Market Dealer | Welcome to the “NEW NORMAL”
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Welcome to the “NEW NORMAL”

Welcome to the “NEW NORMAL”

 

As the world is faced with a pandemic that no individual could have predicted, dealerships are racing against the clock to ensure they can survive. Now I ask myself the question, what is the new normal and how do we prepare for this?

Consumers will be doing business with those that cater to their needs and address their fears of coming in to contact with too many people and entering public spaces. The new normal, in my opinion, will be online shopping as far as possible with minimal to no contact with a business.

Social distancing will be a reality for many months to come and as a retail business, you need to ensure that you can cater to the needs of your consumer. It is a proven fact that many people have a problem with change and now is the time to adapt to the changing world and not be left behind as I can almost assure you that business will never be the same again.

Over the past 3 weeks, there has been a 50% decrease in online traffic and search trends for the motor industry. However, there has been an 80% increase in the search term to buy a car online. As a result, now more than ever, you will need to maximize every opportunity available and focus your marketing efforts and technology towards this growing trend.


A decrease in search terms & trends in the automotive industry over a 3 week period – Source Google Trends

An increase for the search term “Buy a car online” – Source Google Trends

According to Google Trends the increase % in “buy a car online and have it delivered

You may be asking; how do I achieve this and how do I prepare my dealership? I have created a simple 3 step approach to get your dealership ready

 

The first step would be to ensure your website has the following features:

  • Your website should be Mobile Friendly
  • Up to date model information with pricing
  • Managed Live Chat feature
  • Clear call to actions across the website
  • Working lead forms
  • Online Finance Application – Preferably with a Virtual F&I solution
  • Finance Calculator
  • Lead Scoring ability
  • Online service bookings functionality
  • Online Parts enquiry
  • Detailed pages about your finance products and VAP upsells
  • Ability to sell VAPS online
  • Vehicle Valuation functionality

Now that your online dealer is ready to handle traffic, your second step would be to get your staff ready to handle the leads that are passed through the system

  • Drive the change in behaviour and ensure everyone handling your online leads understand the importance of immediate and constant follow ups
  • Re-arrange your sales team to only allow qualified sales staff to handle your internet leads
  • Arrange appropriate lead handling training
  • Ensure your CRM system is set up to handle escalations and your management team can monitor incoming leads constantly
  • Ensure you receive daily reports on your leads activity to ensure every lead has been contacted and what the next steps are. Dormant pipelines are a thing of the past and if a client has submitted his finance, he is 80% ready to purchase and the comment, I am waiting for the customer or I cant get hold of the customer should be a thing of the past
  • Have all your calls recorded so that you can track, monitor, and train your sales force accordingly
  • Have daily one-on-one sessions with each team member individually to track performance and conduct training and lead handling coaching sessions
  • Used car valuators will need to start doing more virtual valuations and this could include clients sending photos or videos of their trade in
  • F&I’s will need to adapt to lower backend margins and you could launch additional campaigns to upsell VAP products at a later stage and even re-target clients that have already purchased from you
  • Service advisors will need to become accustomed to meeting clients outside with the appropriate protective gear to minimize the need to enter the dealership
  • Parts sales execs will need to get used to handling a larger volume of incoming parts enquiries as consumers attempt to find availability and pricing before moving from dealer to dealer

Now that your website and staff are ready you can roll out the 3rd and final step

  • Create targeted lead generation campaigns to generate enough lead traffic from Google and your social media pages
  • Invest in SEO so that you can ensure your dealership is visible in a highly competitive online market
  • Invest in your database with email & sms marketing that will drive traffic to your online portals
  • Get your social media pages up to date with the latest models and promote the online buying experience
  • Re-evaluate your marketing spend and determine where you are spending and where your highest return is to optimize those channels

We have created various product offerings to assist you with moving your dealership to an e-commerce platform which will allow the consumer to do most of their shopping online and only come to the dealership for the delivery and signing.

Live Chat – Managed and self-managed solution

We will place a live chat feature on your website, and you have the choice if you will manage it, or if we manage it for you

GetScore

Pre-qualify your leads with a credit score to apply a filter to your leads

Virtual F&I

Our Virtual F&I solution will allow consumers to submit their finance to the bank directly and get an instant online answer from all 4 leading South African Banks

Online Finance Application

Allow consumers to submit their finance application online and we will push the completed application into your F&I dashboard to assist them in dealing with a larger volume of leads

Review Management

Build better online relationships and ensure that all reviews are answered. Track your ratings and run sentiment campaigns to look for themes in customer feedback and, connect local marketing spend to changes in online performance based on calls, directions and web visits

 

For more information or to book a strategy session, leave your info and we will get back to you