Tess Karesky
| 09/15/2016

Think Like a Millennial: Experience the Experience


Missed our first two blogs in the Millennial series? Read “Dollars & Sense" and “Apps Aren't Food.”


Winning over Millennial shoppers isn’t an easy task, but our Millennial series will help position your dealership for success. This week, we’ll wrap up with arguably the most important aspect of car buying to Millennials: providing an experience.

If you look at the brands most loved by Millennials, you might notice that many are focused on customer service and satisfaction. Amazon offers free shipping with Prime and easy returns. Netflix lets people suggest new titles and has had a positive customer service interaction go viral. Uber has frequent promotions like free ice cream day or temporary puppy delivery. Companies like Blockbuster, which made its money predominantly from penalizing customers with late fees, have gone under partly because they weren’t customer oriented. Millennials want to know you’re invested in them as your customers.
It’s not only important to care about a single consumer, but also the community as a whole. Millennials are more likely than older generations to buy products when their purchase supports a cause and they have a better impression of companies that engage in cause marketing. So how can you connect with this service-oriented, community-conscious group?

Transparency Creates Trust

Last week we mentioned the importance of providing information on the dealer website. This includes providing information about how the buying process works, financing options, and what the sales experience is like at your dealership. Try to anticipate what concerns a customer might have and address them before the customer even reaches the store. This will help alleviate anxieties and create trust.

Customer Appreciation

Create promotions that show you value your customers. Send a free car wash coupon to previous buyers or hold a customer appreciation event. Make sure you include customers who have purchased a while ago and may be in the market again soon. Showing how you value customers will make them value you, leading to more return customers and word of mouth promotion.

Engage with the Community

Spend time investing in your local community and promote your involvement. Events in particular, like a pet adoption day, can be a great way of creating brand awareness and building customer loyalty. Social media is an easy place to spread the word about community service events. Consider using some of your Facebook advertising dollars to promote events that engage the community and ultimately bring many people to your lot. In a highly competitive market, this can really help differentiate your dealership.

Creating a brand that Millennials can trust is essential to getting them in your dealership. Focus on providing a worthwhile experience and they’ll be buying from you AND telling their friends about how great you are.

Millennials are important to your bottom line, so it’s important to tailor your experience to their needs. They may seem like a hard-to-understand demographic, but in reality, most of their needs are obvious. Honor their wallets by prioritizing affordability, get their attention by being digital and provide a strong experience that causes them to shout your praises from the rooftops — and drive away in one of your cars!

Tess Karesky
Tess Karesky

Tess Karesky is a Marketing Research Specialist at CDK Global providing insights and thought leadership to drive the industry forward. She has researched the behaviors and habits of Millennial, luxury, Hispanic and female shoppers, in addition to other consumer groups. Her findings include insights into optimizing web content, reputation, advertising, sales and service experience, and customer retention. Her research has been presented to automotive executives at Lexus, Audi, Nissan, Infiniti and GM, as well as industry events including the Driving Sales Most Valuable Insight award. She feels strongly in the value of quality, engaging research that provides actionable insights. She can be reached at