Here at Bluesky Interactive, we believe that the future of the digital dealer world is focusing in more and more on personalisation, personalisation, personalisation. Digitally engaged dealers should be planning how they will improve the online experience for their customers (and, ideally, their sales team), and a major part of that will likely be delivering an Omni-channel experience.
So, what is Omni-channel?
Omni-channel refers to giving your customers a consistent and streamlined experience no matter how they connect with your business.
As well as meaning that offers, marketing materials and branding should be the same throughout all aspects of your business both on and offline (which, quite frankly, should have been the case for years), it is about the customer being identifiable throughout.
To take a key dealer example, if a customer comes onto your website and conducts a search, looks at some cars, and then turns up at the dealership, your team should be able to look them up and in a second know exactly what cars they looked at, what their search budget was and what model they were interested in – without them having to explain it all again.
In an ideal world, the website should also remember this information, although any step in the right direction is good on its own!
Can my website be Omni-channel?
Yes – as long as you have a strategy for it! Something with this much potential deserves to be dealt with appropriately! We integrate a product called Autochart into Bluesky websites already. This tracks what visitors do around your website (i.e. their budget, cars viewed and other behaviour) and adds this information to email enquiries and our Lead Management System.
Dealers can then log into the system if they are following up on the lead or in with the customer, and see what their activity was. They will also receive alerts if the customer returns to the website, which offer an amazing opportunity to reconnect.
In short, this is the first step to being omni-channel, so it’s great that so many dealers are already embracing it and feeling the benefits.
The next step, and what we are focusing on as part of our drive to use data more wisely and focusing personalisation as a key technical area, is to keep tracking this data, but add it to a user profile even if they don’t submit an email enquiry. The result? A truly omni-channel dealer experience.
If you read our post last week on things we can learn from NADA 2016, you’ll have seen that showroom technology is getting cleverer – and we think dealers should be using this to tie up the online and the offline as part of this omni-channel strategy.
Why would I want to be omni-channel?
Firstly, it will make your customers will feel special.
If you walk into a car dealership and the sales guys knows your preferences and needs just by taking your name, the experience is elevated from simple sales, to something much more involved.
Secondly, it is truly integrated.
Integration is a bit of a buzz word, but much like clichés that is usually because they are based on truth. If you want a fully successful business you need your offline dealership to be supported by and to work with your website, rather than against it.
Have you come across the idea of an omni-channel strategy before? How can you see it working for the automotive industry?