Improve the Dealership Customer Experience (CX) Before the Customer Even Arrives

August 19, 2019 John Kehm

Historically, relationships with customers began when they walked through your showroom doors. Today, thanks to the Internet, sophisticated marketing campaigns and increased consumer research practices, the customer experience journey begins long before they ever set foot in your dealership. How can dealers design and structure their operations to ensure they’re making the right first impressions? In this blog, Mastermind covers:

  • How to use personalized, data-driven marketing to set high expectations for a customer’s relationship and experience with your dealership
  • How a data-backed automotive sales platform can drive exceptional customer experience
  • How to convert prospects into customers with a personalized marketing
  • How to integrate data-based personalization into all aspects of your dealership’s interactions with prospects and customers

Predictive Marketing Establishes Great CX from the Start

Simply put, predictive marketing delivers the right message, to the right prospects, at the right time through the channels that are most likely to get their attention. This data-driven process includes the production of personalized offers and marketing materials designed to engage customers or prospects and drive them through the sales funnel to purchase. 

Modern consumers are taught to expect this level of personalization in so many other facets of their lives and have come to view personalized marketing as a benefit they value from a company. By communicating with messaging that is relevant to their unique needs, you can show prospects they matter to you, establishing a great starting point for the dealership customer experience. 

If you’re concerned about your dealership team’s ability to execute an effective personalized marketing campaign, don’t worry. Mastermind’s dealership veteran support team can work with you every month to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

Data Drives Personalized CX

Of course, you can’t deliver on personalized marketing, or any other component of CX best practices, without good data. Where does this data come from? Some of it is yours, from your existing DMS and other legacy tools. Some of it is public information, including things like social media and other nonproprietary data points. 

What makes a real difference in the effectiveness of your analysis and the CX on which it depends is the inclusion of information from critical proprietary databases. At Mastermind, our proprietary automotive marketing data partners include IHS Markit, TransUnion and the CarFax Snapshot Tool, ensuring our dealers have access to extensive customer insights such as household demographic data, personal finance information and social media interactions to deliver the most relevant and profitable offers possible.

With so much available data in today’s increasingly digital world, it’s nearly impossible for dealers to “know their customer” the old-fashioned way. You need the right tools and training to put data at the heart of your dealership’s interactions with your customers.

Effective sales people rely on traditional sales skills and on digital sales platforms to deliver all the information and insight they need about a prospect. A dealer sales platform also ensures your customers that your dealership understands them as an individual and wants them to be satisfied through every step of the car buying journey. 

Turn Automotive Prospects into Customers 

These days, the sales process often starts while the customer’s at home, engaging with your website or social media. This is a critical point in the car buying journey and is a good reason for dealers to consider an integrated business development center (BDC) to manage those communications to ensure they’re personalized and data-driven.  A BDC is a powerful marketing tool to convert leads into sales, a great asset to your dealership’s marketing efforts. BDC is a powerful tool. It also plays a key role in setting CX expectations when it’s a prospect’s first point of contact and delivering on them from the first interaction they have with your sales team. 

Once a prospect walks through the door, your sales and F&I teams need to be armed with actionable and reliable information, too. These customer insights should include not only relevant facts and figures, but also suggested deal parameters, highlighted areas of concern and a selection of personalized messaging that’s likely to play the most effective role in closing a good deal with a happy customer. 

This isn’t a simple change, and even the best sales team can use help incorporating customer data and CX best practices into their car sales techniques. That’s why Mastermind offers not only introductory car sales training for new salespeople, but also ongoing refreshers for veteran sales team members, at no additional cost.

Car Dealership Customer Service Extends Beyond the Sale

Your customer’s experience doesn’t stop with the sale and neither should your data-powered CX interactions. Customer relationship management, including service loyalty, keeps customers satisfied in their experience with you all the way through to the end of the sales cycle and the start of the next.

The end of one sales cycle and the start of another is a place where a modern, data-driven sales platform such as Mastermind’s Market EyeQ pays dividends. By integrating your existing customer insights with equity mining tools that proactively identify when an existing customer has become a valuable prospect for a lease-end or turn-in deal, you can drive a variety of potential revenues from factors such as new and used car sales, lease initiation, upsells and initiation fees.

Additionally, service departments and other fixed operations are fertile ground for data-driven conquest, with some estimates finding that turning a service-only customer into a new vehicle sale is five times cheaper in terms of cost of acquisition than other methods. Mastermind’s Service Conquest tool automates the drudgery of the service conquest process, empowers our dealer partners to convert service customers into new car sales. 

When your CX is effective, happy customers speed up the sales process, lower your cost of acquisition and make a measurable difference in your bottom line. Learn how automotiveMastermind can help you improve your dealership’s customer experience from the first touch to the last. Schedule a consultation today.

Interested in learning more? Check out our other dealership marketing blog posts

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