Building brand authority for a dealership means establishing your dealership as a trusted, reliable, and knowledgeable source within the automotive industry. It involves creating a strong and recognizable brand identity reflecting your values, expertise, and commitment to exceptional service and products.
By building brand authority, your dealership can earn credibility and trust from existing and potential customers, leading to increased customer loyalty, more referrals, and, ultimately, higher sales and revenue. That being said, establishing brand authority online is easier said than done. An excellent place to start is in the parts department.
The parts department can help build value for your customers and strengthen your brand identity by directly engaging with customers online and participating in thought leadership tactics.
How Can The Parts Department Help?
Every department at the dealership can contribute to its brand identity, but the parts department is often the last in mind. The immediate strategy is often to leverage the sales department to engage consumers with the dealership. While new vehicle sales are an important tactic for driving consumer engagement, it’s not the only one available to your dealership.
Your parts department is a strong source of information that can help build your dealership’s credibility and trustworthiness. Plus, it is often the first point of contact for many customers.
With the right tactics in place, your parts department can actually be a top source of customer engagement.
Tactics for Building Brand Authority
When building your dealership’s brand image, what words do you want your customers to associate with you? Professional and dependable, or maybe fun and exciting?
Whatever your brand image may be, you can leverage a lot of power when establishing it through your parts department. You can leverage the parts department in many ways to help build your brand’s online presence. However, you should keep these top three methods in mind.
Create Engaging Original Content
Part of establishing a strong brand authority is credibility. What makes your dealership better than others? What makes an industry leader? Why should people invest their time, money, and trust in your dealership?
To build credibility among your customers, you need to give them something that reinforces a sense of trust and value. This is where content creation comes into play. Creating original, engaging content can help you establish your credibility among your customers. It gets them interested in what you have to offer and nurtures them into repeat buyers.
Communicate With Customers Often
Brand authority encompasses more than just getting your name out there. It also includes establishing quality relationships with your customer base. Up to 54% of parts sales at the dealership come from return buyers. Fostering customer loyalty is crucial to growing your dealership’s parts business.
A strong customer comms strategy is the best way to foster customer loyalty and build brand authority simultaneously. It’s not enough to serve them content they might be interested in. You also need to streamline their buying process as much as possible. This is where customer communication strategies really come into play.
What types of customer comms should your parts department use?
- Email Campaigns: Send regular emails to customers to let them know what’s happening in your dealership. It could be upcoming sales events, customer discounts, or even holiday messages.
- SMS Comms: Use SMS comms to set up appointments, reminders, follow-ups, and check-ups for customers and keep them on track for parts orders and maintenance services.
- Direct Feedback: Get feedback directly from your customers through online reviews, surveys, and testimonials to better understand how your customers feel.
Don’t Forget The Power of Your Local Network
Sometimes the best thing your parts department can do is get a shining endorsement from other local businesses. Whether that’s the mechanic shop on the corner or even a sister dealership, consumers trust businesses that are endorsed by other businesses, especially on the local level.
Use your parts department to diversify your network within your local area. Get feedback from wholesale customers and share their stories on your website, in emails, and on social media platforms.
You can build a compelling, powerful story that resonates with all your customer types. Plus, it acts as a good business for other small businesses in your local area. It’s a win-win.
Make Your Parts Department Your Brand Anchor
Your parts department can become a powerful tool in establishing your dealership’s online brand presence. By creating original content, communicating with customers often, and utilizing your local network to build credibility, you can leverage your parts department’s marketing potential to help drive revenue and increase return business.
Ready to take the next step toward turning your parts department into the number one revenue stream at the dealership? Take a look at our popular eBook, “Convince Your Boss to Sell Parts Online,” for top tips to convince your GM about the power of auto parts eCommerce.