How Dealerships can Engage Their Community & Increase Word of Mouth
Who is the most important person to the company? Who is the VIP? I will give ya a hint; it’s the person who buys and promotes your product. With that in mind, let’s talk about Brand Marketing. Now a trend as of late is writing about how important your reputation is. But how do you even begin to get a reputation, or in other words, how do you increase word of mouth? Well, there are many different ways; however, to make things less confusing, let’s separate it into two categories.
Engaging from a Distance
Now there are many ways to do this. Imagine that everything you do branches off of this tree—the tree of increasing traffic.
What keeps people coming back to your website? Knowing that you are going to blog is one thing. Whether it’s about car updates or how everyone is doing in the office, a blogging gives the incentive for people to keep up with your website, and to care and invest in your product. Even a newsletter increases the traffic your website will receive
2) Customer service
I remember the first time I bothered to write a review (and it wasn’t because I received a coupon). For the first time in a long time a company treated me like a person. I walked in, and right away someone walked up to me and asked me what I was looking for. After telling him, he didn’t just show me where it was. Instead, he proceeded to tell me about the product and talked about his experience with it. Instantly we connected. He helped me find what I wanted and talked to me, not just like a customer, but like a fellow human being that needed some advice on getting the best bang for my buck. After checking out he handed me a slip of paper and said to email the company if I had a good experience, then to say which store I was at and which employee helped me out, and I did. But why? Because I cared about that company; I wanted them to succeed. I wanted that employee to succeed. Why? Because they exceeded my expectation; they went above and beyond, which made my time there pleasant.
But what happens when the customer has a less-than-satisfactory visit? Well, as someone who has experienced that a lot, I expect to be compensated—that’s a no brainer. But how does a business show that they really care? One time I was blown away on how they dealt with the issue. They sounded like they cared and their actions backed up that statement. They compensated me, treated me with respect, and listened to everything I had to say. But what really blew me away was that they were writing down everything I was saying. The last thing they said was, “We will deal with this as soon as possible. Is there anything else that we can change to make sure this will never happen again?”
3) About us
We are social creatures. In fact, we care about fitting in and being accepted to the point of putting our life in danger. What’s one of the best ways to communicate with someone? Making your topic relatable. When you show people that you’re not just a building, but rather that you’re actually a collection of people, customers begin to relate to your business. They want to be a part of your business and, better yet, they want to see your business succeed. When you show customers that you’re a person just like them, they begin to care what’s happening to you and your business. This is why it’s so important to have an “About Us” page that makes you look friendly and personable. I highly suggest having faces behind the business page as well. When people see your business as a family, they will invest not only with your mission, but with the people behind the mission as well.
When thinking about Local Engagement, think in terms like this: how can I contribute to the community? How can I help the community as a whole?
1) Holding events
Yes, holding events can help tremendously with local engagement. Even something as simple as having a bike race or a scavenger hunt shows the community that you care about them, which is huge when it comes to increasing both your sales and, more importantly, customer base as well.
2) Investing in local charities
Whether you are promoting walkathons or building houses, studies show that investing in local charities will cause people to care about your company more and want to buy more from you as well. In fact, when quality and prices are equal, 53% of people say that social purposes rank as the most important factor when selecting a brand. 72% of people would recommend a brand solely based on their social purpose. By supporting charities you kill two birds with one stone—you increase your local engagement and increase your word of mouth, ultimately increasing your sales.
People will buy from a business that cares about them and treats them like human beings. They become invested in your company when you show them that your business isn’t just a building, but rather that it’s a group comprised of people. And last, but definitely not least, we learned that people want a business that has a heart and doesn’t care just about getting sales. I can show you statistics, I can write, and I can talk ‘til the cows come home, but it’s up to you to take action. Show people that you’re not just a company, but that you are a company with a heart. So I have to ask—are you ready to engage?
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