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An effective customer experience for Millennials and Gen Z begins the moment they visit a website and continues even after they’ve made a purchase. These generations like to be kept in the loop, so traditional advertising methods, such as ads on a billboard, won’t be as effective as actually starting a conversation with them. While talking to every prospect and customer is time-consuming, it’s still achievable to do so at scale and having a good marketing strategy in place can help.
Your business can meet the values and expectations as well as build long-lasting relationships with Millennials and Gen Z by creating what we refer to as “communication touchpoints.” These are points of contact at all stages of the customer’s journey with your dealership. In this guide, we’ll go over 4 steps that your dealership can take to create a successful customer experience for Millennials and Gen Z.
Engagement is key when it comes to selling to Millennials and Gen Z. As the “tell-all” generations, they love to communicate and engage with brands. That being said, the customer experience for Millennials and Gen Z begins before they even step inside your dealership.
First, they love consuming content. Try creating content that will get them interested in the RV or marine lifestyle and find ways to connect your brand with that lifestyle. Content includes things like blog posts, posting videos and pictures, organizing opinion polls, contests, and giveaways. Your content should be optimized so that search engines like Google and Bing are able to drive traffic to your channels. Even something like adding a live chat on your website can make a difference and is an easy way to engage website visitors and answer their questions head-on.
You can also repurpose and share your content across as many social media platforms as you can including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube – which are the most popular channels among younger generations. However, these generations don’t use just one social media platform – they’re active on multiple social accounts like TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter. You don’t have to master every platform but get to know your audience and try different platforms to see what works best for your dealership.
Once you’ve attracted an audience to your website and social media channels, you can retarget them through ads. Retargeting campaigns are important because they’ll remind your visitors about your units and services – even after they leave your site. If your market budget allows, re-targeting campaigns are more cost-effective than paid search because you’re already targeting people who have engaged with your content and brand.
As more and more things return to normal you may also consider hosting events. Events are great opportunities to engage with buyers at all stages of the customer cycle. It’s also an opportunity for your dealership to generate authentic content. Younger generations attending these events are more likely to take pictures and share them on social media. This will help grow your engagement online and with the broader community.
Once you’ve engaged with Millennials and Gen Z at the beginning of their customer experience, you need to help them choose the right product and convince them to purchase from your dealership. These generations like to do their own research so creating educational content in the form of simple blog posts such as Q&A, what to look for, and best practices are great resources for them. Other useful forms of educational content include comparison videos between two different campers or boats and online walk-throughs.
Keep in mind that educational content is different from entertaining content created for engagement purposes. It’s important to have a healthy balance of both. Having a solid CRM platform will help you organize and nurture all your leads online and offline. You can create email templates and reach prospects with a click of a button. Personalizing the emails with pictures and signatures of your sales representatives is also a good practice.
Although these generations are digital natives, offline activities can complement your online efforts such as targeted direct mail. Direct mail campaign work by re-marketing and advertising to prospects that have already engaged with your online content as opposed to sending it to everyone in your database. For example, imagine a prospect browsed your website for a camper and a few days later they receive a flyer in the mail with a special offer for a camper. This helps keep your dealership top of mind and potentially bring them into your dealership.
Once a customer has decided to buy from your dealership, communication and speed will be key at this stage to keep them coming back. Scheduling regular ongoing communication with customers is an important part of the customer experience for Millennials and Gen Z. It will keep your business top-of-mind and show that you want to foster your relationship with them. Here are some ways that dealers are continuing to build relationships with customers after they’ve made a purchase:
Communicate with customers even when their units are being serviced. Providing online service and self-service opportunities is not only an e-commerce best practice, but it’s an opportunity to build a lot of trust with the customer by keeping them in the loop throughout the entire process. Give customers a realistic timeline of how long it will take their unit to be serviced.
You can send customers notifications about things like when their parts have been ordered or when their unit servicing has begun. That way, they’ll know that their unit is ok and being worked on. Sending customer approval requests via email can also speed up the process. It also creates a more modern, seamless experience for your customers. A good dealership management system will be able to allow your sales team to easily manage their pipeline and customer interactions.
The last step in the customer experience for Millennials and Gen Z is to create brand advocates. This is when your dealership can turn your existing customers into brand advocates who will tell others about your dealership. You can do this through a variety of methods.
Right after a sale or work order has been completed, send your customers a short survey using email or text messages to understand how they feel about their experience at your dealership. This gives you insight into whether what you’re doing at your dealership is effective. Surveys also let you identify areas where their customer experience could have been improved.
You can ask them questions such as, “How likely are you to recommend our dealership to friends or family?” You can then use these surveys to identify your happiest customers and ask them for referrals. Then you can thank them for their business and for recommending you to their friends and family.
Events are great opportunities for engaging customers but also to continue showing your customers appreciation and bring together fans of your dealership. Scheduling birthday or anniversary greetings will also make customers feel appreciated. Again, a CRM will be particularly useful for organizing your customers’ information to send out invitations and greetings. It will also make periodic communications more manageable. A good dealership management system will allow your sales team to easily manage their pipeline and customer interactions.
As part of their tendency to research businesses online, Millennials and Gen Z value online reviews and social media before making a purchase decision. If you’ve got a customer that loves your business get them to leave a review. There are a few strategies you can use to get more online reviews as quick and easy as possible.
Since the majority of online reviews are left on Google, you can send customers an email or text after a sale with a link directly to your Google page. This makes it easy for them to click and leave a review. Your email signature is also a nifty spot where you could put a review link. Similarly, in your post-sale and service surveys, you can include a call to action at the end asking them to leave a review. Finally, offer your customers incentives to leave reviews such as entering them in a giveaway or giving them swag gear like a t-shirt, pens, or mugs. The more positive reviews you have, the more trust you’ll have already built before they’ve even stepped foot into your dealership.
Ultimately, Millennials and Gen Z want the same things as the generations before them. They want great service at a reasonable price, to build relationships with the businesses they support, and to feel like they’re part of a community. When looking for ways to create a great customer experience for them, communication is always key.
Want to learn more about creating a 360° customer experience at your dealership? Click below to download our guide and level up your overall customer experience.
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