Video use by automotive retailers has continually grown over several years, to the point where its use is now at record levels. In 2021, CitNOW users have collectively been sending over 25% more videos than they were in 2019, meaning that videos are reaching more customers – and prospective customers – than ever before.
And while it may have started out as an innovative accompaniment to the sales and aftersales processes, it’s now become fully embedded within the core strategies of retailers across the UK and beyond. As one of our customers put it: “It’s hard to imagine an automotive retailer that does not have video as a key weapon of its armoury. Video should now be a core competency for all retailer salespeople and technicians.”
But why has the use of video become so essential, and what is the result of the high-quality, personalised videos retailers create? This blog explores four vital advantages of video, highlighting some of the successful experiences that long-standing CitNOW customers have enjoyed:
Maintaining strong relationships with customers
Video can be used to effectively bridge the online-to-offline customer experience, ensuring customers are kept informed all the way through the sales process and beyond, and covering every query that they may have at any point. For example, one of our long-term CitNOW users has been able to strengthen customer relationships by expanding its efforts in creating high-quality and personalised videos for both sales and aftersales.
Another retailer has seen a noticeable upturn in customer confidence when using CitNOW, as a result of personalised videos giving them reassurance about their spending on a new vehicle, servicing or repair work. As one of their senior managers put it: “We’re always conscious about building trust with our customers, whether they are buying a new or used car, or bringing their existing car in for a service. The transparency that the CitNOW platforms enable helps us to do just that.”
Nurturing potential customers
Video has given retailers another method of converting initial interest and curiosity into a solid lead that can be converted into a purchase. No longer must retailers wait for prospects to come to the showroom or hope they answer the phone – they can be much more proactive in sending personalised information.
This can be especially helpful in selling used cars, when car condition can vary and image-only adverts can make it difficult to get information across clearly. At one dealer group, sales staff reported that video gives them the ability to clearly demonstrate the condition of a used vehicle and highlight key features through walkaround videos.
Additionally, when customers have access to so many prospective cars online, maintaining their interest can be difficult. One user explains that CitNOW has helped them cut through the noise: “The platforms have allowed our salespeople to be ‘in the room’ with customers and have proved crucial to keeping the conversation open.”
Accelerating the sales process
Video is a highly effective complementary communication tool helping dealer groups connect with customers – including those who haven’t yet visited the dealership in person. According to Google research, 60% of customers who watched a dealer’s video while researching a purchase then visited that retailer’s premises or website to find out more.
By enticing customers to make a more tangible connection with a potential purchase, they can not only build emotional attachments to a vehicle, but also get the facts they want to make the right buying decision. One CitNOW user explains: “By embracing video, we have been able to give customers the confidence to make faster and more informed decisions or purchases; whether online or through our click and collect services.”
By giving customers a choice of communicating by video, in-person or a combination of the two, they can feel more comfortable with the sales and aftersales processes, opting for whichever one best fits around the other demands in their lives. This plays a big part in removing any stress from the buying experience and provides additional flexibility and convenience.
Dealer groups can use platforms like CitNOW to know when they’re getting this right (or if their customer experience needs improvement) through feedback functions that accompany the videos customers receive. Those providing the best experiences are regularly achieving the highest scores available. As one CitNOW user summarised: “The majority of customers who use CitNOW’s star rating option will award us five stars, not least because of the quality of the information provided and the improved ease of communication at every customer touchpoint.”
CitNOW is here to help you take your videos and customer experiences to the next level. Learn more about how dealers like you are maximising their use of our solutions here.