Millennials: Sales To Service Conversion
They’re going to spend 200 billion annually by 2017. They buy stock in Apple, Amazon.com, Tesla and Facebook. They’re the largest and most diverse generation in history. They expect the brick and mortar businesses they engage with to deliver an online experience that’s technology-fueled, interactive, highly personalized and feels like a real partnership. More than half of Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than give up their prized technology. Fewer than half service their vehicles where they purchase them. Coincidence? Nope.
The key to retaining millennials, according to AutoPoint marketing experts Hilary Biggart and Mindy Woodall, is to deliver a customer experience that meets millennial’s expectations beginning with an experience fueled by technology: yes, personal interactions still matter but millennials expect a comprehensive digital experience and they expect it to be seamless and highly personalized: knowing who they are and what they drive helps make the experience relevant to them. They expect their experience to be interactive: millennials prefer to get things done with their digital devices and they also want the experience to feel like a partnership: can you make service and vehicle maintenance feel like a team effort? If so, you’ll win millennial hearts.
Biggart and Woodall recommend a handful of steps to dial in millennials and improve your chances of creating loyal, lifelong customers.
- Invest in seamless technology. Millennials have been immersed in technology practically since birth and they expect everything to be digital, mobile and readily available on the screens in their hands. If it isn’t, they aren’t interested.
- Use a mobile app. Millennials are far more likely to respond to service reminders and prompts that are app based. Your app should be dealer-branded, contain a scheduling tool and a loyalty/rewards component. It should allow push notification and facilitate geo-fencing.
- Drive your marketing with data. A data-driven marketing system helps keep your message relevant and on-point. Millenials are more likely to see social media ads, watch online video, click banner ads and respond to email ads.
- Master the service visit. Make sure your online appointment system integrates with your DMS. Make a great first impression with a comprehensive service lane solution and include inspection reports that are designed to sell.
- After customers leave, continuing connection is critical. A great way to stay connected is to use an engaging loyalty program. It should be mobile based with auto-enrollment and automatically calculated points and rewards.
In summary: Millennials are your most important consumer prospects whose loyalty is based on experience, not advertising. They demand a tech-driven, effortless customer experience. They do their research and like to feel empowered. Your strategic deployment of tech-based tools can help you stay connected with Millennials and empower them to take charge of their vehicle and their own experience in a way that’s good for your bottom line.