In this era of transparency, consumers can gather more information than ever before. In the past, they relied upon the dealer to provide it to them. Now, however, they can visit multiple websites in order to gain the information they need before even contacting a dealership. Once the consumer decides they are ready to buy (or close to it) and start to take action on the dealer's individual website, they are almost always met with a barrage of multiple call-to-actions within the dealer's site specifically on the SRPs and VDPs.
The calls-to-actions can include things like “Get Your Internet Price,” “Value Your Trade,” “Get Pre-Approved,” or can appear in various ways to “Contact Us” via forms, direct emails, chat, text, and more. The problem is, most dealers don’t deliver on those promises.
The wife of a not well-known or prolific writer whose husband was running for a place in the French Academy asked a well-known French poet, Francois Coppeé , to support her husband and vote for him. “He’ll die if he’s not elected,” she said. Coppeé agreed but the writer failed to win. Not too long after, another position opened up and the same wife asked Coppeé once again to vote for her husband. His reply? “Ah no. I kept my promise but [your husband] did not keep his. I consider myself free of any obligation.”
A dealer’s website is a valuable resource, but many consumers find it confusing. Ultimately, IF the consumer does convert, they typically end up landing on the conversion tool that resonates most with them. The response sent to the consumer however most often times fails to answer their questions or meet their needs.
In most cases, consumers are bombarded with what I like to consider the “second wave” of communication. This is where many dealership’s CRMs begin emailing irrelevant templates to consumers that fail to answer any of their questions and are followed up by salespeople or BDC agents calling the consumer non-stop mostly with vague answers (if any) or messages akin to “When can you come in?”
To correlate that to the story, Coppeé [the consumer] agreed to do what the writer’s wife [the dealership employee] asked him to do yet they failed to fulfill on the promise. When asked a second time, Coppeé no longer felt obligated to continue cooperating. And this is exactly the reason why leads coming into the dealership are engaged by the consumer less than 12% of the time.
Why? Because the dealership failed to live up to its promise to the customer. Like I mentioned before, chances are good that the consumer has most of the information they need but is simply seeking to verify that the dealership is being transparent with them rather than simply trying to “get them in.”
Consider a strategy that can improve that engagement percentage by not only supplying the consumer with the information they desire but also making the responses more personal than a templated response. Just like you can, consumers are able to easily recognize a response delivered by a real person versus a generic response sent by a computer.
Dealerships that provide the information and engage with consumers via personalized responses, provide the type of answers that the consumer is seeking while making a personal connection. Technology such as personalized video responses sent by the actual salesperson build quick rapport, and also allow the dealership to stand out amongst the sea of templated responses and, in the end, make the consumer choose that dealership over the rest.