Flick Fusion COO Tim James shares why using video in service can increase service revenue and build trust with your customers.
by Tim James
I have long preached the fact that including video in your marketing is an effective way to get customers emotionally connected to a specific car on your lot. This visual connection to the senses serves to enhance the appeal of a vehicle to an online shopper. If there was some technology that allowed consumers to touch, feel and smell your car while shopping online, I’d be all in. Unfortunately, the online vehicle shopping touch-points that exist today don’t allow for 4-D shopping; they are currently limited to a flat screen.
So, how about taking your video marketing game to the next level and incorporating marketing messages that play to consumer emotions. This is far from a new marketing tool. In fact, you see it every time you watch television or the latest viral video. Super Bowl commercials are typically prime examples: many are creative, funny and even touching.
Messages that create a sense of urgency, build trust, offer an incentive or some value added benefit, or appeal to some perceived status, are not uncommon in manufacturer and dealership marketing. What’s not as common is seeing a dealership incorporate these emotional triggers into their inventory marketing – at least in a video. Consider how much more effective the use of the techniques would make your inventory videos. You only have a few seconds in which to capture an online car shopper’s attention in your video. If your video captures the customer’s attention quickly through creative messages that play to their emotions, chances are they’ll watch longer. This can build more excitement in your vehicle over other similar vehicles. There’s no doubt that the more emotionally connected a customer is when they submit that lead, the more likely it will result in a sale.
Have fun with your walkarounds. Don’t simply point your video camera or smartphone and walk around the vehicle while describing it in monotone. Excitement is infectious. We use this all of the time when the consumer is on the lot. Keep your videos interesting and transfer your passion and excitement for the vehicle into the video. This will undoubtedly have a stronger effect on the emotions of any customer viewing it.
You don’t even have to be terribly creative (if you aren’t the creative type). Your dealership most likely has already employed an ad and marketing agency to do that. Simply look at the messages already going out to customers via traditional media and incorporate those unique selling propositions into your walkaround. These type of messages can then help sell you and the dealership, not just the vehicle.
Let’s face it; there are probably over 100 shiny vehicles, similar to the one you have online, that an online shopper is viewing. Anything you can do to give your vehicle an edge over the competition will help your vehicle stand out in the customer’s mind. Play to their sense of fun. Build a sense of urgency. Build trust and offer value in your video walkarounds. Step outside-the-box with a little creativity and, I promise you, your vehicles will get more attention and you’ll see more people submitting leads that are farther down the funnel and more emotionally invested. And that can only bring you more sales.
By Tim James
In my last blog article, I discussed the importance of building rapport with leads through the use of “Why Buy From Me” and “Lead Response” videos personalized for each customer. Now I would like to take this one step further — Building rapport should in fact start much earlier than simply upon the receipt of a lead.
Think about the first contact a customer has with your dealership. Chances are good that they either went to your website, or found a vehicle that matched their interest on a third party site. At this point, detailed descriptions, images and video walkarounds can certainly make your vehicle stand out from the others. But how about further increasing the probability that the customer chooses to deal with you over any competition? How about building trust and rapport at this first entry point instead of waiting for them to put in their personal information and enter your CRM as a lead?
Just as you can integrate video walkarounds of the vehicle on VDP pages, you can also integrate your “Why Buy From Us” or “Why Buy From Me” videos into your vehicle display pages, as well as your most visited page on your website – your homepage. Sell The Dealership, Sell Yourself, Sell The Car…This simple rule can have a significant impact on the number of shoppers who see your online advertisements and ultimately trust you enough to reach out to you and inquire about a vehicle. And a HUGE impact on your sales once the customer arrives on your lot.
These actions help to build rapport and establish trust prior to receiving a lead, making the process of contacting the customer and engaging them that much easier when you do receive a lead. The fact is that you can build so much likeability and trust with a shopper that they decide that “you” are the dealership or sales person that they want to do business with, even before they have landed on a specific vehicle. You will even have shoppers who call you, email you, or even just show up at your dealership, without having settled on an exact vehicle, simply because they like and trust your dealership, or one of your salespeople. They thus reach out to you to help them find the right vehicle. Combine the above actions with walkaround videos and personalized video e-mails and you’ll find it much easier to win over a customer, leaving your competition in the dust.
Start creating rapport at the first touch-point, otherwise you could find yourself competing with four other dealers for the potential customer’s attention. A successful sales career is all about building relationships. The earlier in the car buying process that you can accomplish this, the easier it will be to engage a customer, more customers will show up for test drives, and you will haggle significantly less over price. You will get more sales and higher gross, because you are the good guys and the shopper wants to do business with YOU!
by Tim James
Virtually every dealership today uses their website, social media channels, and email to be a part of their “voice” when it comes to communicating with their customers and begin building a “trust” relationship long before the shopper ever visits their store.
The ultimate goal of each of these communications is to drive the consumer to your lot. Your team is very good at building that “trust” relationship with each shopper once they do actually visit your dealership. The question is, are you putting your best face forward on the web?
The faces behind the voices
To really accelerate the “trust relationship,” consider putting short videos of each of your employees on your website. Vehicle shoppers are now used to using electronic devices and many prefer a more visual approach to research. They like to use videos to help better educate them on their options. This is a great opportunity to highlight employee knowledge and expertise and to personalize your store for the customer. It is human nature to want to do business with someone that you feel a personal connection with. We all know that people buy from people they like. Well, people will choose your store to visit for a test drive over your competitor’s if they feel that personal connection, too. In fact, you will find that many shoppers may visit your store just because they feel a personal connection with a member of your sales team, even while they are still undecided on a vehicle. At the very least, consider including names, photos, contact information, and perhaps even short text bios, as this can help build customer trust. This practice can even assist a customer to reconnect with a specific person they dealt with on their previous visit and liked.
Personal video e-mail bios are also an excellent way to connect with your customers, the response rate can double as consumers like to receive personal contact from a “real” person. “Thank you” and “Welcome” videos from the dealer or general manager integrated into auto-responders for incoming leads can also further personalize your store. This simple action can elevate you over your competitor’s uninspiring automated responses. In addition to the personal video e-mail bios and visible employee information on the website, consider including a thumbnail photo, or at the very least, a specific person’s name, and title plus their contact information on all emails.
Building rapport with the consumer and developing trust usually pays off in dividends with in an increase of customers into your dealership, as well as higher loyalty and retention from existing customers. The customer’s ride may begin online, by phone or through email, but if you are to help them on their journey, your dealership and your staff need to be visible and available so that there is no mystery about who or what is behind the curtain.