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From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Seller Beware Consumer's (have the) Power

The other day I was honored to be visited by my good friend and Industry Professional Micah Birkholz. Now I could share with you here a variety of stories and analogies, from his refreshingly sarcastic posts that make me laugh and think to the reality that two people who met “In Real Life” for the first time already had a well-established bond and friendship built entirely through Social Media, but it was his comment about his t-shirt that inspired me.

You see he had on an “I Yelp” shirt and told me that one day he intended to write an article about it but that I should go ahead and do so if I chose. He then said that he and his wife (who is absolutely gracious and charming) were going shopping. Classic Micah. Who else would wear so brazenly a shirt into a Retail establishment that say’s “I’m going to tell everyone about how I’m treated.”?

 

 

Think on this. If you had a Customer walk into your showroom carrying a sign reading “I’ll give you 100% CSI on your insanely worded OEM survey AND I’ll rate you on-line, fan you on Facebook, share your posts with my friends and recommend you to every stranger I meet” either every Salesperson would help them or none would because the Manager would insist on doing so! The reality is, every day you DO have that Customer…you just may not know it.

How many of us bother to ASK our Customers if they participate in Location based Platforms such as Yelp or Foursquare? If they do, ask them to “Check In” as there are sometimes Specials on there that could be worth checking out. You may want to have a Service Special active so the next line could be “See we’re saving you on your New Car and you haven’t even picked it out yet!” If nothing else, showing you’re Socially connected and listening will not harm your sale at this point.

For years we have been told to try and “weed out” if there is another decision maker in the process. Have your Customer post a photo to FB BEFORE they buy asking if the Silver or Black is a better choice? It may back-fire on occasion, but overwhelmingly those people we are connected to in our Social Graph support us and wish us well in our new endeavors, right? Wouldn’t an “Ooooh, I’m so jealous!” post help you close a deal?

Above all, the survivors in this business are going to be those that provide the exemplary Service that merits those reviews, not those that game them. As I and others predicted years ago, Reviews and Social ARE impacting search and conversion. Don’t be afraid to engage your Customer as if they had an insane Klout score, serious Kred, 80,000 Twitter Followers and 5,000 FB friends…After all they might. J

 Doing the right thing for the right reason will always lead you down the right path and the Golden Rule has never steered anyone wrong but if you don’t ask you may not receive.

Happy Selling!

Bryan Armstrong

@bryancarguy

 

Eric Miltsch
Bryan, Love this post. Why everyone in a dealership (or any retail establishment) doesn't understand this concept is beyond me. As a child, I remember my parents telling me, "You never know who the person you're talking to knows..." While the same hold true today, you also never know how active someone is online; their online voice may be a lot more powerful than you know.
Chris Costner
Great read Bryan and so very true. I have said many times over that is should be an honor to be of service to anyone in your place of business. Unfortunately, everyone engaged in business does not possess this frame of mind. You never know the power of your customers. Maybe an even better word to describe this power is influence. There will be times when you may not be able to make a customer happy but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat them with dignity and respect. One thing is for sure, bad customer service will make a small problem large. On the flip side, respect and courtesy can make a bad situation better, even if it doesn’t completely solve the problem. This is EXCELLENT and hope many others read. Thank you.
VJ VJ
Superb article! Even so reviews and ratings is now around for dealers for more than 4+ years they still are wondering if these ratings have an impact. Just heard it twice last week during talk with principles and GM's and we (the automotive marketing guys) have a lot more to do. Thank you Bryan for the nice read, and thanks to Micah showing finally he has hair on his head (otherwise wearing constantly his hats) - give these hair roots some sun please!
Bryan Armstrong
Thanks all. Chris you are right on the money when you say you can't make even happy but the respect you show can help remedy many a situation.

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