How Are You Converting Sunday Shoppers While Your Dealership Is Closed?
What Is The Importance of Converting Customers on Days Closed?
Since closing a sale is the crucial part of auto sales (and a potentially difficult part of it as well), it can be tempting as a car dealership to focus all of your lead conversion efforts on converting only the customers that show up in person during business hours. This is an easy conclusion to draw. After all, in-person customers likely seem like the most engaged and interested.
However, not everyone has the time or ability to reach the dealership in the daytime during the week. Because of this, neglecting lead conversion techniques in the dealership’s online store leaves out a huge portion of possible business.
Those who work a typical 9-to-5 work schedule will likely have more availability to shop for cars nights and weekends, so by accommodating this with 24/7 shopping on your online store and other automated lead sources, you can meet customers where they are, casting a wider net, and capturing more top-of-the-funnel leads.
Best Tips To Converting Customers
These best practices can allow your dealership to excel at lead conversion.
Setting Test-Drive Appointments
If you have an online, top-of-funnel lead, the next goal is to bring them to the dealership to test drive the car they’re interested in. One good way to remove friction when setting up the test drive is to schedule the appointment thoroughly and considerately. Whenever feasible, be sure to have the customer’s desired vehicle prepped and ready to drive the moment the customer arrives. If time is really a constraint for customers, some dealerships might consider driving the vehicle in question to the customer’s home for a test drive.
By giving customers a window of time that is all about their needs and questions, you can give customers a smoother experience that addresses all of their concerns about the vehicle and has a higher chance of converting.
Understand Buyer Habits
Knowing on some level how your customers think and what motivates them will allow you as a dealership to meet your customers where they are. If there’s one advantage to automated lead sources, it’s data. Digital automotive retailing provides the analytics and tracking data necessary to stay attuned not only to your customers’ demographic data but to their interests, lifestyle, and more. This allows your dealership to be more cognizant of individual customers’ wants and needs and gives you the opportunity to personalize your approach and recommendations to each lead.
Be Diligent With Follow-Ups
While human intuition can be a valuable and useful tool, it’s not perfect. Often, salespeople will drop contact with a lead completely, all because the customer didn’t appear interested. While it’s respectful to use less aggressive sales strategies when customers seem less than excited, that doesn’t mean you need to ghost them.
Not everyone shows raving enthusiasm when car shopping, so assuming that a certain customer is a nonstarter because they aren’t jumping for joy can be foolish. Even if they didn’t give off strong purchasing vibes when you spoke with them, a portion of people will still respond favorably and even make a purchase if contacted later for follow-up. As long as customers are treated with respect and follow-up is done in a way that shows interest in their needs and addresses their specific concerns, it can be a great way to close a sale.
Stick To Your Customer Preferred Communication Channels
Follow-up is a valuable tool for converting shoppers, but important to do so through a method that respects their communication preferences. The best channel of communication to use is the one that a customer has specifically told you they prefer.
Statistically, most people tend to prefer either a phone call or an email, so these are usually safe options. But by using the proper technology tools to keep track of customer and lead data, you can easily store and recall their preferred contact channel at a moment’s notice.
Not only does the use of a customer’s preferred contact method show respect, but it also gives you a greater chance of reestablishing contact and completing the deal.
Send Customers Updates on Promotions & Vehicle Releases
It’s important to stay in contact with your current leads and even past customers. Once customers have had a good experience with your dealership, they will be more likely to have a positive association with your business and will be more likely to do business with you in the future.
Get in touch with your customers to share when new inventory matches what they were looking for or if your dealership has upcoming deals or promotions they might benefit from. When doing so, be sure to provide them with key information tailored to their interests (What about this vehicle makes it a match for them? How does it stack up against others? When can they come in for a test drive? etc.) With specific details tailored to the customer, you have a higher chance of a lead conversion.
Get the Most Out of Live Chat Tools
By chatting with your customers in real-time, you can assure them that they’re being listened to and that a prompt, helpful answer is forthcoming. Chat tools that are integrated with your digital retailing system can be especially helpful, as you can directly share listings, forms, and other helpful information that can answer questions and convert leads.
Respond To Positive & Negative Reviews
On review platforms, it’s always a good idea to engage with reviews and do so in a professional manner. Whether it’s posted on your website, in Google reviews, or on any number of social media sites, it shows awareness, gratitude, and responsibility when your dealership is able to address the reviews it receives, both good and bad.
When a review is positive, be sure to thank the reviewer and mention something specific that you appreciated from their review. This makes customers feel seen, showing them that you’re striving for a genuine connection, and encourages others to leave reviews of their own.
For negative reviews, it’s always important to remain professional. If needed, apologize for the customer’s experience and calmly ask for details that can help you get to the bottom of the situation. If needed or possible, do what you can to make the situation right.
Send Non-Business Messages
It’s also a good idea to reach out to customers to do some relationship-building. If you only ever contact your customers or leads for “strictly business” reasons, it can get a little grating.
Though you might not become their best friend, an easy way to keep your dealership in customers’ minds and create positive encounters is to send friendly messages regarding events and milestones. Birthdays and holidays are great times to reach out and wish them a good day. You could also send messages regarding community or company events and even congratulate them when the anniversary of their original purchase comes around.
When you can keep your dealership at the top of their minds with positive associations, customers are more likely to think of you when referring friends or even come back for another purchase when the time comes.
Use Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software makes it simple to keep customer data organized and useful. With a quality CRM, dealerships can ensure that all important names, dates, signatures, contact info, transactions, and message histories are all contained in one convenient system.
Best Tool For Converting Customers
A CRM can be all the more valuable for lead conversion with tools built right in. CarNow provides the ultimate solution for digital automotive retailing, offering a customizable dashboard that allows you to prioritize the information that matters most to your dealership. Customer data management is a cinch, with handy integrations to all of your other mission-critical systems. CarNow even offers training and support to ensure that you and your team get the most from your dealership’s platform.
Next Steps With CarNow
Find and retain customers with the lead conversion solution your dealership has been looking for. Be a Now Dealer with CarNow.
Learn more about our automated lead sources and schedule a demo with CarNow today.