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The fast growth of mobile technology is usually a grand thing; until you come face to face with challenges like Showrooming. Made even easier with better and faster smartphones and tablets, Showrooming is now a part of life for almost everyone with a product to sell, including auto dealers. The 2012 Automotive Mobile Site Study from J.D. Power noted that 31% of in-market vehicle shoppers visited auto websites via their smartphones - and over half of those shoppers did so while physically at a dealership! In fact, people are probably Showrooming in your dealership right now - shopping cars online while on your lot.
So, what is your dealership to do about Showrooming? Unfortunately, you can’t stop it; Showrooming isn’t illegal. So instead, consider embracing this new reality and learn to make the best of it.
Think of It This Way
Consumers simply want the best value and are shopping around to find it. Your job, then, is to get out there and define that value, so it doesn’t become just a price war. And the good news is you can do this both in your dealership and online…maybe even stealing business away from your competitors!
Sweep Showroomers off Their Feet
One key advantage you have on the lot is the chance to create an excellent customer experience. It’s so much more than customer service—it’s everything you do, from having a well-kept lot to the smiling faces of every staff person to the type of advice you offer. Sharing driving tips and demonstrating interesting features (things people may not be able to experience online) really can make a difference.
Halfway through my friend’s car search, she went to a MINI dealership. During the test drive, the salesperson showed her the “secret” compartment, pushed the Sport button so she could feel the difference it made as she drove, and even hooked her phone to the Bluetooth. He introduced her to the car in a way none of the other salespeople did in the six other dealerships she had visited. And that experience played a big part in her decision to buy the car from him the very next day.
Meet Showroomers on Their Turf
Such focus on customer service shouldn’t end at your lot, though. What if you were ready to answer a Showroomer’s questions the instant he browsed your site…from your competitor’s store?
Live chat and text communication gives you that ability. If you added such a product to your dealership site and third-party ads, you could be sharing your inventory and offering tips to win those customers over to your store. It’s like opening the door and shaking those Showroomers’ hands!
That’s why it’s so important to have your dealership salespeople trained and ready to chat. They have the most relevant knowledge of what’s there on your lot, which, at this point, is probably what that Showroomer wants to know. Plus, your prospect now has a name and a face to look for if he does come in—a real, personal connection, thanks to chat drop-ins with personal photos like Contact At Once! offers.
So don’t get discouraged when you see or hear about Showrooming. Instead, get ready to be the value difference with an unbeatable in-store and online customer experience. You might even turn this modern-day problem into an advantage with the right service and the right tools!
Want more details on live chat and text communication products? Contact At Once! is the only provider to offer both across the entire network—your dealership site, your OEM site, third-party advertising sites (Autotrader.com, Cars.com, Edmunds.com, etc.), social media, Craigslist, traditional print ads and more.