The challenges of using social media to talk to customers

Posted by Jon Oxtoby on 15-Feb-2021 10:00:00

Instant messaging could help dealerships communicate better with aftersales customers, and so increase customer satisfaction. But how do you deliver that service? Social media is one option – but is it the right way to go?

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It’s official: customers are ready for a change from the phones. Our survey revealed that 72% of customers say being able to communicate digitally is very important when choosing their dealership. And there’s no denying that there are better alternatives to the phone when it comes to providing great customer service. In this blog, we’re going to talk about one those – social media.

How can dealerships use social media for communications?

Many businesses are creating dedicated WhatsApp business accounts that customers can use to contact them, and of course any business with a Facebook page can receive and send messages through Facebook’s messaging app. In fact, most social media platforms can be used by businesses to send messages to customers.

But how useful are they for dealerships? Let’s weigh up some pros and cons:

Pro: they're pretty easy to use

Most of your employees will be familiar with social media. That means the learning curve will be quick as your service advisors start to use social media to talk to customers. You will need to set up a business page, though, to ensure things look professional.

Con: they don't look very premium

Though social media platforms do have business pages, those pages aren’t very flexible in terms of branding – usually you can add your logo and a banner image, and that’s that. For premium car dealerships – and those who aspire to give a premium service – that may not be enough when compared with more bespoke, branded solutions out there.

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Pro: they're great for two-way communications

Social media platforms allow you to message customers, and allow them to message you too. This makes two-way conversations simpler than, for instance, using email. Crucially, you can communicate in real time with multiple people at once, making social media faster than the phone or emails for communicating with customers.

 


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Con: there are lots of them to manage

There is a wide range of social media platforms in use today – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to name a few. And in recent years the volume of active users on different channels has changed. You can’t just assume all your customers are on Facebook.

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This either means you only offer instant messaging to those customers who are on a specific social media platform, or you set up a presence on every channel – which your service advisors will then need to manage. Depending on how busy they are, that could get complicated, quickly.

"You can’t just assume all your customers are on Facebook."

Pro: they can be used to send media

It is possible to send customers pictures and videos through social media messaging apps, meaning you can send customers pictures of repairs or of issues you’ve identified. This can help you explain issues to customers better, and get them to approve work if you need them to.

However, it can be tricky to actually do this in practice, if your service advisors are using PCs for messaging customers. You may need to get technicians to email photos to service advisors, or sign in as the business on a mobile phone which you use to take and send photos, which introduces issues around data security.

Con: there's no integration with your DMS, or automation

Your DMS is a powerful tool, full of information on customers and their history with your dealership. Social media tools don't integrate with DMS out of the box, meaning advisors need to look up information separately when talking to customers. It also prevents you from automating things like service or MOT reminders, meaning you can’t proactively message customers – which would save your service advisors time.

Introducing CustomerLounge - all of the pros, none of the cons

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It’s fair to say that social media might be useful if a dealership wants to trial the concept of instant messaging, to see if service advisors and customers alike will adopt it. But as a serious customer service solution for dealerships, social media leaves a lot to be desired.

That’s part of the reason why we created CustomerLounge – to help dealerships harness the power of instant messaging to reduce incoming calls and deliver excellent customer service, in a way that’s built specifically for dealerships.

"CustomerLounge has helped dealerships cut incoming calls by as much as 30%, and improve their NPS by an incredible 40 points."

Our solution enables customers and service advisors to chat on a bespoke, fully branded platform that integrates with your DMS – meaning your service advisors can handle all customer queries and communications from one system. You can also proactively message customers to remind them of things like upcoming MOTs, services, and to update them on their car – customers receive an SMS that directs the straight to the app.

Customers get answers to their questions faster, improving customer satisfaction, and service advisors spend less time on the phone, letting them provide better service to customers. CustomerLounge has helped dealerships cut incoming calls by as much as 30%, and improve their NPS by an incredible 40 points.

Plus, with CustomerLounge dealerships can present customers with offers tailored to them and their car, maximising revenue and further improving customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more?

If your dealership is ready to try a new way of talking to customers, we'd love to show you what CustomerLounge can do. Download our brochure or get in touch today.

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Topics: customer experience, technology, dealerships, customer satisfaction, interaction, communication, online, digital, social media, Aftersales, Customerlounge, automotive, consumers, dealer, convenience, digitisation, Facebook, conversation

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