The Age of Assistance & Modern Consumer Expectations

August 16, 2018 / Digital Marketing / 0 Comments /
Virtual assistance

Today’s consumers expect their interactions with your dealership to be faster, easier, and more seamless than ever before. And why wouldn’t they? Technology is progressing at a lightning speed, and with innovations like voice assistants and artificial intelligence, the pace of life only continues to quicken.

Google’s recent marketing and data surveys have revealed some interesting online trends that can be explained by customers’ expectation of assistance along their journey to purchase.

Empowered Consumers

Thanks in no small part to the ease of accessing information, today’s consumers are more empowered than ever. Equipped with smartphones, reviews, and price-comparing apps, it makes sense that consumers no longer feel at the mercy of a brand to provide them with accurate and relevant information.

Digitally, this trend shows as well. Google Data revealed that mobile search terms like “best ___” and “___ to avoid” have grown by 80 and 150 percent, respectively.

Consumers are taking brand research into their own hands and using information on the web to make these decisions. This shows why it is more important than ever to have your reputation management up-to-speed and make sure that your SEO is fully optimized. This way, your brand will be the one informing consumers about the best options.

Demanding Consumers

Shoppers today expect a customized digital experience. This is shown by the fact that mobile searches for terms like “should I ___” and “___ for me” (e.g., “which Honda is best for me”)  have grown by nearly 65 percent in the past two years. A way to capitalize on today’s demanding consumers is to use data to know what your consumers are searching for and create content tailored specifically to them. This can include blog posts on finding the car that fits you, vehicle matching guides, model comparisons, and a wealth of other custom-curated content.

Impatient Consumers

It’s no surprise that impatience grows as life in general becomes more efficient. Search trends show that queries including the phrase “open now” have tripled in the past two years. On a dealership level, this data can be applied to your hours of operation listings as well as any chat or contact features you may have. Your hours should be updated and consistent, particularly within your Google My Business listing, as this is the first result that shows up when a customer searches what is open.

It’s also important to make sure that chat features you have on your website or on Facebook will be answered as soon as they are received. If 24/7 responses are not something you offer, then make sure to have a message informing the customer of when you will reopen and how long it will take them to receive a reply. Most importantly, make sure to adhere to this timeframe, and respond to customers as quickly as possible.

Related reading: Smart Home Devices & Artificial Intelligence: New Spaces for Advertisers

Providing Assistance

Overall, today’s consumers expect brands to make their shopping experience as easy as possible. Using research to anticipate your customers’ needs is essential to staying ahead of the competition. The old adage holds true that water flows the path of least resistance. Make it easy for your customers to transition from your mobile site, to your desktop site, and ultimately to your dealership showroom.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as an account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2018, Strong was named CEO of the Year by the BBJ. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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