How To Engage Generation Z To Drive Dealership Success

Over the years, Generation Z has made their presence well known. They’re technologically advanced and very vocal about their opinion’s – whether through social or on an online forum this generation demands to be heard.

Born between the years of 1998 and 2016; Generation Z  (commonly referred to as “Gen Z”) is the second youngest cohort with the oldest members being 19.  Over the years they’ve been defining the future of the customer journey, so understanding them and their needs is imperative for long-term business success – especially in the automotive industry. 

In order to aid your dealerships efforts we’ve compiled the top 3 tips you need to know when engaging Generation Z:

Put Mobile Technology at the Forefront Of Dealership Activity

For Generation Z, technology is second nature. Having grown up with it all their lives, they can’t recall a time when technology didn’t exist, making it more important than ever to use to your advantage.

Technology should be at the forefront of your dealerships activity; find out what devices or platforms they prefer and incorporate it into your business strategy for maximum results. A recent IBM led research uncovered that “75 percent of [Generation Z] respondents selected a mobile phone or smartphone as their device of choice”. In addition, a Nielsen report cited that Gen Z “consumers are increasingly attached to the convenience of mobile devices for accessing digital content”.

As part of your marketing and sales objectives, mobile features should then be the priority for engaging Gen Z. Incorporate it into your product or service so it’s more accessible for them. For example, make sure your dealership website is mobile responsive and that Gen Z customers can connect with you from their mobile devices. Leveraging their preferred method will lead to more engagement which can encourage more sales, and lead to more revenue.

Be Authentic and Personalize The Experience

Generation Z is all about creating personal and authentic experiences, much like Millenial’s they want to feel catered to in a more customized way. According to a Google report on Gen Z, 26 percent of teenage shoppers said they expect retailers to offer a more personalized experience based on their shopping habits and preferences.

Getting to know customers and building relationships has always been a fortified way to build loyalty. However, now more than ever businesses need to capitalize on learning about the customer and their desired buying journey.

You can begin this process by asking Gen Z’s for feedback. In a recent Accenture survey it was found that “40 percent of Gen Z’s will provide feedback often or very often” and that “the most popular method they use is writing reviews on retailer websites. In addition, they’re also more likely to offer feedback via Tweets or posts to Facebook and Snapchat.” Utilize a team member to manage the feedback and implement change where needed to show the value of customer comments. Have team members respond in a personalized way online and offline and try to have one on one conversations as often as you can.

By showcasing an authentic personality and by personalizing their experience, they’ll feel more connected to your dealership, leading to a more loyal customer.

Be Active on Social Media

Social has been a major component of Generation Z’s life, much like the Internet it is hard for them to picture a life without it. In a Neilsen study, 59 percent were found to be more likely than older generations to connect with brands on social media, and Google found that 53%  agree the number of followers/subscribers is very important to them.

For Generation Z, being active on social is a pivotal method of engagement so it is important to leverage these channels. To streamline the process, hire a dedicated marketing team member who not only crafts social messages but monitors keywords and interacts with followers. In addition, put in place a descriptive and all-encompassing social media strategy that outlines brand voice, steps to take in case of escalation, best practices and so on. Having this strategy will ensure team members reply to questions or comments effectively and in good faith of the company.

Further, be responsive to their needs and don’t simply treat social as a one-way conversation. This generation wants to communicate with you on every channel, so you should equip yourself with the technology needed to receive and quickly respond to all of their messages and requests, regardless of the messaging or social platform they use.

With the potential to grow future brand initiatives and influence revenue growth, Generation Z is a population that is worth engaging. By using these three tips, you can not only capture their attention but be well on your way to building authentic customer loyalty within your dealership.


Looking to strengthen the amount of feedback your receiving at your shop? Read our white paper: The New Voice of The Customer to gain insight on effective tactics you can leverage today.

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