The ever-changing and ever-growing digital age has helped turn service departments into moneymaking machines for dealerships everywhere.
And now, with more drivers relying on the internet to answer their most common car questions, research service departments, and schedule appointments, there are more opportunities to get in front of new and existing customers before they call the competition down the street.
Here are five tips to drive your service department’s digital presence.
1. Optimize for mobile
More than 190 million people own a smartphone, according to eMarketer, and most use them to do everything from searching for information to making appointments. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to make sure your dealership’s website is responsive on both desktop and mobile devices.
You also want to make sure you provide customers with a sense of digital convenience, especially when it comes to scheduling a service appointment. One way to do so is by adding a phone number to your dealership’s website that users can click, allowing them to contact you and make an appointment right from their smartphones.
Also, adding an online service scheduler to your website lets people set up a service appointment in minutes by simply submitting a form.
2. Blog about your service department
Blogging can be one of the most helpful digital marketing tactics. When executed properly, a blog can help boost traffic, enhance organic visibility on search engines, attract new customers, and increase conversions and sales.
The trick to a successful blog is to focus less on selling and more on educating. Most people searching the web are merely looking for helpful resources that address their service needs.
Creating informative blog posts like “A Guide to Common Oil Change Warning Signs” and “When to Schedule Your Next Service Appointment,” as well as other topics that address their concerns and questions, is a great way to for customers to land on your dealership’s website.
These useful blog posts also help search engines recognize your dealership as a reliable, authoritative source, and places your website higher on search engine results pages.
3. Put a face on your service
People are interested in meeting the individuals who make up a business team. That’s why it’s important to put a face on your service department.
By adding a “Meet the Team” page that highlights each of your service team members, you give potential customers a much-needed look into the department. By getting to know each member, they’ll trust you more and more with all their automotive service needs.
You can also use this tactic with your social media accounts to promote your service department. Try celebrating team members’ anniversaries with posts, and make sure to include a picture to show customers the faces of your service department.
4. Promote with social media
Social media isn’t just a place for status updates and reconnecting with friends. For dealerships, Facebook, Twitter, and others have become a successful component of digital marketing success.
With more than 1 billion active users on Facebook alone, social media presents an opportunity to connect with and reach out to more potential customers. Use geofencing or local awareness ads on Facebook to promote your service department through ads that target consumers’ locations, interests, and even the year, make, and model of their vehicle.
These ads broadcast all the reasons consumers should choose your service department over the competition’s. Some of the most effective strategies for service department marketing involve promoting unique selling points, specials, or simply driving users directly to your service department web page to schedule an appointment.
Most importantly, promoting with social media ads provides potential consumers an intractable experience with your dealership. They can ask questions and get immediate assistance. They can also comment, like, and share their experiences.
Best of all, they can tag friends and family, who may be interested in your service offers, helping to increase your potential customer base.
5. Send service reminder emails
Use email to ensure customer retention in service. Regular service department reminder emails to everyone in your customer contact list lets them know it’s time for their next service appointment, and shows you care as much for their vehicle as they do. This gives them a reason to choose you over the competition.
Service reminder emails can also help bring in new service customers. Your dealership’s recent new-car buyers are more likely to choose your service department after receiving a friendly service reminder email.
The sales floor isn’t the only place that rakes in revenue for your dealership. By using the digital marketing tips in this article, you can transform your service department into an even more lucrative moneymaker.
Jennica Torio is inbound marketing copywriter at Stream Companies, a fully integrated advertising agency in Malvern, Pennsylvania, who specializes in generating leads through content marketing. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching shows and movies on Netflix, researching the latest in vehicle technologies, and patiently waiting for the next Star Wars movie.
Latest posts by Jennica Torio
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