.  

During these times customers tend to feel uncertainty, hesitation, and skepticism when purchasing a car given the change in environment. As a dealership, trying to overcome these barriers can be difficult at a distance. However, if you have the right tools to communicate with your customers to provide clarity and build trust, it doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are some tips on how to create those connections virtually with your customers: 

Automotive Strategy with a Human Touch

When it comes to e-commerce for auto, it’s key to establish a personal connection and build trust with customers. Car sales, as you already know, is still a people business. One way to create a more personalized experience is by having human-powered online conversations. As Carol mentions in the webinar, “it’s critical to personalize communication with customers. One example is by starting with more small talk – things like, “how are you doing today?” If your shopper seems chatty, take time to relate to the customer (something bots cannot do), and then move onto the conversation about the transaction. It’s imperative that the customer feels heard and acknowledged.

Customer building a car deal online with Revolve

“Digital retailing is not a new sales process, it is providing tools throughout your sales process to be able to be more customer-centric.” 

Source: NADA, 2020. “How Digital Retailing Impacts Profitability.”

According to industry experts, the most common questions dealerships are receiving from customers are, “Do I qualify for that program or that promotion?” With guided retailing, the online representative needs to be well-versed, take the time to connect with the customer, and have important purchasing information readily available.

How to Offer More Convenience to Online Customers

Today, there are many ways to bridge the digital gap between customers and your dealership. You can connect with customers in real-time through your website Chat, Texting, Messenger, etc.

As a dealership you must keep a mobile-first mentality to deliver on customer expectations. In the last month alone there has been a 20% increase in texting. Plus, according to industry surveys, 54% of customers today expect businesses to communicate and engage with them through text messaging. If you have texting capabilities, use software that allows you to have a personalized conversation with the customer. 

Other Ways to Stay Ahead and Connected 

One of the main ways to stay relevant during this digital-first era is to keep your dealership top-of-mind for consumers. To optimize your dealership's humanized automotive strategy, make sure you are doing the following:

Computer cursor hovering over a 'like' button

  • Be active on social media — post content, updated business hours, information about virtual services (if available), and ensure your inventory is always up to date 
  • Focus on reviews — people trust reviews from other consumers. Encourage customers to leave reviews and be sure to respond when they do. Check out our reputation management tool. 
  • Update Google My Business — confirm that your store information are up to date, and turn on GMB Messaging so that customers get accurate answers when they search your business
  • Answer questions on your site — create a Q&A page on your site that answers for your customer’s most asked questions during this time


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?