Why you need a customer engagement strategy for your automotive business
“The more you engage with the customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should to be doing”
- John Russel, President of Harley Davidson
Do you know what’s your biggest strength as a business owner? Don’t think twice before you say it’s your customers. Especially, an automotive dealer must be well aware of the importance of retaining the customers to keep moving. Every leading automotive business firm may tell you the same- about how their loyal customers made them successful. The trick is making your customers come back to you over and over again. But, what makes them come back like that? The answer lies in how you interact with your customers.
A customer engagement strategy sets you apart from your competitors. Customers value their overall experience. Your success depends upon the quality of your customer interaction, more than the quality of your automobile product or service. It is an important factor that influences the purchasing decision of customers. Given that, how to approach customer interaction is what troubles most of the automotive industries, as well as other brands.
Customer interaction vs Customer experience
You may have a question here- Is customer engagement the same as customer experience? Yes and no. They are not entirely the same, but customer engagement- among other things- contribute greatly to the customer experience as a whole. Simply putting, how well you communicate with them is going to decide whether you win the purchase or not. Yes, it’s about the money. But at the same time, it’s also about the happiness and satisfaction of your customers. Businesses having a strong customer engagement strategy are more likely to attract more customers. Let’s see how we can crack this.
What’s it all about?
What is customer interaction? Basically, it is continuously communicating with customers through multiple channels. Customer engagement is essential in building a better relationship with customers.In most of the cases, it begins earlier in the customer journey, from the moment one person considers buying a product. It sometimes extends beyond the purchase, deepening the relationship and making them repeated customers. Your potential consumers may be reading the content you’ve published, or messaging you through social media. Whatever the instance is, connecting to them and instantaneously interacting is what counts as your merit. Customers who have engaged with you continuously will come back to you for sure. The aim of consumer interaction is to create long lasting relationships with loyal customers who recommend and promote you more.
Why it matters
No matter which business you own, how you interact with your customers matters. It acts as a force not only to win new customers, but also to retain existing ones. You know the story doesn’t end once you secure an automotive deal. The hardest challenge that can come your way as an automotive industry may be retaining customers. The quality of the automobile or other service is one thing; Along with that, building a strong relationship with customers makes them choose you again. Let’s see why it must be your top priority to create a seamless omnichannel experience. The advantages are many as follows:
- It’s about creating a deep and long lasting relationship with your customers, even after purchase
- Engaging with customers conveys the value you affix to them
- It influences purchase decisions
- Provides you with feedback and insight to make yourself better
- Building good reputation- increasing credibility and trust of your brand
- Providing customers with updated information and useful details about your business
- Makes your business customer centric
- Providing unique customer experience
- Earning customer loyalty - loyal customers are your unpaid brand ambassedors. They advertise your product or service and recommend them to others.
- Winning more customers
- Increasing revenue- Researches say that upto two-thirds of a company’s profit relies upon customer engagement. Customer engagement is the no.1 factor influencing customers to purchase a product or service. Improving your customer interaction thus leads to increasing your profit.
- Increasing customer retention rates
- Staying ahead of competitors
- Avoid losing customers
Towards a customer engagement strategy
- Understand your customers- Who are your customers? What are their interests and expectations? To design a customer engagement strategy, you’ve to know your customers. This can help you to create a target customer profile and implement strategies to communicate effectively. Regular interaction with your customers can tell you more about what they want and expect. Personalised channels can set you and them at ease to communicate problems and possible solutions. That’s why seamless interaction facilitated by tools like Cloodot can change the face of your business.
- Track customer journey- according to IDC, “ the buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered”. Knowing in which stage of the journey they are can help you in determining your approach. Converting customers takes a great deal of attention and it’s important to know their status as a customer. Also, ask yourself what made them choose you. Pay attention to how they connected with you and how they came to know about you.
- Collaborate with your team- you’re not doing this alone. All the team members need to be on the same page to deliver excellent customer support. Proper communication between the team members is crucial to avoid confusions. Moreover, isn’t it better to have a lot more different ideas and perspectives?
- Making use of social media- In a time when there are literally a few people who don’t use social media, sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be used to reach out to your target audience. They offer infinite possibilities from making interesting and informative content to interacting in real-time. These engagements make you updated about their changing expectations, trends and needs.
- First impression- yes, it decides whether the customer stays with you or not. From designing your website in a way that attracts them to the real-time interaction, you’ve to focus on capturing their attention and keep it going. Tools like Cloodot help businesses to make first impression count.
- Be there on multiple platforms- To reach out to customers anytime and anywhere, you’ve to be there on every social media site and other platforms. As an automotive dealer, it’s also important to be present in the popular car review sites. Now, there are infinite possibilities to connect to customers and you’ve to make the most of it. Also, centralise your customer interactions from these different sites by making use of software like Cloodot.
- Observe customer behaviour- to understand what they need from you, you’ve to examine their behaviour through real-time interaction. Analytics provided by Cloodot can help you to evaluate your own performance and make positive changes.
- Be updated- a little bit about timely changes- by analysing your performance from time to time, you’ve to fix where you’d gone wrong before. As everything is constantly updated, you also have to run along.
- Offer personalized experience- In these times when everyone gets everything tailor made for their interests, you’ve to offer a unique experience to fit your customer.
- Feedback and followup- your job is not completely over when the service is done or product is purchased. Customer feedback is a valuable asset to you. Collect reviews and ratings of their experience. They’ll help you to figure out what works and what does not. Not only that, engage with them to follow up and address the issues they are facing. Yes, they have to be confident that you won’t abandon them once your pockets are filled. In the long run, the relationships you make will be of great use to you.
- Improve your customer service- you need strong customer service to back you up. Think about a pleasant and personalised support system where customers can effortlessly raise their problems and you can discuss whatever you can do to solve them. If they see you as friendly and warm, the chances to win their hearts and wallet are higher. You can do this without losing your professionalism. Take care of your customers and their needs and the rest is assured. You don’t even have to exhaust yourself with that if you’ve partnered up with Cloodot. Want to learn more?
- Increasing your online visibility - No matter what kind of business you own, increasing your online visibility must be your first priority to win more customers. If you’re an automobile dealer, make sure that you’re there in popular third party review sites such as CarFax, Cars.com, Edmunds etc. according to the 2016 Car Buyer Journey survey, 78% of the people shopping for cars use third-party sites and spend 60% of their time using these websites or apps to research during their car buying process.
- Claim your business and update relevant information - Creating an account on Google My Business and verifying your business is important for every business. Make sure that the information on your Google My Business profile is up-to-date and accurate. This way, customers looking for your product/service can easily locate you and get in touch with you. Besides, a claimed business account is going to get you more customers ( check out our blog on how and why to verify your Google My Business profile to learn more.) - it’s always better to have such an account in every important platform, whether it is Facebook or Google My Business. Publishing relevant information is especially important in these times of the pandemic. It also helps you to establish your authenticity. It’s quite natural that the customers tend to choose businesses which have the most ratings, reviews and authentic information. Plus, you have to be present in as many websites as possible to make it convenient for your customers to connect to you in the platform of their choice.
- Collect more reviews and respond to them - Now, about the review part. The number of reviews you have and how frequently you get them is crucial when it comes to search engines like Google. It’s not only about collecting reviews, it’s about responding to them promptly. They stand as the proof of your credibility and authenticity. Want to know more about how reviews can help you to grow your business? Check out our article/ebook here.
Customer engagement cannot be transformed in a day. It takes time and effort to develop and implement customer engagement strategies and solutions. It’s a journey rather than a destination and you’ve to go forward by perfecting your approaches and strategies. With greater focus on customer engagement, you can increase your reputation and create lasting impact on your customers. Cloodot can help you a lot in this journey by creating an omnichannel interaction platform. Check out our website to learn more and get started today.