How do I set my dealership up for the holidays?

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Posted on by Wikimotive LLC
Categories: Automotive SEO, SEO Climb Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

The holidays are upon us and – whether you like it or not – that means you’re going to have to put in some legwork to make sure your dealership is prepared to keep your customers saying, “Ho Ho Ho” instead of “Oh no, no”. So, we’re going to remind you why it’s crucial to update your service scheduler, show you how to take care of your local listings (specifically your Google Business Profile) and what role your social media should be playing in all of this.

Service Scheduler

I can tell you from personal experience that there are dealerships out there that don’t have their act together when it comes to their Holiday service hours, or adjusted hours of operation. Just yesterday, I set up an appointment for early Christmas Eve morning with my local dealership for an oil change and a state inspection. I got the confirmation email, and a text message confirming that they were all set and ready for me. Well, today, I got a phone call from the dealership saying, “Hey, um…we’re not actually open that day”. Worse? They didn’t even attempt to give me alternate scheduling options. They just told me, “We’re also closed New Years Day” (insert eye roll and sarcastic “Thank you very much” here).

Now, I’ve lost my chance of scheduling this early service but I’ve also lost my excuse for not helping my wife decorate for the Christmas Party. Double loss…and if you think I’m having a good time, you’re wrong. The morale of the story: update your service scheduler.

GBP Holiday Hours

Another area you should be focused on is your Google Business Profile. You’re going to want to update your GBP to reflect your holiday hours and then post about it so that everyone knows (but we’ll get to that second part in just a bit). Here’s the step by step…

  1. Go to business.google.com
  2. Navigate to your Google Business Profile dashboard
  3. Find the listing you’re looking to update
  4. Click the Pencil icon to edit the information
  5. Scroll down to Holiday Hours and either (i) find the holiday you’re looking for, or (ii) click ‘Add Date’.
  6. Update hours or click ‘Closed’ if applicable
  7. Don’t forget to click ‘Save’

Now, this part is important. If you’re changing your holiday hours more than a week in advance, you won’t see anything change on the front-end of Google or Google Maps. Your holiday hours only show up 7-days in advance of the scheduled holiday, so as not to create any confusion.

And speaking of confusion, remember to update your Holiday Hours and not your Regular Hours. Doing the latter by mistake will carry over to future weeks, creating more unnecessary confusion.

Also, be aware that if you don’t update your GBP to reflect your Holiday Hours, Google will still put an orange disclaimer on your day-of hours stating ‘Holiday might affect these hours’. By updating them, Google will opt for a green disclaimer confirming them as approved Holiday hours.

Increasing Awareness of Holiday Hours

If you’re ahead of the game, and want customers to know about your upcoming Holiday Hours more than a week ahead of time, you’re going to want to make a GBP Post. How do you do that?

  1. Go to business.google.com
  2. Navigate to your Google Business profile dashboard
  3. Find the listing you’re looking to update
  4. Click the ‘Add Update’ icon
  5. Add a description, image, and/or CTA button with link
  6. Click ‘Post’

Your customers will be able to see the post when they navigate to your business on Google Maps. If you really want to increase awareness, repeat this process every week and share those posts across your social media platforms.

Recap

If you want your dealership to be set up for success during the holiday season (or any holiday)
1. Make sure that your service scheduler reflects your actual hours of availability.
2. Update your GBP to reflect both holiday hours and any holiday closures.
3. Post about the update on both GBP and your social media.