Hot Topic Tuesday!

Lacy Arnold
Each Tuesday we will be sharing a Hot Topic in the Fixed Ops Forum for everyone here to discuss. The best comment will be featured in the community! Today's topic is... What are your best techniques for creating lifetime customers and overall loyalty? What marketing methods do you feel work best? How do you train your employees to provide the customer experience needed to create loyal customers?
Lindsay Kwaselow
Awesome topic Lacy! Regarding marketing your fixed ops, this is something dealers often put on the back burner, focusing the majority of their SEM spend on new and used inventory. My advise is to shift some spend to marketing your fixed ops, as this is one of the largest, if not THE largest profit generator at your dealership. Tips: -Google AdWords is Vertical Agnostic meaning, they will market your service dept the same way they market a Hair Salon. Make sure to integrate with an advertising platform built for auto that builds ads for your service specials and incentives. -In our mobile world, click to call ad extensions are a must! -Increase conversion and relevancy with Year/Make/Model/Trim variations and build out ads with inventory and pricing. Also, there's two specific types of service/parts consumers you want to focus on to have an efficient strategy: 1. Someone who needs service immediately. 2: Someone who wants to schedule service. Hope this helps!
Lacy Arnold
@Lindsay Thanks! Great input. I agree marketing your service department much like you would any other customer service based business is a great idea. How would you recommend doing this to capture the customer during the initial sales process to better bridge the gap between sales and service departments?
Christopher Tiller
Upfront: I have not been an auto sales manager, however have 10 years of sales management experience & 3 years of consulting dealerships... I couldn't help but toss in what came off the top of my head... If I was asked face-to-face; " How would you recommend doing this to capture the customer during the initial sales process to better bridge the gap between sales and service departments?" My response for would be: Do Not jump on the latest buzzed about marketing band wagons. Make band wagons by acing marrying as TWO separate practices 'Social' Social Media w/ 'Passionately Informative' Social Media. And keep in mind easy to use technology exists to make the ROI of what I have to say... Okay, now let's get onto bridging sales interactions with fixed ops, while building the largest network possible: 1. Get some inexpensive tablets. Such as perhaps Raspberry Pi. 2. Load software that has a form to capture people's form information during the sales process, which ALSO creates a membership account for them. 3. State CLEARLY they can choose not to be spammed or heavy marketed, & that social good & being fun is what the social social media is. (Including sample content imagery.) UNLESS ... they WANT to be following your separated Gear Head & Brand Enthusiasts circle. 4. Blatantly prompt them to enter their Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc... 5. MOST will opt for the company "Social" social media accounts that only post a mix of the following: Informative Content, Interactive Content, Great Jokes, Funny Memes, Puzzles, contests, draws, & reposts of positive friendly happy personal messages from staff which were posted elsewhere (the kind of stuff that is not too 'markety feeling'. The kind of stuff general friends & family share.) Gear Heads & Brand Enthusiasts may choose either or both. 6. Encourage fixed ops staff to contribute content ideas if they see anything that fits within set parameters. 7. Personally mention staff in front of the other staff members whenever something they had suggested is utilized in the social media campaigns. Along with ensuring it is understood why their stuff was chosen so the others know the rational. 8.Let it be known the idea is to be treating the customers & potential clients like loved family on "Social" social media. 9. Encourage all staff to link to the accounts they are passionate about, so they can share if they can stay on top of things. (Knowing they will by default share to their personal networks things 'their people' will like.) 10. Put links to either sets of social media accounts onto every single email signature depending on the staffs choosing, along with links to your Google Maps Reviews. Using 3rd party software to manage the content & posting activities would mean there is not a whole lot of time spent each week. Maybe 4 hours by someone who knows what they are doing. By making sure I have good relevant potential content feeds in VERY easy to scan format so no time is wasted & maximum ROI is achieved. *** I would like to add, it is important for a company to have complimentary accounts for the Gear Heads, & Brand Enthusiasts. Cross Sharing the content from those accounts periodically would allow for cross pollination. One set of accounts for 'Social' Social Media & another set for 'Passionately Informative' Social Media gives a choice of 'either', 'or'. Not 'yes', 'no'. I think too many companies are trying to All-In-One solution their media, and jumping from trend to trend, while leaving loyal followers in the dust when they do. Such as the latest in 'Content Marketing' & 'Informative Marketing' being all the rage lately. What about the people who don't give a rat about that, and literally hate heavy marketing or reading on their social media. Should you not harbor as many relationships as possible, as long as the ROI makes sense? Instead of jumping on every band wagon that comes along, as you leave your pre-existing audience to feel left out? Reinvention is one thing. Being a group of rock stars is quite another.
Lacy Arnold
@Christopher great advice. I agree it's important to speak to both types and people like what they are used to. Giving them alternatives for trying a different style is good, as long as they are able to still keep some of the old. Thanks for the step by step details.

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