“Some Companies are more believable than others. Likeability is the real secret to being more trusted, getting more customers, making more money – and perhaps even changing lives.” ~Rohit Bhargava, author of “Likeonomics”
When we’re making decisions to purchase, no matter how great or small, it’s in our nature to discover and investigate every fact we can. We crave trust and we search for resources that can give us the facts we want. But facts by themselves don’t have trust built in. We turn to our network, those around us to help us know what is truly believable.
I was listening to Mitch Joel’s podcast “Six Pixels of Separation” last week. In his conversation with Rohit Bhargava they discussed the believability crisis that’s happening right now. There’s so much marketing noise and nonsense we’re bombarded with everyday, as a consumer, it’s impossible to believe any of it.
It’s no surprise how a word like “Truthiness” infiltrated our vocabulary.
Car dealers have an added challenge because of the stereotype that’s been present for 50+ years. What can dealers and other businesses do to maintain credibility with their customer with so much commotion going on?
Connect with your local customer using new methods to maintain your trustworthiness. In the past, we could only connect periodically with the customer but thanks to Social Media and the online community you have at your fingertips, it’s possible to remain engaged and build trust with your customer during all phases of the buying process.
1. Be Where Your Customer Is. I recently talked with the owner of 3 dealerships who has a negative opinion about Facebook. He’s got a horror story about how a friend of a friend’s wife hooked up with her high-school boyfriend and eventually divorced his friend’s friend. I get that it’s a scary place for those intermittent users but fah-get-about-it. Don’t waste valuable time and energy when you can be interacting with your customer on a regular basis. Facebook is where your customer is, and that’s where you need to be marketing your store.
2. Deliver Valuable Information. The web is moving away from being built around “facts” and is being rebuilt around people and their knowledge. Brands are people too and the knowledge you have can be shared with potential customers. Help them buy from you. Maintain an active blog with high-quality optimized content. Make sure to involve your staff because richer, compelling content comes from people. Establish your store as the likable expert in what you want your customer to know most about you and your products. Customer interaction with your blog is a great way to become remarkable.
3. Your Online Reputation Starts as an Inside Job. I can’t tell you how many dealers and GMs don’t really know what’s being said about them online. There are stores who regularly deliver a great customer experience but you’d never know it by looking at their online ratings. Buying decisions are made in an instant by what’s contained there on Yelp and Google+Local. You must have a proactive strategy to capture reviews from your happy, loyal customers. The basis of that strategy is a proven internal process involving your front-line personnel. Listening and monitoring is only one component of managing your online reputation. Make sure your staff knows how to recognize opportunities and how to ask for those online referrals.
Your Turn: I’m curious, have you found unique ways to maintain credibility with your customers? Please share.