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Virtual and Personal Connections – Both are Vital

By Courtney Becton

Many dealerships and businesses, in general, put much focus on reaching consumers and maintain relationships from a digital platform, considering the importance of the new generations and the heavy usage of social media and online buying. This marketing method is essential for consumer outreach and retention; however, not all consumers are tech-savvy, nor do they prefer that method of contact. Understandably, having the ability to reach a mass amount of people at once, the digital platform is integral in that respect. Still, I also encourage you not to lose some of the traditional ways of connecting with people who are less likely to be reached virtually and appreciate a more personal experience.

From my most recent car buying experience, I received more than just an email, text, or automated salutation thanking me for being a valued customer and asking me for a survey. On the day of my birthday, from the dealership I purchased my vehicle, I received a phone call from a live person. A charming representative picked up the phone, not to sell me anything, but only to wish me a Happy Birthday and to thank me for being a loyal and valued customer. I was not concerned about what I would receive of monetary value for being a loyal customer on my birthday (although a free oil change would have been awesome), but I appreciated the gesture, and I was delighted to receive that call. It was personal, and a lovely traditional touch I feel can be lost sometimes with all the digital distractions nowadays, and something dealerships should not detour from, no matter how technology and the shopping experience changes over the years. Because of that single small gesture, I remain confident in my loyalty to that one dealership and will probably return there if I need something for my car or am in the market to purchase again. Admittedly, car buying experiences can be traumatic for some, and because of the rapport the dealership has built with me, I will likely continue to return there as a loyal customer.

The virtual platforms are great, but some consumers still prefer tradition and small gestures of kindness or caring, such as a simple phone call that feels more personal and makes the difference in the entire buying experience.

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