Did you catch last month’s DealerELITE blog post “How Can Auto Auctions Improve Dealer Confidence Online?” by Kelly Bianchi? If you’re short on time, here are the main points:
- Perceptions about buying from online auto auctions can be grouped into three categories: Traditional, Intermediary and Revolutionary.
- Traditionals do not buy online. They value physical presence at the auction facility, where they’re able to kick the tires.
- Intermediaries buy online but follow self-imposed precautions, such as purchasing condition reports or deploying reps to inspect vehicles in person.
- Revolutionaries buy on the go, often using mobile devices. They’re comfortable bidding online, and they bid on vehicles around the country – and even the globe.
- Intermediaries and Revolutionaries are cautious, if not downright resistant, toward the online auto auction industry because of its reputation for subpar online infrastructure.
The article can perhaps best be summarized by, “The [online buying] process could’ve been greatly improved with a stronger online infrastructure that was globally sound, and provided adequate resources for communication.”
I appreciate Kelly’s candor about the perception of business buyers toward the online auto auction industry. If nothing else, articles like this provide the fuel for automotive marketers like myself to accelerate our companies beyond the status quo, and to give customers the type of experience that’s worthy of gaining their confidence and trust.
So how do you and I do that? What differentiates Copart’s online infrastructure from the rest of the industry’s? How can you become a differentiator in your unique space?
Here are 5 tips for gaining and maintaining confidence and trust from your customers and prospects online:
- Provide Clear & Accurate Selling Points
Avoid the urge to get fancy with the messaging you use on your website and in ads. Use short, simple copy that’s intuitive and straight to the point. Don’t make your customers think but, rather, hold their hand, in a sense, so that that they’ll act.
- Provide a List of Frequently Asked Questions
Buyer onboarding and education is important, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Make it as easy as a short list of FAQs. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and ask yourself, “What questions would I ask if I was new to this industry or company?” You can also monitor social media inquiries or customer survey responses to develop your list of FAQs.
- Create Video Tutorials
Some people like reading FAQs; others like watching videos. Good marketing accounts for all different user preferences. So once you have your FAQs in place, repurpose them for video tutorials, such as what my team has developed for the Copart Videos page.
- Respond to Social Media Messages
More people today, spanning all generations, are turning to brands’ social media accounts to voice their questions, concerns and complaints. Being engaged and active on social media gives you one more way to connect with your audience – and to build they trust they desperately seek.
- Consider Using a Live Chat Service
In January, Copart launched live chat. This service provides a quick and easy way for our members to get in touch with our customer service team. It’s especially convenient for our international members, who now can save money on international calling fees. Members consistently rate live chat favorably, which is a further indication that it’s working to instill confidence and trust on their end.
Whether you’re in the online auto auction space like I am, or even just in the automotive industry, you can take these simple steps to give your customers the experience they’ve come to expect when buying online. And don’t forget: last, but not least, decide how you’ll measure the success of your new online communication tools.
Here’s to satisfied customers, favorable reputations, and online success!