Check out some of the most popular websites in the world. According to Alexa Internet traffic rankings for North American sites, it goes Google, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, Reddit, Yahoo!, Amazon, Twitter, and Instagram. You know about all of those websites and apps. When you browse to them, you know what to expect.
Of the top nine sites, only one is directly sales-related: Amazon. The rest of these trustworthy sites are based in social networking and internet services. That says something.
You’ll find opportunities to spend your money on each of the sites, of course, but their primary purpose, other than Amazon, is about connecting people with information and entertainment. In doing so, they’ve each built a steadfast reputation and earned your trust.
After looking at online presences that have rocketed through the stratosphere with success, turn to your own dealership’s website. What does it offer your customers? For the vast majority, it’s a thinly-veiled effort to advertise the latest new model, ‘year-end clearances’, or an opportunity to book an appointment. All are important to a dealership’s success, but have you measured the results of these campaigns? Do they draw in new sales at all? Make a note to check on your dealership’s results.
To most customers (but not all), your website desensitizes them to a high-quality call to action when they’re ready to make their sales or service decision. It also gives the impression, correct or not, that the dealership cares more about sales than their customers or community.
There’s no getting around the need to make sales, both of cars and in the service department. But what’s more important to a customer: finding a flashy deal on the website, or discovering why some services are required and how they’re done and quick access to vehicle listings?
Speaking to the service aspect, there’s nothing as powerful as video. Think about being a customer with only basic automotive knowledge. Someone tells you that the brake fluid needs to be changed - or the transmission fluid, power steering fluid, or coolant – and you’re supposed to give them the go-ahead. Being trained that the automotive industry is crooked and over-priced, customers have obvious reservations. But you can break down those walls by demonstrating on video why each service is important and how it’s done.
Video is a great way to introduce your service team too, giving a face to your dealership online. Share them on a YouTube channel as well. It shares an environment with real people, friendly faces, and connects the customer with your physical location. Video has been embraced by the sales department in some stores with good success, and the same can be true for service.