Omnichannel. A super cool word that just means "all channels."
How do your customers communicate with you as a car dealer? They certainly use multiple channels to do so, and the fact that car buyers seem to have different tastes in communicating with dealerships means you should definitely cover your bases, both online and offline.
An omnichannel approach in your marketing and messaging ensures no customer is left behind given the amount of digital channels that bombard consumers every single day. Customers are on their phones, desktop computer, laptops, listening to streaming services, etc.
An omnichannel approach should be considered because the world, and customers by extension, lives an omnichannel life.
An Omnichannel Approach in the Automotive Industry
Car dealers do their due diligence with omnichannel marketing (well, maybe some don't), but are you providing an omnichannel option when it comes to how customers reach out to and communicate with your dealership?
Shoppers are spoiled by, and expect, updated communication options. That, coupled with the pretty large variety of mediums a customer can use to engage in commerce, means real time, omnichannel support solutions and communication channels should be high on the list of customer engagement strategy for dealerships.
How important is a multi-channel approach for customers? According to Harvard Business Review, they:
"...observed the shopping behaviors of 46,000 consumers and found out that around 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels. Comparatively, 7% of consumers shop online exclusively, and 20% of them shop merely in-store..."
That is a staggering percentage of the consumers polled who would prefer their shopping experience occur over a variety of channels. What we can extrapolate is that these people approach commerce from a variety of angles, as more communication channels open that allow more convenience and freedom in their experience.
3 Ways Your Dealership Can Implement an Omnichannel Approach with Live Chat
Omnichannel marketing is one thing, but an omnichannel line of communication for curious, active car buying customers should also be a priority for dealerships. When thinking about all of the mobile social devices and technology customers use in their daily life, it's worth seeing how you can streamline the customer journey and customer experience.
The following are ways you and your dealership — or dealerships — can open the digital communication process up for your car buying customers and create a truly seamless omnichannel approach.
Live Chat on Your Dealership Website.
Having a first line of defense communication-wise for dealerships in the digital age is highly recommended. And not just because people may be wary of salespeople or the dealership vibe in general; the internet has lead to vehicle shopping going through multiple stages and timelines. Cars come in a variety of trims, editions, etc. and have a multitude of different features that support different lifestyles. Price is important so a buyer wants to compare.
Customers shop around! Your website is just one stop out of several, so how are do you plan on engaging and retaining the customer that is hopping from platform to platform to create or find the best deal for themselves? Engagement is key, and to catch those customers that are always online, you'll need a means to communicate and, for added assurance, human guidance.
Automotive live chat, or just a solid dealership messaging platform for your own team to use, is perfect for snagging flighty, active car shoppers who are hopping around the internet looking for the best deal. Engage, establish a connection, and assert yourself in the customer's mind! Sometimes the customer experience is the deal breaker, not the price.
Mobile Chat/Texting Support.
This goes along with the first point, but texting can enhance the customer experience even further. The sales process can be awkward for a lot of people. In addition to that, not everyone is in the same place in their car buying journey. The buying experience is different for everyone, and customers can be at any given point in the sales funnel.
Texting helps customers ease into a sale, establish a relationship with dealers (kids these days call this a "vibe check"), and appreciate a flexible, mobile option. Create a relaxed, but still real time, personalized channel that also humanizes your dealership and salespeople. Meet your car shopping visitors where they are, on technology they are most familiar with!
We talk more about the benefits of having great dealership text software here!
Social Media (Facebook) Chat Support.
Does your dealership have social media? A Facebook page, perhaps? Let your visitors chat with you there, too! Although you can't really list vehicles on Facebook Marketplace anymore, your Facebook page is still a resource and a search result for customers researching your location to work with.
According to Backlinko's Facebook Demographic Statistics:
"...the number of Facebook's daily active users (DAUs) currently stands at 1.908 billion people, meaning 65.9% of the total monthly users log in on a mobile device or desktop each day."
This is a huge user base that can be tapped into not only for marketing, but as a potential channel for direct engagement tools on one of the most dense social platforms.
Boost the Customer Experience for Car Buyers with ActivEngage
Provide a truly top-to-bottom omnichannel buying experience with ActivEngage! We provide awesome tools that help your customers engage your dealership from multiple communication channels.
Not only can we ensure there is a contact touchpoint in every step of your digital experience, we have other awesome tools that help boost your customer experience, like:
- Real-time finance process guidance with RetailSync.
- Tailored, behavioral offers with ActivTarget.
- We also integrate with the top service scheduling programs! Check out ServiceConnect!