by CDK Global | 08/13/2014

Confusing Your Customers

When your staff is busy and your profits are up, it is easy to ride the wave of success that keeps your dealership moving forward. However, we all know the ebb and flow nature of business. There will be a time when your phones are not ringing and customers are few and far between. This is when it is essential that you turn the tide with effective marketing campaigns.

A clear, appealing strategy can help keep a consistent base of customers coming through your door. You want to make sure that what your customers see is what they want. Overloading them with confusing deals, complex internet-only specials and complicated promotions demonstrates a scattered message to your customers. They want a dealership that is straightforward and honest with them, providing what they need, when they need it.

A recent study of 1,000 car buyers found that 71% purchased or leased their most recent vehicles from a new dealership—one they had not bought from before. This causes dealerships likes yours to work harder for new customers than you would have to if they were repeat buyers.

Customers come back when they know their experience will be quick and easy. Overloading them with complicated messages creates confusion, preventing them from focusing on the task you want them to do. Clear, consistent messaging makes your brand recognizable and helps customers avoid unnecessary distractions.

Consistency pays off

Often, dealerships run a great campaign, enjoy the profits, but forget to create a new one right afterwards. At the end of the month, they scramble to create a campaign with little hopes of it achieving the same success as the first one. Resources are wasted and profit is lost when dealerships do not make productive use of their time.

Customer Touch Total Sales graphic

Don’t sacrifice quality

Another item that will greatly affect your conversion ratio is the quality of your data and the campaigns that come out of it. Your data is unique, and you want to make sure that you have access to it whenever you need it.

Many third-party companies will first clean and sort through your data—and even sell you additional data-—before creating and delivering campaigns to potential customers. This outsource model works great … until you decide to terminate your relationship with that vendor. Once this happens, the vendor has no way to push data back into your Dealer Management System (DMS), where the rest of your data lies. You will simply get a CD with all of the data on it, leaving you with no way to reconcile it against what is already in your DMS.

Then, you are right back where you started. It is best to find a solution that is integrated, so that you have a much smoother and consistent method of organizing your marketing campaigns.

In order to create successful campaigns, you need small, targeted campaigns that have specific calls to action.

Dealerships that are maximizing their Lead Conversion Ratios utilize:

  • Integrated campaign vendors who can both push data into and pull data out of their DMS and/or Customer Relationship Management software
  • Multiple targeted campaigns throughout the year
  • Appointment reminders that are triggered to automatically contact their customers
  • An experienced campaign manager to assist them in developing and managing their campaigns

Having a tool that can help in all of the above areas is the first step to increasing the amount of leads you receive, which could quickly turn into sales.

When using a solution that provides you with clean, easily accessible data as well as campaign guidance, you can get the most out of every Salesperson. You may uncover hidden gems on your staff you never knew that you had. Give your Salespeople an opportunity to turn over a new leaf … instead of turning them over to the unemployment line.

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