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consumer privacy laws in automotive

Consumer Privacy in 2020: The New Age of Data Ethics

Welcome to the new decade and the age of data ethics. We’ve entered a time where consumers are warier than ever about how companies use their personal information—and with good reason. The risk of inadequate data security and lousy privacy practices has skyrocketed in the last few years. 

Since 2013, 9.7 billion data records were lost or stolen globally. Almost 64% of the total stolen data records occurred in the United States.

And, may we never forget the Cambridge Analytica revelations of 2018 that also sparked what some reports call the ‘great privacy awakening.’ Times are tough for businesses when it comes to consumer privacy, and it could get a lot harder from here.

Data Regulations Around the World

In May 2018, Europe set a precedent heard around the world: data is no longer a business asset…it is consumer property. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in Europe, and enforcement has been swift and merciless. Just last year, Google was fined €50,000,000 for GDPR noncompliance. To date, the total amount of GDPR fines is at over €116,000,000. 

It was only a matter of time before this shift reached the US. In January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect and set in motion what businesses now call “America’s GDPR.” The CCPA has already inspired 11 other states to introduce privacy legislation. 

Note to our Customers: If the CCPA applies to your business, we have compliant processes in place. For more information, contact Support.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom, if you are proactive about consumer privacy. 

Leveraging Consumer Privacy Ethics

Consumer mistrust is at an all-time high. Only businesses that build privacy into their customer experience will gain more trust and better access to data. The main reason your dealership should want this information is to market to those consumers better and sell more cars.

Your customers already want personalized experiences. Two out of three consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that sends relevant promotions (Accenture). And, they will exchange personal data for personalization. But, like with every human relationship, it’s a give-and-take. 

Data Ethics 101:

  1. Be transparent about how you use the data.
  2. Give consumers control of their information.
  3. Use the data consumers give you to serve them better.

Creating a Privacy-Focused Model

The begin practicing data ethics you need to start from within the organization.

Get Strong Handle on Privacy Requests: Make sure you have the infrastructure in place to support and manage consumer privacy requests that can come in with the CCPA.

Build Out a Privacy Program Roadmap: Expect more federal privacy laws enactments, and plan accordingly. Create a quarterly privacy roadmap for the year to keep you on track.

Create a Culture of Privacy Awareness: Connect privacy to your existing values. Have an internal champion of all things privacy that can keep the organization accountable.

“If businesses lose their customers’ trust, it’s likely that the customers’ journey will end abruptly. With the adoption of recent privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, consumers are empowered to request and control their data. To maintain trust, businesses must comply with these regulations, even though implementation can be difficult and expensive. “

Dave Sazama, Director of IT & Facilities Operations
Champion of All Things Privacy at ActivEngage

Conclusion

Although it may seem like data regulations mainly target technology companies, auto and truck dealerships should remain vigilant. Assess your data security, acknowledge the privacy gaps in your current processes, and be prepared to make changes.

Remember that privacy is a journey, but it’s one you must embark on now. Achieving 100% compliance won’t happen in a quarter, but meeting consumer expectations is attainable. More importantly, it’s something that companies should continuously strive for and evaluate.

car buyer trends 2019

3 Easy Ways to Keep Up with Car Buyer Trends in 2019

It’s important for businesses in all industries to stay on top of consumer trends. But, for the car dealer, it’s crucial to understand the underlying values that drive car buyers towards certain businesses and away from others. 

Simply put, a dealership that aligns with its car buyers’ values and behavior will win their business. And to keep ahead, first, you need to keep up. Car buyer trends are a moving target. Read on for ways to track not just where your shoppers are, but where they’re going.

1. Set Up Google Alerts for Car Buyer Trends

The hardest part of market research is getting started. Luckily, this hack cuts down on some of the legwork you’d have to do to find relevant, quality articles. Get industry articles right in your inbox using Google Alerts. All you have to do is type in a topic, and Google will send relevant, new articles from around the web to your email. Here are a few topic ideas to get you started:

  • Automotive news
  • Automotive marketing
  • Car buyer trends

You can even customize how often you’d like to receive alerts and let Google optimize your results, so you only receive the most relevant news. It takes less than a minute to set up Google Alerts, and doing so saves you hours of legwork you’d spend finding these articles.

*** BONUS *** 

You can also get the latest and most interesting industry news right in your inbox when you subscribe to the ActivEngage blog! We’re bringing back the Top Ten, so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the car biz without lifting a finger (because we compile it for you!). Subscribe here.

2. Attend at least ONE Automotive Conference 

If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an automotive conference, you understand the value of connecting with peers, learning from leading automotive experts, and discovering some of the latest automotive technology and car buyer trends. If you haven’t been, this is the year to go! Here are just a few fall conferences you don’t want to miss:

Digital Dealer Conference & Expo, August 19-21, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada

DealerSocket User Summit, August 21-23, 2019, Anaheim, California

DrivingSales Executive Summit, October 21-23, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada

3. Ask Your Own Dealership Customers

Customer feedback is becoming more and more important in today’s landscape. With the advent of social media and dedicated review sites, consumers are much more open about sharing their experiences as well as their wants and needs. If you have a reputation management tool, you could be using it to understand your shoppers better. 

Here’s an example. One of our Honda dealership customers received the following internal review about one of our Chat Specialists:

“Jordan was great; he did his best as a salesman to try to bring me in, but understood that I was only interested in information at this time. A+” – John 

As you can see, John enjoyed his online interaction and appreciated that Jordan (our Chat Rep) didn’t pressure him into coming in — he was there to help. And, as you can see, John was happy to share his feedback on the conversation even though he hadn’t made a purchase yet. 

Is your dealership in the market for a 5-star reputation? We can help. AcceleRater, ActivEngage’s reputation enhancement tool for car dealerships, helps dealers gauge consumer perception not just after the sale, but throughout the entire purchase process. Click here to learn more about AcceleRater!

Make the Time to Be Your Best

The industry is evolving faster than ever, but keeping up with the business and car buyer trends doesn’t have to be tedious. With these 3 tips, you can easily make 2019 the year you carve out time for professional growth. Take 20 minutes a week to read articles on the latest in car buyer behavior. Invest in the development of your team by attending conferences. Take a deeper dive into your own customers’ buying behavior by simply asking.

And, while you’re at it, make sure you align with vendors that keep up with consumer trends, as well! After all, they’re an extension of your dealership. At ActivEngage, we monitor online car buyer trends to make sure our digital retailing solutions meet the demands of today’s shoppers. It’s also why we launched our latest products, like ActivSEO and ActivTarget. 

In the age of the customer, knowing what your shoppers want from the buying experience is vital to your business. Give consumers what they want (an excellent consumer experience), and they’ll keep coming back.

Auto inventory ads on social media

Are Facebook Inventory Ads Stealing Your Customers?

2019 is the year of social media, and more importantly, the year of Facebook. You and I both know your customers are always on social media, so why aren’t you taking advantage of promoting your inventory right into their News Feed? ActivEngages’ newest feature, Social Advantage, does just that. With this latest implementation, we help enable you to influence your customers’ online shopping experience.

The Diversity Advertising on Facebook Makes

Online consumers are shopping differently. In as little as 5 seconds, a customer decides whether they want to purchase from you or move on. Additionally, there are 30 million shoppers on Facebook Marketplace, imagine reaching that many shoppers and selling that many cars. That’s where ActivEngage comes in. We help you reach your customers wherever they are because, at the end of the day, we’re on the same team.

After our continued success with Facebook implementation in early 2017, ActivEngage is now helping car dealerships leverage Facebook in even more ways with Social Advantage. This powerful suite of tools includes Facebook Messenger, Marketplace uploads, and our new inventory ads. The best part, we manage everything for you. That’s one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the incoming sales. Dealerships that currently utilize this package have the opportunity to increase their unit sales through Facebook feeds with a simple scroll.

ActivEngage and Automotive Inventory Ads

Facebook inventory ads proactively show your current Marketplace inventory to local, in-market auto shoppers. With this new feature, dealers can use Facebook’s advanced targeting data to create dynamic ads based on consumers’ market radius, credit bracket, and car shopping behavior. This results in the opportunity to reach the highest potential customer base yet!

How it works: Shoppers who are actively searching for a vehicle will be targeted to see dealer ads in between friends posts about babies, marriages, and bird videos. Each ad is unique to the individual—if a shopper is searching for SUV’s, ActivEngage targets them with local SUV ads. With this new feature, car dealers will be able to:

    • Increase unit sales
    • Proactively reach car shoppers
    • Target local market
    • Customize ads
  • Measure vehicle sales

But, because some shoppers won’t always convert after seeing an ad once, our tool launches retargeting ads until they do. By retargeting them, you’re giving customers a more engaging and personalized car buying experience. This results in a happier customer and an even better selling experience—go you!

The first conversation you have with a shopper can happen online.

But your customers don’t want to deal with robots. That’s why, once the customer bites, they can chat with one of our knowledgeable messaging specialists. As a dealer, you can feel peace of mind knowing that your customers are in good hands, with a real human.

Show Those Other Guys Who’s Boss

Social Advantage is just the beginning, and we are eager to continue holding the title of the #1 approved chat and inventory partner on Marketplace. Like you, we work hard to remain a leader in this industry. ActivEngage is consistently growing our digital retailing features to turn more of your online shoppers into sales. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for 2019!

30 million Facebook shoppers are clicking on vehicles in Marketplace. Are any of those vehicles yours? To learn more about how we maximize your visibility on Facebook, please visit www.activengage.com/social-advantage.


Alyssa Goolsby

Alyssa is a Customer Support Specialist and growing Digital Content Creator who’s passionate about strategic marketing approaches with a focus on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. When she’s not helping customers or writing content at ActivEngage, you can find her watching Friends or thrifting.


Human interaction should complement technology

Virtual Reality – Digital Retailing

Increasingly, major national companies are promoting the fact that they have humans, personable beings, answering customer inquiries. Yet, in the automotive industry, the buzz is about digital retailing and having everything done on the web.  Seems like there is a disconnect. So which is it? Where should we focus our efforts?

Digital Retailing: A Closer Look

What we see in consumer behavior through eleven years of conversations and measuring results is that there is a desire for both digital retailing and traditional human interaction in the buying process. In the pilots we’ve participated in, we see the take rate on digital retailing to be minimal. Surprisingly, we’ve seen the consumers who most often take the digital retailing path isn’t the novice, younger generation buyer. It’s the experienced buyer replacing a vehicle with the latest model that feels most comfortable in the digital channel. These savvy shoppers have gone through the car buying process enough times that they know what to expect, and they’re confident going it on their own.

Today’s digital retailing offerings are not fully formed.  Without the ability to completely integrate with a dealership’s DMS, claiming digital retailing is a reality is false.  What these systems provide are numbers that are not completely correct to the shopper, and the responsibility of explaining why, by the dealer. Along with that the time and effort of entering all the information into the DMS is still in the process.

Will every buyer demand this channel one day? Doubtful. The automotive purchase is still the most emotional big-ticket purchase people will make in a lifetime. What makes it even more difficult is that as we go through different stages of life, our vehicle requirements change. We all have fond memories of our first car, our family car — and I’m sure we have a dream car in mind (if not in our driveway)As our needs change and models change, the desire to physically drive and touch the vehicle remains. This is a purchase that’s going to stay with you for a few years at least. You want to be sure it’s right.

Human Touchpoints: Finding a Balance

The challenge for us in the automotive industry is to focus as much on enhancing the human touchpoints in the process as we are on removing them. How can we use technology to handle simple tasks so our associates can be free to think and adjust appropriately? What support can we provide our teams to build their skills in meeting the customers’ needs, stated and unstated? Delivering on expectations would include especially not setting the expectation that the deal is “done” through an incomplete digital retailing tool.

The shoppers who choose digital retailing will still be going to touch and drive the vehicle at dealerships. Let’s make that experience one that is comfortable and leads to a purchase.  

Technology can play a significant role in creating a better buying experience. The shoppers who choose digital retailing will still be going to touch and drive the vehicle at dealerships. It’s vital that we look at the broader picture, beyond just digital retailing. What happens at those human touchpoints? The emotions are what move us. Are we developing our human team in addition to the digital side?

Haven’t seen the ads about ‘real customer service’? I’ve got one for you. Have a good laugh, or cringe your way through this commercial, as I did:

 

Can you sell used cars on Facebook Marketplace?

Can You Sell Cars on Facebook?

Since Facebook has exploded, businesses have all rushed to capture their audience’s attention and leverage the platform’s marketing potential. In the beginning, gaining business exposure on Facebook’s platform was relatively inexpensive. As Facebook continued to modify its algorithm to appease its users and better monetize the platform when it went public, Facebook page organic reach plummeted to where it seems to currently offer organic reach to about 1-2 percent of any given page’s fans. Pay to play has been in effect for some time with the only ways for pages to extend reach being via Facebook ads or engaging content. That, however, hasn’t stopped some dealers from continuing to post vehicles for sale on their Facebook walls even at the risk of alienating their audience.

The question of the day is…

Do people really shop for cars on Facebook?

In the past, it’s fair to say that consumers who were using Facebook in their car shopping journey were probably researching dealerships. Some dealers had their inventories tied into their Facebook pages through a tab, but it was infinitely more convenient for a consumer to browse inventory through a dealership’s website or a third-party listing service than it was to visit prospective dealership’s Facebook pages one at a time.

That all changed with the rollout of Facebook Marketplace.

In the beginning, Facebook Marketplace was designed to be more of a virtual garage sale / classified feature available for users to buy and sell items locally. As it has evolved, however, it has become a much more robust marketplace. This, of course, has attracted Facebook users who are increasingly using the feature in their shopping. In the automotive world, industry vendors have begun automatically sending dealer’s inventory to Facebook Marketplace, and Facebook itself has struck deals with major third-party listing sites like Cars.com to have a dealer’s inventory published making it very convenient for car dealers to have updated inventories available for exposure to Facebook’s massive user base.

But, are consumers actually using Facebook Marketplace to shop for cars?

As a technology provider that facilitates conversations between consumers and dealerships in managed chat and also offers that feature within the Facebook platform, we can tell you that consumers are, in fact, engaging with dealerships about individual vehicles.

In Q2 of 2018 alone, 250 dealerships that use ActivEngage managed chat for Facebook via Messenger received 11,030 engagements from consumers originating from a VDP on Facebook Marketplace.

Marketplace Popular Vehicle Makes Marketplace Year Totals Chart

The table above illustrates that consumers are engaging with not only a wide spectrum of vehicle makes but also with a large span in vehicle age. These 11,030 consumer-initiated engagements encompassed a whopping 506 different model vehicles as well. This tells us that consumers of all types, budgets, needs, and interests are perusing Facebook Marketplace within their car buying journey.

Just as with any other consumer touch point, dealers need to be ready to engage with consumers, answer questions and start to build that relationship. Consumers only have so much time and patience, so failing to respond or engage the customer will only see that customer move on to the next vehicle or dealership — costing sales. On the opposite end of the engagement spectrum, dealers who are quick to respond, and are transparent and helpful have a higher chance of earning that customer’s business.

Food for Thought…

Consider that these figures only represent the data from consumers who chose to initiate contact with the dealership via chat. It’s safe to say that there are many more consumers browsing vehicles on Facebook Marketplace that did not engage but rather went into the dealership to see a vehicle of interest.

Facebook Marketplace is a valuable asset that dealers should be utilizing to gain exposure for their inventory. With inventory listings being automated through data providers that almost every dealership already uses in combination with Facebook’s third-party listing partnerships, Facebook’s Marketplace has morphed into a legitimate shopping destination for consumers in the market for a vehicle.

Want More Quality Leads? Start Talking About Finance in Chat

“Stop wasting so much time on leads that won’t close!”

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever screamed internally when you watch your BDC repeatedly follow up with crappy leads, it’s because you know that the quality of your leads determines the quality of your showroom traffic—and if this month’s sales quota will be met.

With today’s shoppers visiting less than 2 dealerships before making a purchase, your digital marketing strategy needs to be optimized for quality lead conversion. But how does your team discern high-funnel leads from ready-to-buy shoppers?

Offering to pre-screen shoppers during chat conversations can help your team close opportunities that are ripe for the picking. But before I explain how, let’s clarify what makes a QUALITY chat lead.

PSA: All Chat Leads are Not the Same

Yes, you can have chat leads with only a first name and email address. But you can also get quality leads from chat—and it’s easy for your team to tell the difference. Quality chat leads have rich customer information, like:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Possible trade-in
  • Purchase intent and timeframe

…and other good-to-know information. Now that we’ve established that you can have good and better leads from chat, I will see your quality chat lead and raise you an enhanced chat lead.

Pre-Screen + Chat = Enhanced Lead

Imagine never hearing the words “I’m just browsing” again. When you pre-screen online shoppers in chat, you drive more qualified car buyers to your dealership.

Recently, ActivEngage partnered with 700Credit to offer an innovative approach to soft credit pulls: QualiFi. With just a name, email, and home address, our team can facilitate pre-screens through one of our credit service partners and drive more prequalified customers to your store. And our data shows it’s exactly what your customers want.

In a pilot with Sloane Automotive, over 70% of shoppers who converted into a lead agreed to a pre-screen.

These enhanced ActivEngage leads included live FICO scores and auto tradeline information, which is a game-changer for internet leads. Why? Because our expert chat team can have finance conversations through multiple channels, like Facebook Messenger, Craigslist, Google search results, and SMS text. Wherever your customers are looking for cars, we’re there to empower them to buy from you.

Check out a short clip of QualiFi in action below:

Why YOUR Sales Team Will Love Enhanced Leads

Your team benefits the most when you pre-screen shoppers before they set foot in your dealership. It allows your sales team to filter through leads, and work the opportunities with the highest ability to close first (enhanced leads)—which stops them from spending time on every lead hoping everyone they talk to is financially able to buy a car.

Additionally, you could create lead scores based on the financial information received. Dealerships with high lead volumes can use lead scoring to easily prioritize leads and increase lead follow-up efficiency. With this rating system, your sales team can know what vehicles to match to a person before they step foot into the dealership.

Here’s an example: Erica is looking for a 2018 Corolla. But your enhanced chat lead shows her FICO score, and she’s financially able to buy or lease an Avalon. We also know she has always wanted a moonroof from the transcript of the conversation. Your salesperson can have a list of potential vehicles ready to show Erica — and use the rapport from the transcript to close.

Finance Conversations…for Service Customers?

Have you considered what this can do for your Service-to-Sale process? When service customers are coming up on the end of their warranties, chat can help open them up to the possibilities of buying a new car from you.

For example, because ActivEngage integrates with major service scheduling platforms, our team can set appointments in chat (and other channels). With the right customer, we can suggest getting them into a newer car by offering a no-hassle, soft credit pull.

Closing the loop on the customer lifecycle in the aftermarket stage is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Neither does separating okay leads from enhanced leads that get your team excited to sell and boost your ROI. Chat, and specifically chat about finance can turn automotive shoppers into buyers, and buyers into lifetime customers.

Want more qualified car buyers on your lot? Fuller service bays? More ROI from your marketing spend? We can help. Chat with us!

dealership live chat rescue feature

Does Your Dealership Live Chat Team Need Rescuing?

You know that dealership live chat feature vendors are raving about? The one where you can ride in on a horse and shining armor to ‘save the day’? Yes, that one — the live chat feature that allows you to take over your provider’s conversation. It’s absolutely terrible.

Rescuing your live chat provider is ridiculous. Here are three reasons why you need to avoid doing it at all costs:

1. Your Customer Experience Suffers

“Why am I talking to multiple people? Why do I have to repeat myself? What is happening?!”

– A Confused Online Shopper

So many things can go wrong during a chat when your team has the power to jump into conversations. To name one example, the conversation length doubles during these chat transfers.

More often than not, your salesperson is going to play catch up in a chat transfer, or they will have to explain to the customer why they were talking to Jennifer one minute and starting over with Stuart the next. This is neither fun nor efficient for your shoppers. In fact, it can really hurt their experience and your chances of getting a sale.

The goal of every dealership interaction with consumers is to get them excited to visit your store and buy from you. Your dealership live chat solution needs to provide seamless, consistent interactions to get people in the showroom. Don’t let these seemingly ‘hot’ opportunities ruin your chances of getting the sale.

2. You’re Wasting Time and Money

Tying into the previous point, if your chat provider needs rescuing, what exactly are you paying for in your solution?

You’re paying to create more work for your team.

Because you’re paying a provider to get you POTENTIAL leads instead of actual leads, you’ll need more staff focused on helping your chat provider, which will lead to more multitasking. Fun fact: multitasking is shown to cause 50% more mistakes and 40% less productivity in the workforce — and it costs our economy around $450 million per year. The odds of closing these potential leads are slim, which means you’re paying more money for less return.

So how do you protect your commission without doing your chat provider’s job? Hire a provider who can set appointments and drive shoppers to your lot. At ActivEngage, we get online shoppers to your store. In fact, our largest auto group customer boasts a 26% closing rate from ActivEngage leads — proof that a dealership live chat solution can and should help you sell more cars with less effort.

3. It Says So Much About Your Vendor

Most other chat providers in automotive won’t talk about their managed chat service because they don’t have the necessary processes or expertise to represent you. Those that do tout having ‘messaging experts’ don’t include their team’s conversion results. Why? Because they want to entice you with shiny, new features that won’t take the place of effective conversation and won’t drive customers to your store.

Unfortunately, some vendors perpetuate the misconception that a chat provider cannot represent your dealership and hold its team to standards of excellence—which is simply untrue.

At ActivEngage, we have been representing car dealers for over a decade. Our best-in-class chat team is trained in customer service, chat, the automotive industry, and most importantly, your dealership. That’s why our average results are unmatched in the industry, even by dealers themselves:

  • 80% chat-to-lead conversion
  • 75% leads with phone numbers
  • 20% leads with sales or service appointments

In Conclusion…

If your vendor offers a service that encourages you to watch over them, it’s a clear red flag.

Look, I get it. Your dealership’s website is a digital extension of YOUR dealership. But there are managed chat services out there that can represent your business professionally and effectively. Why would you pay for anything less?

Are you looking for a chat provider with a reliable team that actually gets shoppers into your dealership? If so, chat with us.

car dealership holiday incentives for busy shoppers

Automotive Marketing: How to Win Over Multitasking Shoppers – Part 3

Welcome to the final part of our 3-part series on how to win over multitasking shoppers at the dealership. In part 1, we went over simple digital marketing tips that help distracted shoppers pay attention to your business during their automotive research. Part 2 was full of helpful ideas on dealership promotions and unique amenities that cater to multitaskers.

Now that we’re at the end of the road, your friends at ActivEngage want to help you capitalize on the busiest time of the year: the holidays. It’s a hectic time for most, going from holiday parties to gift shopping to visiting the family. Help your multitasking, busy shoppers by taking a load off – and earn their business in the process – with these holiday incentives.

Holiday Incentives for Busy Car Buyers

Multitasking customers LOVE convenience, especially since the holidays are always extremely busy. To help them with the pain of having to run to multiple places to get all they need, why not bring what they need directly to them?

Here are some examples of ideas for holiday incentives that entice shoppers to visit your store for a test drive or service:

Wrapping paper/gift-wrapping services

Few things are as tedious as getting Christmas presents. But then you have to wrap them, too. Offer wrapping paper or gift-wrapping services for service customers. That way, your multitasking shoppers can accomplish two tasks at once.

A real-life Santa Claus

It’s a common family tradition to take the kids to see Santa during the holidays. Why not bring the family in to meet the jolly old fellow at your dealership? Have Santa hand out candy canes to spread extra cheer.

Christmas Trees

What could possibly be better than a new car for the holidays? A new car AND a Christmas tree. New car buyers are already feeling the holiday spirit, and you will only reinforce their decision to do business with you by going above and beyond.

For inspiration/motivation, check out how Fairfield Subaru and Preferred Auto Group do Christmas Tree Giveaways:

   

Other Holidays Your Dealership Can Capitalize On

  • Valentine’s Day – Offer flowers and chocolates for their Sweetheart.
  • Independence Day – Pick up your sparklers and fireworks before you head home to the family.
  • Halloween – Give away pumpkins to Service customers.
  • Black Friday – Free coffee or Starbucks gift cards (because your shoppers will be sleepy from getting up so early!)
  • Thanksgiving – Have a Thanksgiving Bake Sale or offer customers a free pie when they come into your service department during the week of Thanksgiving. It could save them time baking or shopping during this holiday, and you’ll get bonus points for being so thoughtful!

Winning the Hearts of Busy Shoppers = Thinking Outside the Box

Saving your multitasking shoppers time, traveling stress, and money during the holidays is a prayer answered for some people. Think outside the box and add to your holiday incentives based on what you think they might need at any time during the year – including all those crazy winter months!

Remember, there’s a reason Starbucks still sells newspapers, and it has everything to do with the added convenience. If you apply that strategy to your dealership, you’ll win the hearts of busy shoppers who will be loyal to your ongoing generosity and thoughtfulness. ‘Tis the season, after all!

Looking for more holiday advice for your dealership? Check out “5 Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer to Your Dealership’s Employees”.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

 

Tips for car dealership promotions and amenities

Automotive Marketing: How to Win Over Multitasking Shoppers – Part 2

Multitasking shoppers are complex car buyers, and therefore, difficult to attract for car dealers. The thing is, the vast majority of your automotive shoppers are multitaskers. How do you sell cars to people juggling their time and attention?

In an effort to help your car business boom in the era of always-on consumers, we created a three-part series of automotive marketing tips to help you win over multitasking shoppers. Part 1 focused on how to win over multitasking shoppers online. Part 2 will focus on ideas for dealership promotions to entice multitaskers to drop the million things they’re doing and drive to your dealership.

 

Increase Dealership Traffic with Dealership Promotions

Oil Change Buddies

No one likes going to the Service Department alone. To appeal to the busy socialite and bring in more fixed ops business for your store, I recommend trying out a promotion in your marketing emails or on social media called, “Friend Day.” Tell your customers that if they bring a friend with them to get an oil change, they get half off their service. Or maybe both the customer AND their friend get half off.

Everyone wants to help a friend out and make time to hang out with them at the same time. Your dealership can help them do both by offering this type of oil change special!

Test Drive Buddies

You can use the “Friend Day” dealership promotions for your Sales Department as well. Just offer to provide both your shopper and their friend a gift card for coming by to test drive a vehicle.

This promotion can be very beneficial to your sales strategy because friends are great influencers. They can help each other determine what vehicle they should buy. What better way to bring them both into the decision-making process than by incentivizing them to come to the dealership together?

Ideas for the gift card:

  • Local restaurants
  • Popular or local retail stores
  • Tickets to concerts or sports teams
  • Movie tickets
  • Gas station gift cards

 

Provide Unique Service Amenities for Multitaskers

Offering free WiFi and snacks for the busy worker is pretty mainstream in dealership Service Departments these days. To stand out from the competition, your dealership needs to take it up a notch by offering unique amenities.

Here are a few examples to inspire the creative and competitor in you:

  • Longo Toyota offers free Wifi AND provides iPads for customers to use while they wait. They also have a Subway and a Starbucks on their property, so customers can choose between a latte or sandwich. Being able to grab lunch while getting an oil change is a multitasker’s dream!
  • DCH Honda of Temecula offers complimentary manicures every Wednesday and Thursday for the busy people who want to get dazzled up while getting their tire fixed. They also provide a kid’s lounge to keep the little ones occupied so working parents can be productive while they wait.
  • Island Lincoln provides a full gym area with weights and cardio equipment for the health-conscious multitaskers who need to have their vehicles serviced but don’t want it to interrupt their typical workout routine.

These amenities can incentivize shoppers who never feel like they have enough time to get errands done during lunch hour…like actually eating lunch!

Looking for more digital marketing tips for your Service and Parts department? Check out our FREE eBook: The Repair Order for Your Dealership’s Fixed Ops Strategy.

If any of these ideas inspire you to offer dealership promotions and unique amenities, don’t forget to talk about them. Put it on your website, make sure your chat team mentions it, share pics and videos on social media, etc. It’s perfectly okay to toot your own horn from time to time!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.