Have you ever not found something you were searching for online? Hard to imagine, right? With all that virtual power invested into search engines, the odds of not being able to track down whatever nugget of information you are seeking seems nearly impossible.
But I came close to that experience recently trying to hunt down a dealership contact. The most logical place to start, at least in my mind, was the company website. Unfortunately, there was a scarcity of actionable information on the homepage and even less the further I got into the site, including an outdated number for their precision department.
I eventually found who I was looking for, but the struggle reminded me of an exercise that ag industry consultant George Russell conducted during a recent dealer precision peer group meeting I attended. During dealership introductions, Russell projected each company’s website and asked dealers to help navigate to their precision farming page.
It was an eye-opening exercise for many in the room who acknowledged a lack of visibility and attention to effectively branding their precision business. Some precision departments were several clicks away from the homepage, while others didn’t have a pulldown tab to find contacts or services — a sore spot for at least one dealer principal in the room.
Companies are always updating, overhauling or redesigning their sites to improve user experiences and navigation. But as dealerships talk about the important role ag technology plays and will play in future sales and service growth, it’s surprising that this part of their business is almost a secret on their websites.
Dealers can improve on the “show” in the show and tell model of selling their precision services and staff, especially online. Some do it extremely well and there are far more mobile tools to deploy than only relying on a dealership website to connect with customers including social media and digital messaging.
But dealership websites are still the initial entry point for some customers looking for accessible information and should meet the needs of those inquisitive farmers. This fall, we will be taking an analytical look at dealership website to see how easy to find their precision business is and add some advice and perspective on best practices to ensure customers are getting answers to those initial questions.
Look for coverage in our fall print edition, coming soon. In the meantime, how would you rate the visibility of your precision business on your dealership’s website?