With literally hundreds of franchise car dealerships in the UK only, it is difficult for dealers to differentiate themselves from one another. This also means that differentiation is key to stand out, especially with the changing definitions of loyalty. I’ve mentioned this stat before but it’s recent and it well worth considering- AutoLoop carried out a study called “Life After Loyalty – Learning to Embrace Customer Engagement” and found that 60% of millennial customers said they were loyal to a brand, even though they shop elsewhere. This says a lot to dealerships about their retention and means that there is a need to differentiate that is stronger than ever.
Dealership branding starts with the first touchpoint your customer has. Your website, collateral, social media and digital comms should be consistent and strongly branded. This needs to be carried out through the dealership and customer service experience right through to aftersales and repeat custom.
With digital showrooms and social media now being a standard, no longer a USP, dealerships have to go further to brand themselves, and this usually falls to aftersales. Most car buying processes are identical up to the aftersales stage. This is where things can go very right or very wrong.
Dealerships need to establish what they want to be known for. What do you want your customers to say about you? What do you want prospects to read about you? What experience do you want your customers to have?
This needs to be decided and communicated internally within a dealership and the right resources need to be had. This is going to cover the right staff, the right tech and the right DMS. These three things are going to give you consistency- the basis of branding. Without consistency, you can’t develop a brand, a message or anything productive for that matter. You won’t be known for something unless you make a habit of it.
The main way to ensure consistency in dealerships is with a strong dealership management system that ensures transparency in comms throughout departments. After all, LabelInsight found that 94% of customers are loyal to brands that offer complete transparency. Your dealership should be working as one, well-oiled machine, not as different parts of the service process. Everyone should be informed and on the same page- time and money is saved through streamlining all processes. This is where you can use your aftersales process to brand your dealership as the most consistent in delivery.
So, remember, you won’t be known for something unless you make a habit of it. And you can’t make a habit of good service without the right back up. Have you developed your dealership brand and voice enough?