Connect with your local customer using new methods to maintain your trustworthiness. In the past, we could only connect periodically with the customer but thanks to Social Media and the online community you have at your fingertips, it’s possible to remain engaged and build trust with your customer during all phases of the buying process.
1. Be Where Your Customer Is. I recently talked with the owner of 3 dealerships who has a negative opinion about Facebook. He’s got a horror story about how a friend of a friend’s wife hooked up with her high-school boyfriend and eventually divorced his friend’s friend. I get that it’s a scary place for those intermittent users but fah-get-about-it. Don’t waste valuable time and energy when you can be interacting with your customer on a regular basis. Facebook is where your customer is, and that’s where you need to be marketing your store.
2. Deliver Valuable Information. The web is moving away from being built around “facts” and is being rebuilt around people and their knowledge. Brands are people too and the knowledge you have can be shared with potential customers. Help them buy from you. Maintain an active blog with high-quality optimized content. Make sure to involve your staff because richer, compelling content comes from people. Establish your store as the likable expert in what you want your customer to know most about you and your products. Customer interaction with your blog is a great way to become remarkable.
3. Your Online Reputation Starts as an Inside Job. There are stores who regularly deliver a great customer experience but you’d never know it by looking at their online ratings. Buying decisions are made in an instant by what’s contained there on Yelp and Google+Local. You must have a proactive strategy to capture reviews from your happy, loyal customers. The basis of that strategy is a proven internal process involving your front-line personnel. Listening and monitoring is only one component of managing your online reputation. Make sure your staff knows how to recognize opportunities and how to ask for those online referrals.
Kathi Kruse is Automotive Social Media Coach and Founder of Kruse Control, Inc. Reach out to Kathi via her contact page.