What with lockdown and the post-lockdown surge of business, it may be that you haven’t had the time to think about promotions for a while — or needed to. And that’s fine, of course. But as competition starts to hot up, now would be a great time to revisit the topic and see whether you need to tweak your promotional strategy. Here’s why.
Alternatively, you could just stare at pictures of Richard Branson and use some hipster fonts on your materials - but we can't guarantee results that way.
First of all, how are you communicating with customers at the moment? Email, snail mail, telesales? And how’s it going? The reason I ask is because we see aftersales teams putting in an awful lot of effort into promotions. When you take into account time spent, the value of the incentive and the fact that not everything you send gets read, you can end up with an offer that’s so low margin, it’s hardly worth doing.
But we’ve always done it this way!
Of course and if what you're doing is working, that’s awesome. Some dealerships look to their CRMs to add some intelligence to their offers, for example. And in-store offers, done well, can have a real impact. But both of these approaches use up man hours, and both run the risk of not being seen — emails that don’t get caught up in the spam filters may not be read or acted on. Also — and don’t take this personally — in the era of eCommerce and COVID-19, we don’t really see too many customers flocking to your showrooms to pick up a bargain.
This scene is make-believe in multiple ways.
We’re not going to tell you to throw out the baby with the bath water, but it may be that you need to tweak your strategy not just to reflect how the world is now but how it’s going to be in the future. And all the evidence suggests it’s going to be digital.
How do your customers want to be spoken to?
Our survey showed that 72% of dealership customers are interested in using digital tools to communicate with the service team, and that’s significantly higher than customers of independent garages (45%) and fast-fits (53%).
Our survey also showed that 93% of service advisors say that customers prefer personalised services and offers. But so often, offers are sprayed out in the hope that one or two customers will bite. And that can be a real turn-off to the ones who don’t — imagine a customer with an electric car getting an advert for engine oil (shudder).
Digital tools really come into their own when a customer’s car is in for service — customers generally want it back as quickly as possible, for the lowest possible price, and uncertainty over timings and costs can cause considerable anxiety! Pushing out information to them proactively, preferably before they call you, can seriously reduce their stress levels and those of the aftersales team — and that leads to happier, more loyal customers and, ultimately, better NPS scores.
This customer is so happy they've not even noticed that they're missing a steering wheel.
The benefits don’t stop there, though. What if those tools could leverage everything you know about your customers to send them automated, personalised offers that just pop up on their screens? They can respond at the touch of a button — no need to fire up email or pick up the phone — and potentially you’ve got yourself another sale with the minimal time spent developing the offer.
We've developed CustomerLounge to cover in-service comms, customer insights, promotions and offers and more. And just recently, we announced our integration with Vehicle Visuals, which gives you a library of more than 250 explainer videos to help support your repair quotes and your promotions.
We’re so confident it works, we don’t actually charge you directly for the tool, just a small percentage of those downstream sales. To find out more and book a demo, please get in touch.