The Power of Real-Time Customer Engagement

As the automotive industry continues to grow and evolve, so does the way customers interact with car dealerships. Walking into the dealership to speak with a sales representative has become less necessary as more and more customers feel comfortable using online resources for their car research and shopping. All of this has made real-time customer engagement much more important for automotive dealerships in the modern world.

Let’s explore how real-time customer engagement can provide an enhanced car-buying experience and look at the advantages of using real-time communication tools like messaging and chat.

Car Shopping Has Evolved

The internet, and the various new technologies it has ushered in, have changed the world forever, and that includes the ways that customers shop for their cars. Traditionally, customers had to rely on a car sales representative who would guide them through the car-buying process from start to finish. But times have changed in a way that doesn’t make this strictly necessary in all circumstances since customers now have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips, everything from car reviews to accurate pricing information.

According to a 2020 survey by Cox Automotive, “Heavy Digital” buyers (those who complete more than half of the car buying process online) are on the rise. They tend to have higher satisfaction levels, all while reducing their time physically at the dealership by more than 40% compared to “Light Digital” buyers (those who complete less than 20% of the online process). If your dealership hopes to keep up, you’ll need to make an effort to engage customers online.

Engaging Customers Online

Online customer engagement is an essential activity for competitive car dealerships. Customers tend to expect, or at least hope for, prompt responses and personalized communication, and that tendency is without regard to the platform they use for dealership interactions.

That’s the reason that real-time customer engagement is so important. Engaging online customers in real-time allows a dealership to provide a more personalized real-time customer experience that more accurately addresses their particular questions and concerns. When dealerships communicate with customers instantly by using real-time communication tools like messaging and chat, customers can receive much-needed support and answers they need.

What Are The Three Pillars of Real-Time Customer Engagement?

Let’s take a closer look at three of the most important aspects of real-time customer engagement.

Speed and Agility

Being able to react and adapt to online customers’ needs in real-time is an essential aspect of customer engagement. Delivering value to online car shoppers in a way that is customized to their current needs and doesn’t get in their way is the goal of real-time engagement.

Data-Driven Personalization

Each online car shopper should feel heard and understood by your dealership. In order to make that happen, you have to know your customers, which requires data. This includes their likes and dislikes, as well as their purchase history, but it can also go much deeper, accounting for external factors like the time of day, demographics, and even the current weather conditions. By using a system that keeps all of this data straight, you can deliver a more unique and enticing experience to your customers that not only benefits their buying experience but also keeps them loyal to your brand in the future.

Cross-Channel Optimization

There are various devices, apps, and websites that customers can and will use to find inventory at your dealership. To accommodate the greatest number of customers, you’ll need to ensure that you fully and effectively utilize these channels and meet your customers where they already are. Having intelligent cross-channel optimization will allow you to organize and deliver valuable interactions that provide value to your customers, no matter where they are or what they’re looking for.

Advantages of Real-Time Engagement as a Chat Tool

Real-time engagement offers several advantages when used as a messaging tool. Here are a few of the most significant:

Instant Chat

Real-time chat facilitates instant communication between your dealership and your customers. This allows customers to receive answers to their questions right away without forcing them to wait by the phone or keyboard. Instant chat means more efficient communication and allows customers to communicate with multiple representatives at once.

Post-Purchase Support

Real-time chat is also instrumental for customer support after the deal is signed. These chats can answer questions about warranties, features of the car, recommendations for its use, or even scheduling appointments for car maintenance. Using real-time chat for these purposes allows you to cultivate a more positive dealership experience that increases the chances of customer loyalty and repeat business.

Audience Marketing & Targeting

Tracking the behavior and preferences of your customer allows your dealership to more effectively target marketing campaigns, not just for the particular demographics that frequent your site but also adapting to the individual based on their history and needs. More targeted marketing often results in a higher amount of customer engagement and a higher number of conversions.

Real-Time Engagement Is the Competitive Edge Auto Dealers Need

It’s a competitive market out there, so in order to serve their customers better, auto dealers need to take advantage of each competitive edge they can get. Real-time communication tools are an immensely powerful tool for dealerships, allowing them to create a more personalized experience for their customers and foster a higher level of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business.

Next Steps With CarNow

CarNow understands the importance of striving for real-time customer engagement for auto dealerships. That’s why we offer a comprehensive suite of communication tools specifically designed for the automotive industry.

To enhance the experience your dealership can provide for online customers, get in touch with CarNow today to learn more about our real-time communication solutions.