We all know that the monthly numbers are what we are held accountable for. But we also know that in the auto business those numbers are generated in large part by what our customers’ think of the way we do business. Do we offer the most advantageous price point? Do we follow up after sales with a rock solid service department? Do we stay in touch with customers and treat them like they have invested a large portion of their income with us? These are serious questions in the minds of consumers, and in the current age of aggressive media promotion, we should all consider what makes an impact.
Automotive direct marketing puts the information that you want potential customers to have in their hands. This is different. This is solid. In an age where we are barraged with a never ending background of fast paced marketing, the auto direct mailer slows down. These mailers afford market managers an opportunity to convey their message in a rational, clear, and unmistakable way. It engages the consumer in print, in a fashion that in the minds of many people is more substantial.
That being said, there is work to do.
Modern consumers also have at their disposal a number of tools that can provide the inside track on what dealerships are providing good all around service. After their interest is aroused by a radio spot, direct mail, or a flashy billboard, many potential customers will make time to investigate products and the people responsible for them in their area. Reviews of automobiles are nothing new, but the review of dealerships is a factor that more and more is a major consideration. Through websites like Yelp, a site providing a 0-5 star rating and small comment board, consumers can easily gather information. This information is not necessarily based on sound reason or judgment, but advances a first impression of your business.
When a customer has a bad experience on your lot and Yelps about it, the use of other marketing tools such as automotive direct mailers will be far less effective. As a business, you have to put in the work. You are responsible for fostering a feeling of trust and fairness. So continue with aggressive marketing (radio, internet, and other popular media), but also slow it down a little. Put information in the hands of customers with auto direct marketing, follow up with them to make sure that they are happy with their purchase, or shopping experience and consider that money is made by selling more than one car to a family or group.
Yelp Can Make or Break a Business.
The best case scenario in moving a product is for a customer to think “I need a car; I’m going to go talk to my salesman and see what I can do.” This comes from a continued relationship with a customer. It’s not the easiest approach, but it is what makes a business thrive in the long term, and that is where those monthly numbers come from.