Marketing your dealership is fast-paced. You don’t have time, money, or effort to continually learn the latest marketing trends and put them into action.
We often forget to stop and listen to what our customers are truly saying because we’re too strapped for time.
Here are some tools other car dealerships use to track their customers’ wants and needs.
We know that what works for the dealership down the street won’t always work for you, so here are 7 ways to listen to your customers.
You decide which might be right for your dealership.
1. Set Google Alerts for trending topics and industry stats
Knowing what your shoppers think is huge, of course, but ideally, you’ll know what they want BEFORE they have to tell you.
That means taking a proactive approach. Watch out for upcoming industry trends and keep up-to-date on the latest technology.
One HUGE trend you don’t want to miss: Buying parts online.
If you’re listening to customers at the service and parts counters, you’ll see that they want to buy OEM parts and accessories online.
- eCommerce for parts & accessories is predicted to hit $22 BILLION by the end of the year. (Source: Hedges & Company)
These stats prove people are searching for AND buying parts online. Your dealership customers increasingly want to buy parts OEM online without going to the aftermarket.
The problem is that most dealership websites don’t have the option to buy the part online, or it’s a poor experience to find the right part you need.
That’s where RevolutionParts comes in!
We deliver great shopping experiences for your customers. We also make selling online easy and profitable for the parts department.
Just fulfill orders and collect payment from searching and ready-to-buy shoppers!
2. Install behavior-tracking software on your website
This might sound intimidating, but it’s actually an easy and fun way to visually see what your customers care about on your website.
Software like HotJar and other heatmap-tracking options are a fantastic way to see what your customers care about.
These tools can see where customers are clicking, where they’re getting stuck, and which parts of the page interest them the most.
Even without written feedback, this can provide valuable feedback on how to move things around and help direct shoppers toward making a purchase.
We won’t spend a lot of time comparing the options, but here are a few you can try:
Typically, you’ll just have to paste a snippet of code into your site.
RevolutionParts let you add code to the site header/footers, so it’s an easy add for your auto parts web store!
3. Allow website testimonials and product reviews
Why not provide a place for shoppers to leave their feedback? If you can allow customer feedback on your very own website, do it!
Customers will feel like their feedback is valued, you get to hear their thoughts, and other shoppers will see you as more reputable.
This is where RevolutionParts clients really have it easy!
Web Stores with RevolutionParts have a testimonial feature that’s as easy as clicking “on.” Then voila – shoppers can share their experience!
We also have a partnership with Yotpo, the #1 review software on the market. With the integration, shoppers can leave product reviews.
It’s GREAT for accessories, especially since these reviews can convince other shoppers to buy.
4. Send out a customer satisfaction survey
Sometimes, you just have to ask.
Send out a feedback 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 always better to offer multiple-choice or drop-down menu options.
Open-ended text boxes are more work, so shoppers are less likely to answer.
Again, you have a lot of choices. Here’s somewhere to start:
5. Check dealership review sites
You probably already know this one, like the back of your hand. We’re going to include it anyway, just for the completionists’ sake.
It’s worth it to keep an eye on as many review sites as possible.
Shoppers aren’t going to take the time to leave their reviews everywhere — they’ll probably take the “one and done” approach.
Some of your options:
6. Check your social media page
This is just one place online where customers come right to you! Are you checking for new comments and direct messages on a regular basis?
You’re thinking, how can I manage another channel when I’m already pressed for time? We get it; you have a LOT on your plate.
So it makes sense if you can’t check Facebook, Twitter, and others as often as you’d like to.
But it’s such an important feedback tool!
Many shoppers use social media to get in touch with the businesses they interact with since it’s more of a public, casual forum compared to a direct email.
With a tool like Hootsuite, you can connect all your accounts to one place, so it’s easier to stay on track with everything.
7. Check social media tags or mentions
Instead of commenting on your page, some people will complain on their own page. Sometimes they’ll tag your dealership, but other times they won’t.
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 the experience.
Most social media platforms will have a search option. Simply search the name of your dealership and see what comes up.
You can also try searching abbreviations or short versions of your name since not all customers will want to type out the full dealership title.
The fast-paced nature of marketing your dealership doesn’t have to mean missing out on understanding your customers’ needs.
By leveraging tools like Google Alerts, behavior-tracking software, customer testimonials, satisfaction surveys, dealership review sites, and social media, you can stay attuned to your customers’ wants and needs.
Remember, each dealership is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.
Therefore, choosing the tools and strategies that best align with your dealership’s goals and customer base is crucial.
The key to successful marketing is not just speaking but listening.
By tuning into your customers, you can create marketing strategies that truly resonate with them and drive your dealership’s growth.
So, take a moment to listen – your customers are speaking, and what they have to say could transform your dealership.
Ready to dive into some more marketing tactics? Download our Marketing Toolkit below to discover how to improve marketing in your parts department.