Economy: Closed car lot

Staying in front of your customers regardless of inventory issues will set you up for success

Many dealers are dialing back their marketing efforts due to inventory shortages, and on the surface, it makes sense. Why market to consumers when you only have 10-30% of your usual new inventory?

The answer really shouldn’t surprise you.

New vehicle inventory is just a tiny fraction of the total revenue dealers are raking in. Used inventory and fixed ops are the two areas that really pay the bills. There’s a ton of value in staying in front of your customers regardless of inventory issues because fostering brand loyalty is something that’s done consistently over time. If you’re electing to not engage with your customer database in a time like this, you are hurting your chances of success when things start to return to normal.

Don’t Knock Used

Your most valuable customers are the ones already loyal to you, so this time of vehicle shortages should be spent on fostering that loyalty at every juncture. One way is by better understanding your customers and knowing when they might be ripe for a trade-in.

Outsell consolidates your data into a single Consumer Database to keep track of everyone’s most up-to-date information, including vehicles owned. An average dealer has over 1,800 consumers who may be poised for a trade-in and are ready for something new.

Outsell’s Find a Trade-In filter identifies quality used vehicles to help you prioritize outreach to those customers. They make the upgrade, and you add a potentially high-value used vehicle to your inventory. Dealers find this feature invaluable. Imagine you need some more entry-level SUVs to fill your used inventory lot, how would you currently go about doing this? With Outsell, you can quickly identify not only customers who currently drive the model you are seeking, but also customers who may be in a favorable position to also purchase/upgrade to a new vehicle. That’s solving two problems with one solution: you get a desirable trade-in unit, and you sell another vehicle.

Move What You Have

Just because you may be short on some vehicles, doesn’t mean that’s true across the board. To move the models you do have, you need to target the consumers most likely to be interested in them. A relevant message to the right consumer increases conversion and provides a better customer experience—once again, building on your brand loyalty.

Rather than sending a “CRM blast” to everyone, audiences targeted using Outsell’s Move a Model are twice as likely to convert. Dealers can target consumers who have engaged or could be interested in the specific model you’re trying to move. Consumers win by getting into the vehicle they want, and you move the inventory that’s been sitting on your lot longer.

A blanket CRM email blast isn’t effective. Some dealers may segment their send list to just model-specific owners of the inventory they are trying to push, but who’s to say they are currently in-market for an upgrade or if they even want the same model when they do upgrade? When attempting to move model-specific inventory, you need a tool that has identified which of your current customers are even in-market for a vehicle, and what model(s) they have been showing interest in.

Be Superior with Service

Effectively marketing to current and potential servicers requires an omnichannel approach. Not able to reach someone through email? Target them through social. Not seeing any returns from social media? Consider sending a direct mail piece. Outsell offers it all because every consumer expects to engage through the channel where they’re most comfortable.

Outsell can also help you target in-market servicers to avoid wasting marketing spend. This isn’t only a benefit for you, but for the consumer, because it shows you’re paying attention and know them.

In a comprehensive, multi-year data study conducted with RXA and Experian, Outsell found that dealers who engage consumers through our platform saw a 31% increase in service visits. Whether the consumers had previously serviced with the dealership or not, getting them to service earlier in their ownership lifecycle saw an even bigger return. Consumers see the right offers at the right time, and you foster further loyalty by bringing them in for service before they can defect.

Connect with Consumers

The best way to connect with consumers is to let an AI-driven platform learn about them and respond with communications most suited to their needs, ultimately allowing consumers to dictate the information they see. This doesn’t mean never customizing content, however, when you have relevant buy-back or trade-in incentives you want to market to more of your database. Outsell allows for both, making the most of every method for engaging your consumers.

Custom content promoting offers and special events increases the quality of engagement on your communications, with specific VDP views increasing over 20% vs non-customized content. Dealers need to add their brand’s tone and personality to their communications. Consumers don’t trust a cookie-cutter templated email as much as they trust a custom and unique piece of content. Chances are if you’re using templates from your CRM, every other dealer in your area is using the exact same template if they use the same CRM.

Don’t forget defectors either. Outsell regularly augments the VINs of a dealership’s sales and service customers with a change of ownership. When a change of ownership is detected, and there wasn’t a purchase from your dealership around that same time, it’s likely the consumer purchased elsewhere. Once Outsell determines these likely defectors are in the market again, automated content tries to win them back. Consumers consistently see that your dealership knows them and has what they want, and you reap the benefits.

Why Dealers Are Turning to Outsell

Outsell may be a virtual customer engagement platform powered by sophisticated artificial intelligence, but don’t mistake that to mean it is only a sales tool for only new vehicle sales.

The Outsell platform helps dealers and dealer groups with used vehicles, service, and much more, keeping you connected with customers throughout their lifecycle so that when they are ready to buy or service, you’re the first place they turn to—even if they might have defected before.

Outsell customers are making the most of lacking inventory by focusing on tools within the platform naturally attuned to finding trade-ins, moving specific models they have in abundance, increasing service bay visits, and custom content and defector outreach specific to their goals. Don’t sweat what you don’t have—make the most of what you do.

Therefore, while inventory shortages continue, it is paramount to employ an automation tool like Outsell to help you best capitalize on all areas of your dealership.

Contact Outsell today to learn how you can combat lacking inventory by delivering dynamic individualized content that customers actually want – through email, direct mail, social, and more.