Service Your Social Reputation


social media gears

Do you focus all of your attention on the sales department and forget about the department that has the most transactions every day? Your service department should be a breeding ground for customer loyalty that should be leveraged through social media and reputation management.

There is a new generation of buyers online and social media is their main media for deciding where to go to service their cars. Why not meet them where they are…online! Forty-one percent[*] of car servicers have “checked in” to a local business using a mobile device.

Why should you focus on your service department? Here are a couple reasons:

  • The service department “touches” consumers daily. Return business is the barometer of your customers’ loyalty.
  • Positive/negative reviews of a service department can have a huge impact on an important revenue center for your dealership.
  • More transactions equal more feedback/reviews opportunities.
  • Eighty-six percent[*] of your millennial service customers are skipping traditional advertising and asking their friends what they think of you.
  • Social media is the perfect environment to deliver service deals/offers to customers.

Here are five social media and review management strategies to boost customer loyalty within the service department:

Experience

Ask your customers about their experience at your dealership

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If they had a positive experience, thank them for their business and ask for a review online or comment on Facebook. For those with concerns, use this opportunity to “save” them and get back in their good graces

Energize

Get your customers excited about choosing your dealership for service by thanking them publically and giving them exclusive offers your competitors won’t.

Encourage

Ask customers to check-in with a photo at your dealership on Facebook or Yelp and to share feedback and talk about their experience. Your customers are your best endorsers as they tell their family, friends, and coworkers about their experience through social media.



Engage

When customers take the time to share their thoughts about their service visit on public sites like Twitter, Google or Facebook, take the time to respond and either thank them or let them know you handle it. This creates a dialogue that shows others that your dealership listens to its customers.

Exclusivity

Reward positive behavior by sending exclusive offers to your followers. It encourages loyalty and buzz around your service department. Customers can see the benefits of staying engaged with you through social media.

Social media and reputation management can be a powerful marketing tool for a department that usually generates the majority of your dealership’s profits. As a point of contact after the sale, it quickly becomes the “face” of your dealership that may impact whether a customer purchases a vehicle or services from you in the future. Your online “service” reputation has much more impact on your business as a whole than your sales reputation.

Every oil change or tire rotation becomes an opportunity to bring a customer closer or push them away. Therefore it’s critical that you have insight on how customers perceive you. Social media is an excellent platform to gauge your performance. And with the proliferation of mobile devices, it’s a great medium to deliver offers and exclusive targeted content directly into the hands of the customer.

Erica Sietsma is vice president of business development for Digital Air Strike, the industry’s most complete digital marketing company with full social media, reputation and response management. Erica provides sales, marketing, operational and product support with a special focus on OEMs and third-party partners. Prior to joining Digital Air Strike, Erica spent four years with MileOne Automotive running corporate communications and software partnerships for their 63 brands. Erica has also held positions at CallSource, as Automotive National Accounts Manager and worked in sales management at Autobase. www.digitalairstrike.com.

*Digital Air Strike, 2013, Automotive Social Media and Online Reputation Study Trends Study [Return]

Michael Bowen

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