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Clients Loyalty

Customer engagement in the car industry: Expectations vs Reality

By Paula Schleider

Customer Engagement is the level of commitment from a customer towards a brand or a business. This is one of the key factors to take into consideration when it comes to introducing practices to increase customer loyalty. The higher the customer’s engagement towards a certain company is, the lower the chance to opt for competitors. However, achieving customer engagement in the car industry is not an easy task, and it requires time and effort.

 

Expectations

When you start including practices to improve engagement in your company’s plans, either in your mechanic shop or car dealership, some expectations are built and these could portray a deceiving image when contrasted with reality. You will find below some of the most common expectations regarding customer engagement to understand if they are in fact realistic or not:

  • Having a clear program of the actions that your mechanic shop carries out to fulfill the customer’s needs is what will bring them satisfaction.
  • If you train your employees accordingly and invest in them, no more mistakes will be made.
  • The campaigns that you carry on to increase engagement will bring results in the short-term.
  • The more you invest in increasing your customer’s loyalty, the better the results you will obtain.

Reality

  • In reality, your customers will not always be satisfied, no matter how good is your service or how well you treat them. Their personality and temperament play an important role in their perception of the service, and this impacts their feedback and reviews. Due to this, there will always be negative comments. Learn from it and do not let it affect the quality of your service.
  • Training and preparing your employees surely reduces the probability of mistakes and inconveniences. However, we should not forget we are humans, and unless your team comes from another planet, they will do some mistakes from time to time. What’s important is that they learn from it and transmit that knowledge to the rest of the team to prevent them from tripping over the same stone in the future.  
  • Unfortunately, campaigns aimed to increase customer loyalty will not always be successful. Sometimes the results of a successful campaign can take weeks or even months. However, you must know that the key to achieving good results in the long-term is learning through trial and error, and making mistakes is just part of this process.
  • We have all heard the saying “quality is better than quantity”, and although we may be tired of hearing it, we must recognize that it is still true in most cases. Nevertheless, when it comes to investing your money, there is a lot at stake, and this sentence becomes more important than ever. You don’t need to invest big sums of money to earn your customer’s loyalty, but you must know how, where and when to invest the available resources.

 

How can I increase customer engagement?

There are new and diverse ways to improve the relationship of your mechanic shop or car dealership with your customers, and we have gathered some recommendations below.

 

Price

Price is an essential factor in this industry. You must ensure that you are providing a consistent and quality service at a reasonable price. If you don’t do this, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in or which methods you use, you simply will not get their loyalty.

 

Use different communication channels

When it comes to communicating with your customers, it is preferable to not center all your efforts on only one channel of communication. This lies in the importance that your audience, especially in the car industry, is very varied, and some of them will either be very technological while others will not be technological at all. Not everyone uses the same channels, so if you limit yourself to only one you will be wasting opportunities to get your public’s attention or attract new clients. However, it is not possible to work with all channels of communication, so you will have to choose wisely those that are the most relevant for your target audience. Analyze your audience thoroughly and start gathering their contact information in an organized and segmented database, whether it is with tools like Excel (less recommended), or with a CRM software (recommended). A CRM system will save you time and work and in the long term, you will recover the invested money.

 

Invest in your brand’s image through branding

Nowadays the value of most of the successful companies in the world is not found within their tangible assets, but rather lies in their intangibles. One of them, and without a doubt, one of the most important ones is the brand. Despite not having organized processes or clear objectives to improve your brand’s presence, you should know that every action that you do affects directly or indirectly the brand. Your customer service by phone calls, the post-sale attention, your website, your visuals, your presence on social media, your word of mouth reputation and every type of communication you have with your different audiences, are constructing your brand day to day. If you decide to invest in branding try to make the essence of your business stand out. The essence is what your customers value the most about your repair shop or your dealership. Consider a budget, a work plan and specified KPI’s to achieve brand improvements.

 

Use the Internet and social media to develop your brand

If you carry out a good use of the internet and of social media, there will be no need for you to spend all your money on your brand’s development. By creating the right content for your audience and being consistent with your online and offline activities, you will be able to generate engagement with your customers. Try to include fun and informative content, there is a world of possibilities when it comes to connecting with your audiences through humour and curiosities in the car industry. 

Customer Retention

 

Bear in mind that technological advances give us an easy access to improving our engagement with our customers. Therefore you should embrace it and use it in your favor. Set goals and deadlines for each project and take into account that the first plan to improve engagement will have a 50/50 chance of either failing or succeeding; you just have to keep trying as your consequent plans will bring even better results and lessons. It is just a matter of trying out different options and give each one of your goals an opportunity and time to see which one suits your mechanic shop or car dealership best.

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