The impact of COVID-19 has been far-reaching. Dealership owners saw an increased shift in the ways consumers were already shopping and purchasing vehicles online. With people spending more time at home and on their laptops or mobile devices, dealers have had to evolve the way they do service marketing to reach more customers online.
For dealerships that were previously uncertain about implementing a digital marketing strategy, COVID-19 was the much-needed catalyst. With face-to-face options becoming increasingly limited, reaching customers has to include a social distance digital marketing strategy.
While many retail businesses were forced to shut their doors, service departments were deemed essential in many locations for basic transportation needs of individuals like front line workers. This allowed dealerships to pivot and focus on how to best serve their customers throughout the pandemic.
This unique opportunity gave service departments a chance to capitalize on profits made through ongoing fixed ops services like oil changes and tire rotations.
In addition to the need for dealerships to maintain an increased digital presence in 2020, new services arose out of the pandemic and are likely to — and should — stick around. For example, many service departments started to offer concierge services, allowing for drop-off and delivery of vehicles to an individual’s home.
This focus on social distance marketing was a key to success while the pandemic was in full tilt. However, many of these services are now expected by consumers and will likely need to be maintained to continue to generate service business.. This expectation will make it more important than ever for service departments to think about how they can make themselves stand out in cost-effective digital channels like email marketing.
There are vehicles sitting in driveways, and in a post-pandemic world, the question becomes: How can service departments continue to engage customers and keep their dealership and service departments in front of them?
It is easy to see how the pandemic created a world in which consumers became increasingly dependent on digital channels to gain information and make buying decisions. Be where they are to improve customer engagement and grow customer loyalty and overall lifetime value. Here’s how:
Digital Marketing: If you aren’t investing in digital marketing yet, now is the time. Online automotive marketing is no longer a nice-to-have; it is now a must-have. This includes email, social, text and other relevant digital channels.
Customer Lifecycle Management: The key to success in 2021 is knowing each customer’s lifecycle. What stage are they at in their vehicle ownership? Are they ready for an oil change, tire rotation, new filters, or other services? Having these detailed insights is critical to success.
Personalization: Relevant, 1:1 outreach will always win customer attention. With the right data, you can build a targeted and customized marketing strategy that speaks to your customers directly at scale.
Activator Dealer Solutions