We’ve entered a new normal. Within just a few months, the entire world has been affected by COVID-19. The disease threatens the lives of millions and puts unprecedented pressure on businesses.
Back in February, China saw a severe decline in car sales. Experts say the same trend can be expected soon here in the U.S. In many parts of the country, car dealerships and service departments are considered essential businesses and are allowed to remain open despite stay-at-home orders. That’s good news for dealers, but with a large portion of the population staying indoors, business strategies are changing to make accommodations.
Automakers and dealers are responding with deep discounts and a “contactless” buying experience. Adapting quickly to this new reality is key to surviving this crisis. One crucial feature you should be thinking about is making sure customers can stay home throughout their car-buying journey.
This requires a shift in the way you think about sales. Perfecting the art of online communication will be critical in making new sales. In times like these, efficiency and empathy are so important in making sure you’re genuinely helpful.
People will have lots of questions and they’ll go online to look for information and get recommendations. Consumers are talking online about cars they want to buy, services they need, and parts they’re looking to purchase. That means dealers who are worried about decreasing foot traffic in their showrooms have a solution.
Meet consumers where they are.
Due to fears over the coronavirus, we expected to see shifts in consumer behavior, namely, more online shopping/browsing vs. in-store. The graph below shows a spike in online car purchase requests starting on March 20. This means that more people are going online and talking about the products or services they want to purchase. As more cities implement longer Stay Home orders, we’ll see these numbers increase.
If potential customers are talking about your brand online, doesn’t it make sense to connect with them there?
That’s what FunnelAI does. We empower businesses to strategically reach out to customers in real-time when they express a need for a product or service. Our AI-powered technology goes through millions of public posts a day to find those most relevant to your business. You’ll see those posts on our Prospects Page where you can respond to potential customers in real-time.
This means dealers can offer products to potential customers at the exact moment they are looking for it. In the wake of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to be there for shoppers in helpful ways.
By being a helpful and friendly guide to consumers, rather than a pushy salesperson, you can build and nurture relationships that will help your dealership succeed. We can expect consumer behavior to change in new ways, but building online relationships now will keep you afloat during unexpected crises.
We’d like to support you in your digital transformation during this challenging period. Please see our page on the FunnelAI COVID-19 Assistance Program for more information.