A new car is a big decision for anyone, and if your customer doesn’t feel that you have made a good first impression…well, there are always other dealerships. In fact, there are more than 20,000 automotive dealerships in the U.S., and with this type of competition the days of auto dealers trying to attract customers with hyped-up ads screaming and hollering about “once in a lifetime deals”, “come on down now or miss out” type of advertising is dead!
The ways consumers shop for automobiles has also changed dramatically over the past few decades, as they no longer drive around from dealership to dealership kicking the tires and making sure it’s the perfect automobile for them. Instead, consumers have become more savvy by arming themselves with plenty of research online first, then they call you instead of coming in for a test drive.
In fact, according to the NADA (National Association of Auto Dealers), the average car dealership receives over 10,000 phone calls per month. With over 10,000 calls per month, it’s inevitable that hold time will happen at your dealership. With the telephone being such a crucial customer touchpoint, are you taking advantage of these more than 10,000 opportunities? What happens when your receptionist puts those customers on-hold? Do you treat them to silence? a fuzzy radio station? elevator music?
It’s no secret, your current and future customers are becoming more desensitized to advertising every day, so you need to take advantage of this highly targeted in-bound marketing opportunity and make on hold messaging a part of your marketing plan to educate current and prospective customers about your products, services, sales events and build customer loyalty.
How can on hold marketing help your automobile dealership turn hold time into time well spent? Here’s 10 ways message on hold at your dealership can pay off.
1.Message on hold announcements can be synchronized to support other marketing efforts and strengthening impact.
2. The service department is the lifeblood of any dealership! Use your on hold marketing to emphasize the importance of having skilled technicians take care of their vehicle’s every need as well as promote service specials, maintenance tips, early bird drop-off programs or the convenience of pickup and drop off shuttle service.
3. Reduce caller hang-ups and long hold times by answering FAQ’s.
4. Improve customer loyalty by staying involved with the buyer at every touch-point before, during and after the sale.
5. Advertise Special financing/ trade-in or lease offers available to define value at your dealership.
6. Build brand value by promoting top notch safety ratings, or fuel efficiency..
7. Cross-Sell add on services such auto detailing, parts or performance accessories and more.
8. A convenient way to remind customers, about your showroom, service and parts department hours.
9. Announce contests, giveaways, or events you’re sponsoring.
10. And finally, marketing that’s free of competing advertisers! Something you can’t achieve with radio, television or print.
In addition to increasing sales at your car dealership, on hold messaging will help to drive retention, and also capture the most coveted prize in any business: customer loyalty. Without it, your store is simply a car lot where customer retention is based on little more than the price on the windshield and a friendly handshake. Instead put on-hold time to good use and build long-term buyer relationships.
Have questions about auto and car dealership on hold messaging? Comment below and we’ll be happy to provide the answers.