The car dealership industry is a great place to find yourself in because it is recession-proof. People will always need cars irrespective of their budget, so you will never run out of potential customers for your vehicles. However, the automobile dealership market is highly saturated, with data indicating about 12,965 car dealers in the UK. Therefore, you still need to do a lot to convince patrons to exchange their hard-earned cash for vehicles. Thankfully, you can do many things to gain a competitive advantage and position your brand for long-term success. Here are six tips worth following to run a more successful car dealership.
1) Have a strong online presence
An online presence is undisputedly vital for business success in today’s world. According to CarKeys.co.uk, 97% of car buyers in the UK arrive at dealerships armed with information obtained from online research. Therefore, it would be best for your dealership to have an online presence so clients and prospects can find you on the internet. Create accounts for your dealership on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, for starters. These platforms are the best social media marketing channels to engage your new clients and re-engage existing ones.
Furthermore, a solid presence on search engines through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is also worth considering. PPC advertisements enable you to target a specific audience and appear in search results for relevant keywords. For example, when anyone in your target audience performs local car dealership searches online, your PPC ad can make your website appear above the first organic search result. Likewise, you can invest in automotive and car dealership SEO to rank higher in search results. Automotive dealer SEO is worth considering because it makes you more competitive, broadens your influences, and enhances your company’s online visibility.
2) Use digital technologies to elevate the Car-Buying Experience
Many automotive dealerships are quite old-school, relying on outdated ways of managing information instead of adopting the latest technology. Consequently, many people dread visits to car dealerships because they envision a dingy parking lot with outdated procedures. Statista data reveals that too much paperwork, lengthy purchase experiences, and pushy salespeople were some of the leading aspects of the vehicle dealership experience UK consumers enjoyed the least in 2018, giving credence to this notion. Consequently, consider integrating industry-leading digital solutions into your buying process to improve the customer experience. You can rely on tablet-based product guides and virtual reality to increase customer engagement.
Similarly, you can use solutions like Auto CX, a leading car dealership sales and customer experience platform. Vehicle manufacturers and dealers can let customers configure and buy online using Auto CX. The platform offers innovative features like an interactive showroom, online ordering, a finance calculator, and live inventory.
3) Leverage community events
Many experts agree that it is essential to be actively involved in your local automotive community to enjoy success as a car dealer. This reality is because numerous car buyers will purchase from dealerships that offer them experiences they enjoy, irrespective of price. Consequently, consider sponsoring or hosting community events to build solid relationships with your potential patrons on a more personal level. You can host your event at your dealership since this is an excellent way to obtain leads and get the entire community under your roof. Then, you can offer attractive deals on cars and test drives of new vehicle models at these events to thrill attendees.
Additionally, offer other perks like free drinks, food, and games to keep your attendees engaged. Furthermore, encourage people to offer their contact information by offering incentives so that you can direct your marketing efforts towards them. A well-hosted automotive event will undoubtedly make your dealership the talk of the local community, increasing your chances of getting more clients. Additionally, influencers in the automotive community who come to these events can easily build a relationship with your company, boosting brand awareness.
4) Prioritize customer service
A car is likely the second-most expensive purchase the average individual will make after buying their house. People don’t replace their cars often, especially if they are new. Data from the DVLA and Department for Transport shows that about 6.1 million cars on the road in the UK are over 13 years old. Therefore, customer loyalty in this industry can be quite tricky, so you must go above and beyond your customer service to ensure that clients return to you for their maintenance and next purchase. You can go the extra mile through hospitality by offering your clients and prospects complimentary tea, snacks, coffee, water, valet parking, and free WiFi when they arrive at your dealership. Additionally, respond to all clients’ emails quickly to address any customer’s concerns and questions in time. Excellent customer service will increase your chances of getting referrals from satisfied clients besides making you the first option that comes to mind when clients have to buy cars again, so keep this in mind.
5) Have a polished image
Cleanliness is, without doubt, an essential decision factor for patrons in the car sales industry. People who purchase cars expect them to be clean inside as part of the premium experience of spending huge cash. Therefore, ensure that your new vehicles are shiny and organized in a well-lit lot to impress customers and passers-by. It would also be best to perform professional auto detailing immediately for used cars you add to your lot. Furthermore, clean and wax your floors so clients can focus on your display vehicles and services instead of worrying about dirt and grime. A professional dress code for all your employees can also go a long way to make your dealership look refined, so this is worth considering.
6) Manage your talent well
Employees are your greatest asset as a car dealership owner, so it is prudent to manage them well to boost success. Staff turnover is one of the significant issues facing the car dealership industry. Therefore, develop a thorough hiring process and offer formal training and incentives to boost your retention rates. You can start by searching for dedicated professionals who are knowledgeable, passionate, and eager to learn. Then, cultivate these skills through training and building a positive workplace culture. Furthermore, monitor your sales performance metrics to ensure your sales team performs well, and consider boosting your training program if there is consistent underperformance.