The average amount of time a driver keeps their vehicle is roughly about 71 months. That’s just shy of six years. Each month that passes will bring a new crop of customers to your lot. And for them, a lot has changed since they last purchased a vehicle. Technology has changed in the car, as well as in your dealership. So, consumers will rely heavily on you to guide them. Depending on their last experience, a customer might be a little jaded. That’s why it is critical that you still supply quality service and fair pricing. With that being said, this new batch of consumers will quickly learn to navigate reviews, access mobile and social applications, and expect customized content. You know about digital retailing and sales enablement already. But do you know how to reach them at the exact right time? Here are the top 5 stages where you need to be engaging with your customers.

1. The Car Search Begins

At the beginning of the car shopping process, a consumer will sit and ask themselves, “What kind of car do I want?” They will immediately jump to the internet and begin their search. It is important for your success that you prepare as many digital assets as possible to best engage with consumers. Search engines, web properties, and reviews play a huge part in this. Catch their attention with an array of video content that keeps them engaged. A digital showroom is a powerful tool to help your website shine. 

2. Mentally Putting the Customer in the Vehicle

After some research, the customer will begin to prioritize what it is that they need. What packages are wanted? How much storage is needed? They will start to visually put themselves in the driver’s seat. Keep your inventory up to date with the best quality photos of the interior and exterior. Videos are great for showing off the features and introducing the customer to new packages. This is an educational step for them and will provide you with a competitive advantage over other dealerships.

3. A Frank Discussion About Price

Once the customer has a general idea of what they want, they will begin the process of seeing how much they can spend. This is an important factor for many customers. Be honest and transparent. Keep in mind that while your goal is to hold more gross, the customer’s goal is to get the most for their trade-in and the best deal on MSRP. Keep touchpoints simple and clear. Write your ads with the best information you can, and you will help the customer out during this stage.

4. Mapping Out Which Lots to Visit

There are tons of options when it comes to which lots to visit. The customer has identified the packages that are important to them and the price-point they can afford. They have likely narrowed down the brand or brands they are interested in. You need to be competitive with your local SEO. Get your social media and Google business profile up to date and accurate. Your reputation matters.

5. Transitioning from Digital to Traditional

For now, not every customer wants an online-only shopping experience. It is up to you to prepare consumers for the transition between online and offline. Streamline the experience by coaching your team and empowering them to be as knowledgeable as possible. If you have captured data on the customer, use it to create a better overall experience for them.

Knowing when to engage with potential customers will differentiate you from the pack. Not only can your inventory be on their radar sooner, but you can offer a heightened experience. Then, in six years when they are ready for their next vehicle, they will remember what a great job your team did in providing the best service possible. If you want to learn how to achieve a superior customer experience, then you need a partner like MAX Digital. Our team of consultants knows how to help your dealership run as efficiently as possible. Schedule your free demo today and learn how our stack of solutions can help your dealership best engage with customers.