Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes with Internet Leads
How concrete is your process for dealing with Internet Leads? Is it a similar approach to the first process you implemented or have you tweaked it on a regular basis as your (and the market’s) understanding of the online consumer has evolved? Do you even know what your process looks like at the consumer’s level?
With the emergence of the Google empire, the car buying process has been completely redefined, and it’s only going to continue. The more dealers can identify with their consumer base and objectively assess their online image, the more successful they will be (Google’s Zero Moment of Truth article provides great insight). Moreover, how you approach internet auto sales opportunities should receive as much attention as traditional lot and phone training used to before the internet. Stay ahead of your competition by tracking your own performance. Utilize market data and approach this very different customer with an open mind. Autobytel and Polk ran an interesting study suggesting that more than half Autobytel’s online traffic from 2012 purchased a different brand than they originally inquired about (Page 10 of the 2/13 copy of Auto Success gives an overview with some helpful hints). Are you trying to sell the vehicle with your initial e-mail contact, or do you try to sell your dealership? This is valuable marketing space and a potential customer has asked you to make contact. Shouldn’t it be a calculated and targeted response?
This brings us back to the title of this post. If you are not actively shopping your own store, it’s time to start. There is no better way to monitor one of the most important areas of your operations than getting a fake e-mail address and seeing what your customer sees. You’d be amazed how often we find broken website links, issues with the electronic transfer of leads, and downright embarrassing responses. Once you document a process and set your expectations, follow up on it and literally put yourself in your customer’s shoes.