Customer insight is one of the most essential tools for streamlining and implementing an effective marketing strategy. If you don’t know what your customers need, what their problems are, or what they think about your dealership, your marketing strategy isn’t going to land. Marketing is only successful when it meets your customers’ needs.
So, how can you measure your customers’ satisfaction with your dealership and gain insight into what they need for the future? Here are seven tools that the best dealerships use to track their customers’ wants and needs. Here are seven tools to help you keep tabs on what your customers need from your dealership.
1. Set Google Alerts for Trending Topics and Industry Stats
The most important step in getting to know what your customers think is knowing their needs ahead of time. Keeping on top of industry trends, parts cycles, and seasonal pivots can help you get your parts department in top shape long before orders come flying in. Taking a proactive approach to your inventory and buyer behavior research is key.
The biggest trend in today’s market: Buying parts online.
Digital retail is dominating how consumers prefer to shop. Parts eCommerce strategies need to be implemented and improved constantly for parts departments to generate enough revenue.
These stats prove people are searching for and buying parts online. However, most dealership websites often don’t have the option to buy parts online.
Investing in a quality eCommerce solution (like RevolutionParts!) can help you streamline your dealership’s operations and improve customer experience. Selling online is made easier with instant parts catalog integration, an easy-to-use parts site, and tools that help track and engage with customers.
2. Utilize Behavior Tracking Software
This might sound intimidating, but it’s extremely easy and a great way to visualize what your customers care about on your website. Software solutions like HotJar and other heatmap-tracking options are a fantastic way to see how your customers use your site and what they care about.
These tools can help you track where customers are clicking, where they’re getting stuck, and which pages capture their attention. Even without written feedback, this can provide valuable insight into how to help direct shoppers toward making a purchase more easily.
Here are a few you can try:
Typically, you’ll just have to paste a code snippet into your site. RevolutionParts lets you add code to the site header/footers, so it’s an easy add-on for your auto parts web store!
3. Allow Website Testimonials and Product Reviews
Web Stores with RevolutionParts have a testimonial feature that’s easy to use. All you have to do is turn it on, and voila – shoppers can share their experience directly on your site!
We also have a partnership with Yotpo, the #1 reviewed software on the market. With the integration, shoppers can leave product reviews easily. It’s also a great way to collect qualitative data about your products and how your parts department is performing in your customers’ eyes.
4. Send a Customer Survey
Sometimes, you just have to ask. Send out a survey! To encourage shoppers to participate, you can offer an incentive. The incentive doesn’t have to cost you much, either. Participants can be entered into a monthly drawing or receive a discount on their next order.
When you write the feedback survey, keep the questions simple. It’s best to offer multiple-choice or drop-down menu options. Open-ended text boxes are more work, so shoppers are less likely to fill them out.
You have plenty of survey software to choose from. Here are a few options you can use:
5. Look Through Review Sites
This may seem like a no-brainer, but dealerships rarely check review sites or Google reviews. It’s worth keeping an eye on as many review sites as possible. Shoppers don’t take time to leave their reviews everywhere, so they’ll probably take the “one and done” approach. Have a list of review sites that you regularly check to get the most valuable information.
Be sure to check sites like:
6. Check Your Social Media Comments
This is just one of the many online spaces where customers come right to you! Are you reading your comments and direct messages regularly? Social media is a great resource to see what your customers are thinking and how they’re thinking. Many shoppers use social media to connect with the businesses they interact with since it’s more of a public, casual forum than a direct email. It can help you understand their preferences, values, and general behaviors when online.
Of course, managing your social media is practically a full-time job for many. We get it; you have a lot on your plate. So it makes sense if you can’t check Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms as often as you’d like to.
There are a variety of software tools for you to use to help you manage your social media platforms. We recommend a platform like Hootsuite to help you engage, track, and manage your social media accounts. With a tool like Hootsuite, you can connect all your accounts to one place, so it’s easier to stay on top of everything. You can schedule posts, get immediate notifications, and engage with your customers all from one convenient place.
7. Keep Tabs on Social Media Tags and Mentions
Instead of commenting on your page, some people will make comments about your dealership on their own page. Sometimes they’ll tag your dealership, but often they won’t.
You can easily search for mentions of your dealership on social media. It can take a little more digging to find comments like these, but since they’re left on the customer’s personal page, you may find that they’re more honest about their buying experience. Be sure to keep an eye on customer interactions in your social media messages, comments, and so on because that’s where you can easily resolve some customer service issues.
Your Dealership’s Image Takes Work
Building loyalty among your customers is just as important as acquiring new business. If you can’t keep your customer base, you can’t maintain your revenue. Use these tools to find out what your customers think about your dealership and the overall shopping experience you provide so you can learn what needs to change to serve them better.
Want to learn how to market your online parts business better? You can get started with our guide, “Marketing Made Easy.”