Current customers spend more time in your lounge than any other part of the dealership. Dealerships and franchises spend considerable effort to make the customer lounge a welcoming environment for their guests. Dealers include coffee bars, tablets and snacks along with comfortable chairs, special lighting and much more. Ultimately, though, the customer lounge experience comes down to the televisions and content options available.

The average dwell time for a customer in the lounge is about one hour. Dealerships will always get those who will spend several hours there, or have some family members who will go to the lounge during a sales deal. But, in general, the lounge is used as a place to unwind, get some business done, consult on sales and relax while in the dealership. A dealer visit can be stressful, and the lounge is designed to help alleviate that stress.

Customer Lounge Experience
The customer lounge experience is a great way to add a hint of marketing to your customer
without overwhelming them with your message. An improper balance can negatively affect stress levels, CSI, referrals and social media impact. The result? Bottom-dollar profits.

Anyone who has gone to an old “quick lube” shop knows how a poor lounge experience can impair the desire to bring repeat business to that establishment.

There are multiple options for customer lounge TV, each with its own pros and cons. Dealers will have different needs based on their customers and dealer initiatives. It’s often best to combine multiple solutions to maximize the impact of the investment.

Do Nothing — Running cable network TV is the choice of most dealerships. This will be just like the home environment where any channel can be watched, with customers asking dealer representatives to increase or decrease the volume or change the channel. Maybe there is a remote floating around that inevitably will get lost. This programming may not be suitable for all ages, might show competitive commercials, may not represent the dealership in the best light and provides no dealership marketing.

Broadcast Wrap — Wrapping a cable or satellite TV broadcast with dealer marketing is an easy way to make sure your dealership branding and message stays in front of your customers without interrupting the normal TV program. Customers can watch any channel they want, but your marketing message rotates on the side and along the ticker on the bottom. This allows you to “silently” market to your customers with service and sales specials, and general branding is easy to do. Sophisticated dealers add automated service appointment status to the system, keeping customer’s eyes focused on the screen — and on your marketing message.

Commercial Replacement — Dealers have long searched for a hybrid solution where a customer can watch any channel, but when the commercials come on, the dealership can control the content. This is referred to as commercial replacement. This technology allows dealers to add video to the system and during a commercial break, controlled content can play. This can be any video, from running footage to dealership commercials to testimonial videos and more. The system runs seamlessly and creates a way to reduce competitor’s advertisements and maximize dealer branding and messaging.

Closed-Circuit TV — Alternative content can provide a mix of entertainment, educational and dealer-branding content. There are several options and layouts to select from, including long-form and short-form content from various providers. The premier solution offers dealers complete control of the content to add and remove any content, while automatically updating fresh content. Short-form videos are ideal because it keeps someone’s attention on the screen, where dealer marketing messages are available. Long-form content is usually older content and it can be difficult to keep a customer’s attention through a 20-minute show. Premium solutions even include automated service updates to let customers know when their vehicle is ready.

Each of these solutions has pros and cons that much be assessed by each dealership. The addition of integrated appointment status may be a key role in selecting a provider, but ultimately, the total solution is what will determine the course of action for your dealership. Reaching customers in the lounge is getting more difficult every day because they have a variety of distractions and technologies available. Keeping dealer marketing in front of your customers while in the store is a challenge that the modern dealer is willing to attack
and utilize for their benefit. In this case, doing nothing is a losing battle.


Todd Katcher

Managing Partner


About the Digital Dealership System

The Digital Dealership System offers in-store marketing and interactive solutions on screens and kiosks throughout the dealership. Located in West Palm Beach, FL, the Digital Dealership System provides services for over 500 stores across the country, Canada and Australia.

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