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Brett Sutherlin

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Are You Missing Out on a Large Population of Customers?

Se Habla español?

Many dealerships reap the benefits of employing staff that speak fluent Spanish for the simple reason that an increasing number of Spanish speakers frequent today’s dealerships for both sales and service. Language barriers can be a problem when it comes to service recommendation upsells or relaying the value of a vehicle, its features and, ultimately, a deal the customer can understand.

If you cannot communicate fluently with a significant demographic portion of your market area, your dealership could be losing a considerable amount of money in revenue from service declines and lost sales.

It’s one thing to have a Spanish speaking employee who can converse with customers in a way they understand. But what about engaging them when they aren’t at the dealership? How do you do that? Via your website!

According to the 2016 Census, Hispanics comprised 17 percent of the population of the United States; that is around 55 million people. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2060, Hispanics will make up 28 percent of the population. As a result, there will soon be 119 million U.S. residents of Hispanic descent, some of whom will speak English as a second language and perhaps need assistance from a Spanish-speaking employee. 

Today’s car buyers conduct a majority of their research online, and that is sure to increase. If Hispanic-speaking customers cannot understand the messages on your website, it’s the same as if they are standing in your showroom unable to comprehend your salesperson. However, in this case, you may never have the opportunity to correct that situation.   

If you have a large Hispanic market and do not already have one, it is time to consider a website built from the ground up dedicated solely to the Spanish language.

There are plenty of website providers that offer Spanish language websites to their dealer clients. However, be careful who you chose, as many just rely on Google’s translation tool when the customer has their browser set to Spanish. If you’ve ever tried to translate anything with this tool, you will have probably found that it does the job to some degree, but it's not perfect. Also, if you chose to use Google-translated websites, the content isn’t indexed, so you essentially gain no benefit.

There is a better way: a SECOND website built organically from the ground up in Spanish. You can then deliver your messages directly to your customers in their native language with proper syntax and grammar. These customers will better understand you and, as a bonus, feel that your dealership cares about them and their ethnicity, and can genuinely assist them for all their sales and service needs.

Aside from those benefits, which are huge and can earn more sales and service business, there are considerable SEO benefits as well. First, as a second site, Google will fully index it. Whereas it does not index a site that is simply translated by the Google translation tool. How big of a deal is this? I’ve seen instances where a dealer’s SPANISH website outranks their primary ENGLISH website in search results! As an additional bonus, Spanish language websites aren’t under the scrutiny and policies of the manufacturer when they are true secondary websites, so you do not have to worry about compliance issues with your OEM.

It’s well worth looking into. A secondary website dedicated to the Spanish language produces extra website traffic, more leads and, ultimately, more sales.

Paul Negulecu

I am currently discussing this topic with a client.  I appreciated the suggestion of a separate Spanish-language website.

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