24 Nov

Using social media to extend customer service

automotive customer serviceSocial media is here to stay that is for sure. If your dealership has not quite got the hang of it or jumped on the so-called bandwagon yet then here are a few great reasons you should.

I recently attended a digital conference in Philadelphia provided by General Motors exclusively for their dealers. The conference was broken down into 3 smaller sections; Leads, Websites, Social Media/Reputation Management. There were about five hundred people in attendance and I chose to view the sections on Social Media and Reputation Management. I thought for sure that those would be the most attended sections of the entire conference because by now, surely all dealerships have figured out how to maximize their websites and leads, right? Well, as it turns out, I was one of about eight total people attending the social media and reputation management sections of the conference. WOW! Really? This is the one they should have all been at. Why was the attendance so low?

My guess is that dealers are still hesitant on how to embrace social media. This is really of no surprise as many of them are still trying to figure out how to calculate their return on investment from it. The better way to view social media though is to use it, at least initially, as an extension of your customer service. Don’t stick your head in the sand and think that every person that comes to your dealership isn’t using social media simply because you don’t. They post before they even leave the lot! Whether it was good, bad or indifferent they are posting.

Four tips to get you started

1. Be part of the Conversation – Join Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google Places and Yelp! for starters

2. Monitor the conversation – Assign someone the responsibility of monitoring these new places and responding to both GOOD and BAD posts. It’d be wise to set up Google Alerts for your dealership name as well as the website name. (e.g. “My dealership Yelp!”)

3. Be proactive – Start searching for your dealership’s name and other verbs like “bad service” “great service” etc. when you find them, add them to your list or alerts

4.Plan to fail or fail to plan? – Create a daily, weekly and monthly strategy for monitoring and updating these new sites. Start slow, start small but, at least get started

Using social media as an extension of your customer service strategy will get your feet wet with it as well as open your eyes to your reputation that is out on the world wide web. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find much or if you find a mountain of negative content. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

How are you using social media in your dealership today? Comment below.

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