During these difficult times, customers are turning to Facebook for information. Whether it’s as simple as knowing what hours your service department is open or if you’re offering pickup and delivery options – or it’s a little more complex like purchasing a vehicle completely online, if you aren’t offering quality social media – this entire situation will be far more difficult to bounce back from.
When this all really began, the Dealer Authority team immediately had a strategy meeting. We went over every possible scenario to ensure the success of our dealerships across the nation. Below I’ve outlined three of the most important ways we’ve kept our clients thriving throughout the pandemic.
One of the most immediate actions we took after our initial meeting was launching “Shop From Home” landing pages on every dealership’s website and creating corresponding social media campaigns and posts. The average consumer has no idea that your dealership is considered as an essential business. Even if your service bay was the only department allowed to remain open – it’s important to let your customers know that you are here for them. Creating a robust “Shop From Home” option isn’t for every dealership – but we have found that turning salespeople into porters has been an amazing way to keep the ball rolling until things go back normal.
Things are changing constantly right now, and if your Facebook page hasn’t been updated since all of this began – rest assured your customers are going to a competitor for clear answers. The Dealer Authority team is posting regular updates like clockwork to inform not only dealership customers, but also the people that live in the town affected. Whether it’s as simple as letting everyone know what hours the dealership is open, making posts showing what local restaurants are back in business, or even sharing what stores in town are stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitizer – we make sure to be a quality source of information. Why? Because we know it will humanize the dealership and show the community they care. Focusing on the future NOW will benefit your dealership long after all of this is over.
Social media has always been a source of distraction – now more than ever people need positive content. We are brainstorming almost every single day on what we can post that will spread positivity. From showcasing local high school seniors and giving them an online spotlight because their graduation was canceled, to virtual field trips teaching about the service center and sales operations – we’ve done it all. The post itself doesn’t need to be complex, Dealer Authority social media strategist Brooke Mikuski created a series of “#PAWSitivity” posts that either ask for photos of customer/employee pets or to clever captions for those same photos.
“A dealership’s marketing message and overall tone is so essential to how customers will engage with a dealer online. This time of shelter in place is confusing for so many, so creating a sense of stability and inclusion within the dealer’s community is how customers will continue to build trust with your business and turn to you first when they have automotive needs. We are all feeling the pressure of this time, so make it easy for your customer to find all of the information they need when they need it.”
– Tabitha Flythe | Marketing Manager, Dealer Authority
As we approach the end of May and many states begin the process of lifting restrictions, it’s crucial to stay nimble and to stay focused on everything I outlined above. Updating your customers, offering shop from home and simplified service options, and above all, keeping your staff and customers positive about the future. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Taking the time today to create a quality future for your dealership is imperative. We will all get through this together.