The winter driving season is now upon us. This season brings many quality opportunities to build trust and increase visits with your customer base. There are a variety of personalized and automated messages you can send that will increase business and drive up revenue.
Since most customers are looking for winter tires for safe driving, we need to ensure that our dealerships are promoting those tire options. Another key item, while they are simple installs, are wiper blades for vehicles to help ensure maximum visibility during winter conditions.
Promoting winter items for customers’ vehicles is a great way to increase the amount of appointments booked. Automating your promotions enables you to build loyalty with each customer based on their own timeline and individual vehicle needs. Automated promotions can be sent out in a variety of ways including email, text, social media, and even voicemail.
An automated solution will keep track of each customer’s vehicle type, appointments, maintenance history, preferences, location, and so on. When the winter season rolls around, relevant messages are automatically sent to each customer based on their own vehicle needs.
When you’re using automation, each time a customer purchases tires from the dealership it starts a reminder process. The customer will be messaged on a regular basis, and will receive personally targeted winter specials once the weather changes. For example, in the late fall an email can be sent out to vehicle owners with a “best prices in town” offer on winter tire selection. Using email tracking, should the customer not open the email for a few days it will trigger a promotional text message to be sent out.
If a customer hasn’t been in to the shop in quite a while, you may want to reengage them with a special promotional email. Offer a discount on parts or service, or a coupon for their next visit to help drive business. If the email features a coupon or contest, make it simple for the customer to obtain the coupon or enter the contest. Include a button or hyperlink that takes them to a landing page where they can quickly take the necessary action. To boost engagement, include a link to a short video of the recommended service or what the customer should do to prepare for their appointment.
While the vehicle is in the shop, another goal is to ensure that an inspection is done every time. This is, of course, to look for anything obvious that needs to be fixed on the vehicle including brakes, tires, battery and more. Let the customer know of any issues and record the issues in their customer accounts. If they decline service at this time, this information can be used to remind them of issues in a month or so, helping to bring their business back in to the shop. We all know that every customer isn’t going to purchase everything recommended every time they are in for service. We don’t want to be high pressure when it comes to repairs.
Since results are recorded using green, yellow, red (or similar) for the inspection checklist, this provides a great way to market to the customers in those areas. For example, should a customer have brakes that are in the yellow and it is suggested that they be done soon, send out automated communication to that customer with features and safety benefits of having the brakes replaced or repaired. This can include automotive videos, emails, text messages or a voicemail offering a special savings for a limited time.
Using the wealth of data collected from vehicle inspections and seasonal marketing campaigns helps bring in more appointments for the service department. Once customers are in the shop, you can build a more personal connection. Great customer service, both online and in the shop, creates repeat customers, increases loyalty, brings in revenue and ultimately leads to continued success for your dealership!
Author: Shawn Ryder
Shawn Ryder works with the Automotive Industry to automatically send communication to customers based on their individual preferences and unique dates, vehicle type, service requirements or other available information. Previously, as Co-Founder of training and coaching organizations, Shawn worked with clients to ensure the training and coaching sessions meet requirements for Volvo North America, Ford Motor Company and retail dealerships using a variety of delivery channels, including workshop and in-dealership implementation coaching.