What makes you stand out from your competition? Whether you’re the customer service leader, have the best service techs in town or offer the widest selection of aftermarket wheels in the state, the unique value proposition you offer is your brand identity. Your website is your first opportunity to showcase that unique value proposition, so it’s essential to implement these four tips to ensure your website delivers on your brand standard.
Brand Your Site
This goes beyond popping your logo into a template. The look and feel of your site should be consistent with the unique atmosphere and culture of your dealership. If you’re working with a website provider, you likely have a library of graphics to select from for background images and homepage slideshows. While it is simple to just pick option A, B, or C, these generic choices do little to set your brand apart. Talk to your website provider about customizing your backgrounds and homepage slideshows to ensure you’re delivering on your brand value the second visitors hit your site.
Tell your story
At the very basic level, your website’s “About Us” page should tell an engaging story about your dealership. But this short snippet of unique content only begins to tell your brand story. Incorporate a dealership blog into your site to tell an ongoing story about your business and to jumpstart your content optimization efforts. Also known as search engine optimization (SEO), content optimization is key to earning high ranking with search engines. While the rules of the optimization game are complex and ever-evolving, one of the most basic principles of SEO is quite simple. Regularly publish relevant content for your customers. Not only will this help you rank higher on search engines, it will help connect with website visitors and tell your story. New to SEO? Google’s Webmaster Tools offers education for you to jumpstart your SEO efforts.
Manage your reputation
Reputation is everything. Your site visitors are looking for the social proof that your dealership delivers. This starts by adding testimonials to your site culled from popular review sites like Yelp, Google+ and City Search and gets backed up by providing users links to those sites and your social media channels, so your customers and prospects can see what your other customers have to say about doing business with you. And while great reviews can make your dealership, one bad review can tarnish it. Be sure you’re monitoring the popular review sites and all of your social media channels regularly, so you can respond to negative reviews promptly. You can also negate the effects of a negative review by ‘burying’ it with a load of positive reviews. Reach out to your best customers and simply ask them to write you a review. Many times, they are more than happy to help.
Meet your customers’ needs
What questions do you consistently answer over the phone? Are the answers to them readily available on your website? Whether it’s basic information like hours of operation and directions, or inquiries to schedule service appointments, you should be addressing your customer’s biggest needs on your website with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Consider every incoming call as feedback from customers on information your website might be lacking.
Implementing these tips will define your unique value proposition and give customers the information they need to make the decision to choose you.
Nate Lehmann is sales manager, automotive tire and wheel, at ARI. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help more than 2,100 independent tire and wheel dealers spanning over 3,400 locations Sell More Stuff! online and in-store. Nate can be reached at [email protected] or 218-740-1407.