We talk a lot about Social Media as a marketing platform. One of the cheapest, most effective forms of marketing is called extraordinary customer service. When you combine Social Media with customer service, you create an environment where customers want to share their story.
Social Media done right is like a supportive cocoon enveloping your customer during every stage of the sales process. You serve your customer in ways they never expect. You develop and manage long-term profitable relationships on a scale larger than ever before. You create a personal connection with your customer throughout their life. They emerge from their cocoon as butterflies, free to spread the good word.
Your employees are an integral part of your customer service process. They’re on the front lines interacting with your customers every day. You can mirror this in the online world. With guidance in Social Media best practices, employees can be outstanding advocates for your store!
Social Media is a valuable resource to listen for sales opportunities. When you spend the time and effort to build your online community, conversations arise that bear fruit. Social allows you a glimpse at where each fan/follower is in their sales process. From the very top of the sales funnel (not necessarily interested in buying) to the bottom (ready to buy this weekend), you are privy to each person’s needs and wants.
Here’s how mastering Social Media can help you facilitate the sale from top to bottom:
Before the Sale
This is where Social content marketing is vital. Ask yourself, “Who is my customer?” Once you know what they’re interested in, once you’ve defined where they live, what they like and how they buy, you write and publish content relevant to them.
Think about it locally. What’s happening in your surrounding area that means something to your audience? What problems can I solve? This is how you strategize for the customer who’s either not ready to buy right now or is just beginning to research their next purchase. Once this customer becomes a fan, you can keep them engaged in conversation while they are in the market. The added benefit to you is each fan/follower has a trusted network themselves. In social situations, online and off, your fan/follower will only think of you when someone they know is ready to buy.
During the Sale
What a fantastic time to use Social Media! Make sure your Community Manager acknowledges each sales transaction and creates content that engages your customer and your fans. During the sales process, your salespeople get to know their customer very well. Make sure they know how to spot the right opportunities during that process.
Take the time to find out which Social platforms the customers are on and ask them to become part of your network. Video testimonials are awesome, give great Social proof to others, and can be recorded right there in the moment with a smartphone. Are they a repeat customer? Ask them what it was that brought them back. Are they new? Ask them why they chose your store. Social Media allows dealerships to interact with more people on a broader basis more regularly. Use Social Media to communicate everything that’s great about the purchase process.
After the Sale
The period directly after a purchase is the best time to get your customer talking about it on Social Media. Online ratings sites give them a megaphone to speak from. People spend huge sums of money on their vehicles so why not help them acknowledge what they’re spending so they can appreciate it even more! Social gives your customer a way to tell others why they bought from you and what’s great about the car. Help them recognize and respond to the experience they just had by providing the platform for them to speak.
And what better way to “stay in touch” than on Social Media! Anywhere in the sales process, if you can stay connected, you increase your chances of top of mind awareness. The more they hear from you, the less prompting they’ll need when it’s time to consider a purchase.
Dealerships and manufacturers have always made customer service a priority. There are winners and losers in this race. I know you want to win so take advantage of the power of Social Media to listen, converse, prospect, and sell. No matter where your customer is in the sales process, whether you’ve sold to them or not, they’ll remember those conversations and come back to you every time.