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Don’t miss out on increased online action this season

By Bob McCann

Bob McCann 2011The busy season is upon us! Gone are the long days of winter waiting for the door to swing and the phone to ring. As things get hectic in-store, your online presence and processes can sometimes take a back seat to all of the action in your brick-and-mortar store.

Take a look at these three key areas to ensure you don’t miss out on your dealership’s increased online action this selling season.

#1: Lead management check-in

Inefficient manual lead management processes can cost you precious hours and frustrate potential customers who will move on to your competitors if your response times are too long. If you don’t have lead management software (LMS) in place, I’d highly recommend you take the time now to do so – it will save you time and increase your conversion rates this selling season.

If you do have an LMS in place, check the settings to ensure that you’re taking advantage of all the notifications it offers, including:

  • Old lead notifications — If a lead gets assigned and goes uncontacted for a specified length of time are you set up to be notified?
  • Daily reports — Are you set up to receive a daily report via email? The email should provide you with at a minimum:
    • Updated lead status — Number of leads, assigned to, contacted, or NOT
    • Daily traffic count and results — Number of product selections, write-ups, sold, and delivered
    • Follow-up activity for each sales person — Are the expected follow-ups scheduled and completed?

This time of year you are often too busy to log on to your LMS, so set up email notifications and let technology help you keep an eye on your business.

#2: Keep your website content up-to-date

Just as your in-store traffic has ramped up, your online traffic should see a healthy jump in the busy summer selling season. You’d never leave your Memorial Day sale signs up in your store after the holiday has passed, so be sure to follow your same best practices online. Performing an online content audit at least once a week will help you keep these key content areas up-to-date:

  • Specials, sales and promos — Make sure you’ve sharing the most up-to-date manufacturer promotions and update your store’s unique sale and special content.
  • Events — Delete old event postings and make sure that all upcoming events are featured. You earn bonus points if you post a blog featuring photos from your most recent event.
  • Major Unit Inventory — Customers shopping online assume your website inventory matches your showroom floor. Is your entire major unit inventory online?

#3: Keep an eye on your online reputation

With your increased traffic, in-store and online, chances are your customers will be talking about you across their social networks and on popular online review sites — you need to be part of the conversation.

  • Google alerts — Keeping track of what’s being said about your dealership online is simplified with Google Alerts. Simply set up the keywords you’re interested in tracking including all the variations of your dealership name and Google will send you an email digest when your name is mentioned.
  • Online review sites — Yelp and Angie’s List are two of the most popular online review sites. In addition to monitoring your Google Alerts, be sure to monitor reviews across these platforms on a regular basis year round.
  • Social media — Managing all of your social channels can become a bit overwhelming, but there are many popular third-party tools which can help you streamline the process allowing you to manage all of your social media accounts from a single dashboard. Here are a few industry-leaders to consider:

If all of this still seems like more work than your team can handle, consider extending your team with a little help from an industry-specific software and digital marketing services provider like ARI to ensure you connect with every possible potential customer this selling season.

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