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A Cheerleader’s Guide to Promoting Your Mobile App

I will begin this by saying that I’ve never been a cheerleader, but at my last in-store mobile app training session I wish I had their contagiously enthusiastic charm. I’m working on it. So why the “cheerleader’s guide” you may ask? Well first of all, every dealer rolling out a new mobile app needs a cheerleader, and secondly, I’m going to see if all the cheerleaders who read my blog will let me get away with presuming to know anything about cheerleading. Here I go…

One of the biggest opportunities car dealers are missing when it comes to promoting their mobile app is perfecting the in-store processes necessary to drive continual downloads. More specifically, service associates need to get customers to download the app. Right now a majority of dealer mobile app downloads are driven from email campaigns, online advertisements, and sweepstakes. These methods, although effective, pale in comparison to having service associates engaging every single customer who comes onto the drive every single day.

Keep it short and repetitive so you can remember and they don’t forget

A typical cheer is short and to the point. Don’t overcomplicate it. Start by doing short, 20 to 30 minute, training sessions with your service team. Multiple sessions allow everyone to participate while customers are still being helped. Train them on the features and functionality. Make sure they’re familiar with the special offers available in your app as well as a short talk track that can be used to encourage a customer to download the app. They should be able to easily repeat a few key features and an incentive (or offer) available for downloading. With the knowledge of how your app works and this easily rehearsed talk track, associates are armed and ready to encourage customers to download the app.

Practice, practice, practice so you don’t trip or drop the pretty girl (or guy)

Your service team needs to practice with your app. Have everyone who has a smartphone download the app and play with it. Have them set up an account and a fake service appointment. Firsthand experience using the app is the best way to get associates comfortable with talking to customers about the app.

Help develop enthusiasm internally – eventually it will spread to your customers

A cheerleader’s enthusiasm is contagious and although we don’t expect your service team to be able to form a perfect pyramid, a little genuine enthusiasm goes a long way. In the first training session I did, it was as if I was asking high school kids to get excited about math club. I associate this with my inability to do a full scorpion (look I even did research for this blog). So how do you get them excited? Talk to them about how your app will make their job easier. How many calls do they get a day from someone asking them to look up their service history? It’s not always an easy task especially when they’ve got customers waiting on them. They could suggest a customer download the app, which would give them instant access to their service history right on their smartphone. Make sure your service team knows how your app helps make their lives easier.

Make it Eye Catching

When cheerleaders cheer you just can’t look away. It could be from what has been coined the cheerleader effect or maybe we’re all secretly hoping they fall, but either way we’re captivated. When customers enter your service center make sure they’re greeted with more than just the smell of rubber and gasoline. Make sure they’re greeted with eye catching signage encouraging them to download the app. Include QR codes so tech savvy smartphone users can scan and download quickly.

Everyone Parties When We Win

I’m not exactly sure what happens when you cheer for a whole game and then your team loses. I’m assuming it involves ice cream, chick flicks, and 5 extra hours at the gym but one can only guess.

But I know that when your team wins, everyone parties and with a few small incentives you can go home a winner. Get your service team to promote your app by incentivizing them. It can be as simple as making your number of downloads visible during daily meetings and rewarding the team when certain download thresholds are met. Consider doing an iPad raffle where associates get a raffle ticket for every customer they get to download the app, or a small spiff can help motivate your team to participate.

Building strong internal app promotion processes in your service department will yield long term results.

  1. Arm your service associates with easy to remember talk tracks to get customers to download your app
  2. Encourage associates to download your app and get comfortable with it on their phone
  3. Make sure they understand how your app helps them do their job better
  4. Hang eye catching point-of-purchase materials throughout your service center
  5. Celebrate success by incentivizing your team to reach your mobile app download goals.

Remember, cheer on your service team and before long they’ll “sell it” to every customer that walks through your service department.

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