How to use Mobile applications for better customer service, campaign management and lead conversion
A Special report on using mobile solutions for Auto dealers
Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
A critical challenge for Auto Dealers………………………………………………………………………. 3
The Long and Short of it ………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Lead generation, Nurturing, Conversion and Service………………………………………….. 5
The Solutions in the Offing …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Potential Benefits going Mobile………………………………………………………………………………. 8
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
This whitepaper asks the question: How can you improve customer service, campaign management and lead conversions using mobile solutions for Auto Dealerships.
McKinsey & Company in one of its reports on building top performing auto dealerships points out that more profitable dealerships follow business practice of promoting customer visits in there service departments.
Considerable spend of auto dealerships goes into advertising, reminders and follow ups to ensure customer “step ins”. However the matter of fact is once a customer leaves without conversion, we don’t really have effective means to engage with customers and the cost incurred to bring in that customer visit is lost. We do have option of calling back customers. But can there be a more effective and automated solution to bring in leads, retain and finally convert the customers over extended period of time and that too without limitations of location, time or access.
With advent of advanced technologies in mobility and clear opportunity areas in customer service, campaign management and lead conversion. Car dealerships can now make a big leap towards optimizing customer service and driving marketing initiatives for higher lead generation and conversion resulting in greater profitability.
This paper provides insight into latest mobile solutions for car dealerships, opportunity areas and benefits of using them to begin your journey to mobility.
Timely information to customers – A critical challenge for auto dealers
Are you engaging with customer’s offline / online and keeping them informed about their areas of interest.
Are you generating enough customer visits?
Are you keeping track of your conversion rates?
More and more customers are searching for information on their mobile phones. According to a study by JD Power 71% of the people visited automotive website or app via Smartphone compared to 41% in 2012. Customers are continuously looking for information and that is no more limited to actual visits of the customer into the auto dealer showroom. You would be surprised to know that even when customers are at a “lot” they are continuously looking for reasons to visit nearby auto dealer.
Customers are increasingly utilizing mobile as their companion to access and process information for making decisions. It’s important the auto dealers tailor their marketing and in store processes to align with new mobile driven behaviors. Customers are using mobile to locate stores, check prices, do additional research before purchase and read reviews of recent or intended purchase.
Not being accessible to the customers on mobile and being unable to tap into the mobile application frenzy can only result in considerable loss of profits and wasted effort. A study by Placed.inc revealed that 63% of auto shoppers researched and shopped while at the dealership on their mobile device.
Shoppers are making real time decisions on which vehicle to buy, how much to pay and which dealer to do business with; this is making showrooming a new reality of car sales.
While automobile dealers are protected from shoppers completing a purchase online, information on price comparison, reviews or inventory can be a tipping point for the decisions made.
Two most heard statements in Auto Industry
- “Just looking around”
- “Shall be back”
Auto is a high involvement purchase decision for customers and is generally time consuming and many a times extended. Customer visiting the store is a definite message that customer is willing to make a decision if provided with right inputs and information. A properly integrated mobile campaign can help you in the entire process of lead conversion and also help to plan specific effort in the line of lead nurturing.
A study by Cars.com points out that 15% of the shoppers are being influenced by reviews about the vehicle and 9% about the Dealership. This entails a new approach to differentiating products and stores from the competitors. It is also noted that shoppers are almost using their mobile like a consultant to help close the deal.
Many of the reasons why customers would need time to think or “shall be back” can be resolved in the showroom itself helping make faster decisions. The data also suggests that nearly 18% of the customers used mobile to calculate payments, 7% did research on their own financing options and almost 19% evaluated trade in vehicle price. All these activities can be done on the lot (Store or showroom) and dealers can keep the shoppers engaged to keep moving towards a sale.
The Long and Short of it
Why aren’t Car dealers able to communicate full value of relationship and tend to lose out on converting shoppers?
The short answer is that firstly lack of integrated approach to marketing, in the campaign runs utilizing mobile and secondly not putting enough “empathy” to customers need to extra information and confidence building during “on the lot research”. In-between we have the entire process in the shadows where in a customer is working overtime to find a right fit in terms of needs, expense, utility and experience. Where an auto dealer generally lacks visibility and sales department follows a “shotgun approach” to close the sales.
Lead generation, Nurturing, Conversion and Service
The longer answer to intricacy of acquiring a customer, converting and keeping them happy to generate more sales is embedded in mobility aspect of Lead generation, Nurturing, Conversion and Service. And these aspects need to be managed well to remain in competition.
Lead generation – New lead captured on a mobile
It’s almost 30 years since first commercial call was made on a Cell phone; Today Smartphone is almost like a mobile PC. The probability that the first and initial touch point a customer might have in becoming your lead is very high being through a mobile phone.
As per the data from Cars.com and placed, 59% of the customers shall perform their fist vehicle or dealer research on a Smartphone prior to a dealer visit. Another 19% use a Tablet while 48% shall use a desktop or laptop followed by just 21% who would not research about dealers or vehicle prior to a dealer visit.
It is more and more evident that Marketers, advertisers and dealers now need to have engaging online presence across multiple platforms. However the most important and largest mode remains the Smartphone. Shoppers increasingly use information accessed through mobile devices to reach dealerships better prepared.
Some of the activities that a potential lead might perform as a user online through mobile includes –
- Text or email the Vehicle information to the mobile device
- Map nearest dealer locations
- Find dealer phone number
- Compare vehicle specifications side by side
- Find dealer website
Lead Nurturing – Qualifying the lead generated
Most of the shoppers arriving at the dealer are already at the advance stage of lead qualification to conversion. A survey from Carsdirect.com on mobile shopper’s indicates that a whopping 70% have already decided on trim and options before visiting the car dealer.
When mobile shoppers where asked as to what they were looking for… Information on price topped the list with 49.7%.followed by dealer inventory and photos and colors with around 13 % each. Important thing is that a lead generated moves at a very fast pace to source and assimilate necessary information, skimming out news and data points to make a buying decision.
This is the stage at which most of the competitive forces will advance themselves into engaging with customers effectively providing them with relevant and timely information and necessary support to contemplate best buying options.
Most of the auto dealers active online with necessary mobile lead management and marketing applications are already ahead in the game. They multiply options of generating and qualifying a lead manifold by effectively managing mobile tools on their own websites and optimizing their marketing campaigns with third party websites.
Third Party Pie
In auto business third party auto websites play a vital role in lead qualification and Cars.com survey says that a overwhelmingly 56% of your shoppers are likely to visit 3rd party websites followed by OEM 28% and Dealership app or website at 25%.
A mobile campaign which is well integrated within your website and third party websites shall have a high probability to turn tides in your favor.
In short your customer is seeking help to “funnel out” and zero in on a single choice. This may be made easier and faster for the customer if you are engaging with the customer with right set of mobile tools and technique.
What can you do to nurture the mobile leads?
- Send a quote by email/text
- Respond on text/email on queries or clarifications requested.
- Reach leads at appropriate time when they are most likely to be researching or making up their mind.
- Don’t miss on responding or being connected to the leads generated.
- Sharing “most wanted” information like monthly specials, rebates, QR Codes, coupons etc
- Provide mobile friendly websites and features like car walk around or comparison.
- Help customers “funnel out”
Lead Conversion and customer service.
In a leads survey done by Pied piper on response rates for online leads – 7% went unanswered…can you believe that? Quick and personalized response rate is your second chance to gain market share after capturing a lead and it doesn’t end there even when the customer is looking at the product physically he is in many cases looking for more information and we miss those opportunities.
This is the most crucial part of the buying process. A lead that has been supported well would have already developed a sense of trust to your brand and services. First priority is off course to close this deal, but say just in case client needs more time. We need to ensure that lead is kept warm and we are able to convert when possible.
A high number of “step ins” walk out saying they will be back. It is important that we engage with these leads appropriately and follow them up with an effective marketing strategy that is mobile enabled. At any stage of the sales process your Mobile enabled campaign allows you to continuously work towards deal closure and provide effective customer service.
Can websites or applications contribute in closing the sale?
· Setting an appointment
- Capturing requirements and setting up the Demo before customer’s arrival.
- Directions to the dealership
- Test Drive of the vehicle
- Pricing, Paperwork, Deposit etc
- Follow up / Capture of lead details
The Solutions in the Offing
Have content optimized mobile websites
Text message latest promotions offers, campaigns
Reach customers with latest offers
Send web information as text to mobile
Aid customers at the research stage
Mobile Coupons / QR Codes
Drive engagement and response rates
Set and update appointments and communicate on mobile via text sms.
Loyalty Kiosk Software, Aid engagement, research and “funnel out”
Potential Benefits going Mobile
Mobile based tools and applications enable auto dealers on the go visibility. Think about the top concerns customers have, what is the information they are looking for at a given buying stage. Empower them to get information they want and effortlessly set appointments to step in to the dealer lot.
A mobile integrated marketing campaign has ability to streamline your dealership operations, increase conversion rates, capture and retain customers for business.
Mobile applications and tools bring down your effort and cost on advertising and lead management and let you concentrate on “conversion”. Further it helps you to “plug in the holes” to avoid costs associated losing out on generated lead for any reason.
Mobility has added a new dimension in reaching out, converting and retaining customers. Mobile application and tools enable auto dealers exercise greater connect with the customers and simplify lead management… Thus mobile application and tools are a must have in your marketing arsenal to derive full value of effort in the business of auto dealership.
To gain more insight into how mobile applications can improve customer service, lead management and conversions please visit http://www.dealermobileleads.com/our-solutions.html
Or contact us directly on email@example.com
Dealer mobile marketing was created with one goal in mind; to provide every auto dealer, large or small, with a complete in-house mobile messaging solution. Our robust web based software allows auto dealers to create and manage multiple mobile campaigns with a versatile and easy to use platform.
For more information, visit http://www.dealermobileleads.com
Address: Dealer Mobile Marketing
DeLand, FL, United States
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