Millennials are the most educated, socially conscious, highly diverse and most tech-savvy of the generations so far. They are also the largest age population group – at 75 million, they form a sizeable portion of the U.S. population. And by 2020, they will constitute nearly 46 percent of the country’s working population. All these naturally makes them a very critical customer segment.
But the significant attitudinal differences between Millennials and earlier generations have challenged companies, demanding a rethink of their approach. This is particularly true for car buying, which was thought to be not a priority for the Millennial generation. But this is not entirely accurate.
According to the 2016 Credit Karma Millennial Report, almost 90 percent of the generation wants to purchase a car. But to succeed with them, auto dealers need to adapt their strategies and develop a fresh set of rules to guide their approach to Millennials.
Here are 8 rules that can help dealers develop a powerful and effective strategy to connect with Millennials as customers and improve sales:
1. Understand their priorities : Millennials are often very clear in what they are looking for. Given how tech-savvy they are; this generation is well-prepared with all necessary information before starting on their car buying journey. It is important for dealers to understand the needs of customers first before starting a sales pitch. This will ensure that they are catering to the customers’ actual needs.
2. Acknowledge the shift in their expectations : For millennials, dealerships are no longer the only source of information – they depend on numerous online sources for it. They consider dealerships to be the place where they can get expert guidance and support during the purchase decision. So dealers must reorient their communication, demonstrating their expertise and be readily approachable for sharing their knowledge through tools like co-browsing.
3. Change your communication strategy : Technological changes in the last two decades has brought staggering changes to how we communicate. The Millennial generation now spends more time on the internet and depends on the mobile phone majorly. With this understanding, dealerships must have make digital channels like live chat on websites a key component of their communication strategy.
4. Have Real-Time customer service : The new generation has grown up with gadgets that deliver instant communication and they aren’t used to long wait times. Delayed email responses or long hold times on phone for just for one clarification can turn away customers. It is, therefore, necessary to have instantly responsive customer service processes that allow for two-way digital interactions through live video chat.
5. Be accessible and active through multiple channels : Digital natives’ millennials are comfortable in a number of different channels – text-based messaging, online video calls or interactive phone sessions, and they like to use them as per need. Dealerships need to keep in mind this and have an omni-channel presence – this will ensure that they can interact with their customer according to their preference.
6. Adopt Responsive & Flexible Attitude : To appeal to millennials, dealers need to tweak their approach to ensure that whatever be the device and whatever the channel their website is capable of meeting the needs of the customers. Whether be it supporting complex financial processes or customers wanting to discuss car specifications via video chat on a mobile, dealerships must have a flexible attitude and the tools to support it.
7. Impactful Digital Interactions : With digital channels becoming more and more the primary channel of communication between dealers and customers, interaction at every touchpoint must be impactful. Using services like Cobrowsing or a video chat, dealers can engage proactively by having live digital conversations and develop rapport with customers.
8. Leverage Latest Technology for Customer Connect : New technological products can be a boon for improving the quality of customer interaction provided in digital channels. For example, using the innovative co-browsing tool, agents can give customers a live guided tour remotely of the website, explaining features and clarifying questions right away with no delays.
No doubt, the dramatic shift in expectations requires dealerships to make major shift in not only their mindset but also the tools deployed by them. The “multi-screen generation,” Millennials must be provided a service that reflects their needs and expectations and the use of real-time engagement tools can ensure that this.
Keywords: car, communication, dealerships
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