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In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard for businesses to cut through the noise. Consumers are bombarded with advertising messages across all mediums from companies that claim they, or their product, is the best. Generally, these messages go in one ear and out the other.
So, how do you get the attention of today’s message-fatigued consumer?
It’s a well –known fact that people do business with people and companies they like. Think of all of the Disney fanatics, Starbucks loyalists and Nordstrom shoppers. They experienced a magic, or some sort of experience, that resonated with them. Who knows exactly how a customer becomes a brand advocate. The point is that they did. Every business wants customers raving about them to their friends, family, associates and others, through social media posts.
True brand advocates are typically those customers that have had great experiences with your dealership. However, the tricky part is that potential customers don’t know how great you are until they come into your dealership and experience it for themselves. When they do have that great experience, you then get to benefit from great CSI scores, positive online reviews and the power of word-of-mouth.
So, if the key to creating a customer brand advocate is providing an excellent customer experience, how do you convince a POTENTIAL customer that they should do business with you over your competitor?
The key to convincing these potential customers that you offer a great car buying experience could actually be right in front of you – your employees.
If you’ve cultivated a great workplace atmosphere for your employees, right there you could have a built-in group of brand advocates. These employees can help you spread the word and show potential customers that your dealership is different, unique and has a great personality.
There are likely several examples that could be used – fun birthday celebrations; a thank you letter from a customer about an employee who went out of their way to help, that is read aloud at a staff meeting; blood drives; employee barbeques; Christmas parties – you name it.
Sadly, in most cases, all of those great experiences are invisible to potential customers. The customers don’t see that you have engaged and happy employees. They perhaps just see a gorilla on your roof, balloons on the cars -- maybe even a wavy arm man flapping in front of the driveway.
That doesn’t have to be the case, though.
How about photographing, videoing and then sharing these staff experiences, moments and activities with your audience through social media and other mediums?
This can help your dealership to develop a unique personality that transcends pricing or inventory. Show the world that you know how to have fun, that your customers love you and that there are real people behind your manufacturer branded-sign.
At some point in a car buyer’s journey, they will start making a decision as to who they want to do business with. Would a potential customer rather do business with that brand new pickup that’s $10,000 off MSRP, just like every other competitor? Or with a dealership that engages them, that lets them virtually peak into the showroom and discover that it is much more than a parking lot filled with cars -- One that is filled with real people who enjoy what they do. Where customers are happy -- and, most importantly, a dealership that is filled with people -- with interests and likes similar to theirs? Wouldn’t you want to go someplace like that? So would your customers.