Like many businesses these days, success is often driven by public perception or popularity. Name recognition, word of mouth, and level of trust are all factors that heavily drive consumers to buy a product or service, and that’s no different in the automotive industry.
Because of public preconceptions, car dealerships often have to work harder than other businesses to gain customer trust, which can often be an uphill battle.
If your dealership is struggling to make ends meet, then it’s likely that it is having trouble achieving social proof. In this post, we’ll be discussing what social proof is, why your dealership needs it, and how you can successfully achieve it; let’s dive in.
So, what the heck is social proof?
Basically, social proof is the idea of how people are easily influenced by the actions of others; the idea of herd mentality – where the more people are doing one thing, the more others want to join and do the same thing– is the basis of social proof.
Car dealers want to achieve social proof as it establishes their dealership as a leader within the industry, creates trust with consumers, and makes their dealership seem more legitimate than competitors – which will directly result in more sales and higher profits!
In order to achieve social proof, car dealerships must establish themselves as a trustworthy brand, and in order to do that, there are a few tried-and-true strategies that you can try implementing; here are some of the best.
In this current era where everything is tech-driven, your business’ identity is directly reflected by its online presence – so make sure that it’s well-represented!
First thing’s first, make sure that you have a website – yes, even though you do business in person, having a website is absolutely necessary. Create a website, or if you already have one, make sure that it is up-to-date, both in terms of the site’s content and the website’s design and look.
If you created a site for your business in the late 1990s, then it’s likely in need of a major update; otherwise, having a site that’s sorely out of date will reflect negatively on others, and may deter potential customers.
It’s equally important to have a strong presence on social media platforms! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok are all vital platforms for building your brand. Create pages for your business on all of these platforms, and post on them regularly.
The type of content that you should be posting may consist of positive experiences that you’ve had with past customers, public surveys about your business (and then sharing the results from said surveys), info regarding your current inventory, hours, upcoming sales, events, and more.
Once you have an online presence, the next step to building social proof is by gathering customer reviews. Luckily, getting these reviews created is very easy – social media platforms like Facebook have them built-in, plus popular sites like Google and Yelp cater to writing reviews for local businesses.
But the other step is to get your customers to write said reviews. Giving customers some incentives for writing reviews is a great way to do this: offering future discounts or rewards are great ways, but you can also simply directly ask customers to leave a review; training your team members to consistently ask customers to leave reviews is vital!
Once you’ve got some customer reviews under your belt, we suggest proudly displaying them on both your social media accounts and website, as they are one of the best ways of achieving social proof.
Of course, providing excellent service to your customers is a rather obvious way of achieving social proof. By offering great service, customers are more likely to return or give great word-of-mouth to their friends and family.
To do this, you should always treat customers with respect and be transparent and honest; having a great team of sales workers that are well-trained is the key to providing great service to customers, as your entire team represents your business as a whole. If you feel like your employees are undertrained, we recommend checking out some online resources – many of which are free, and are great training tools!
All-in-all, these are just a few of the ways that your dealership can achieve social proof, and become a leader in your industry; there’s more to gain social proof, and these points only scratch the surface.
If your business really wants to rise above the competition, then you may want to consider investing in an advanced TMS solution. A transportation management system is software that allows dealerships, brokers, and car auction companies to simplify how they conduct various online tasks like filing reports, updating inventory, and managing nearly all tasks related to online car sales. If this sounds like something that your dealership could use, then consider trying it out for yourself – request a demo today!Published on August 9, 2022
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