There are many leads who walk into a dealership, visit an automotive website, or check out dealership social media pages yet the dealership staff are unable to form a lasting connection with them. Perhaps the staff doesn’t have a process to reach out effectively to online leads or maybe they’re too busy to reengage leads who have visited the dealership but left without making a purchase. Is there a way to personally connect with each new potential lead while making the most of staff time both in person and online?
By using automated marketing processes, dealership staff can connect with more leads than they ever thought possible. Creating effective marketing automation campaigns and regularly analyzing the data received also enables staff to maintain a long-term personalized relationship with each new lead and established customer. This strategy shortens the dealership’s sales cycle by quickly identifying customers’ needs and preferences and providing highly relevant information.
Automated messages are also highly effective for drawing in repeat business. Current customers can receive automated campaigns that are tailored to their vehicle needs so they don’t have to worry.
Create Opportunities for Ongoing Interaction Right Away
You don’t want a new lead to leave your dealership or your site without providing a way for you to reconnect with them soon. A very simple sign-up form is a great way to gather basic contact information and obtain consent to contact the customer again. By placing online sign-up forms on the website and social media pages, the dealership makes it simple for visitors to opt in to receive email newsletters or exclusive text message promotions. And how about in the dealership? Keep a few tablets on the floor so the lead can quickly provide their information while the staff is chatting with them.
Once the salesperson gets a name and email address or mobile phone number, the possibility to reengage the customer through automated messages is high. Once the staff has the information and the opportunity to reconnect, they can draw the customer in with personalized messages and targeted promotions.
How does the dealership encourage visitors to sign up? Explain the benefits up front. Think about why a customer would want to sign up for messages. Exclusive promotions that are only available through email newsletters or text message campaigns are a great way to entice customers to sign up. Also, let customers know that they will receive messages based on their vehicle history and appointment dates. These messages make auto maintenance simple for customers and ensure that they always know when they should make an appointment.
Learn More About Your Customers’ Needs
In order to establish a lasting connection, dealerships must focus on anticipating and meeting their customers’ individual needs. Once a customer has signed up, the first message should provide links to a few helpful resources that the customer can click to learn more. The data from the links clicked also helps the dealership to learn more about what the customer is interested in.
Let the customer know that understanding their needs is an important step for being able to serve them better. Encourage the customer to take a brief survey that will provide more information about products and services they are interested in as well as their preferences. An incentive such as a personalized coupon or discount code that will show up at the completion of the survey increases the chances that the customer will actually fill out the survey.
Use Information to Retarget Customers
Now that you know more about your customers you can truly start engaging with them. Based on the information they have provided, which is organized by the automated solution, messages can be sent out which will appeal to the individual customer and make it more likely that they will make a purchase. When a customer makes a specific selection or clicks a link, automatic messages can be triggered that send to the customer so they can receive personally targeted information right away.
The process of learning and retargeting is ongoing. Each time a customer opens a message, updates their preferences or comes in for an appointment, this information is stored so the dealership staff can use it to continue providing highly relevant communication campaigns to the customer.
Retarget Current Customers Who Have Not Been in Recently
Customers often come in to a dealership to purchase a vehicle or have maintenance done but do not become regular customers. They may switch to other auto shops for maintenance services because they got a better deal, the shop is in a more convenient location, or the service staff made a more effective connection with them. Many of these customers are not lost, however. If the dealership can successfully retarget their needs, they can still turn into loyal customers. Studies have shown that customers will go out of their way and pay a higher price for excellent personalized customer service.
Any information the dealership has on the customer can be used to retarget them. Reach out to older customers with a great personalized promotion to encourage them to reconnect. If they purchased a vehicle, their purchase history can be analyzed so they can receive perfectly timed targeted messages based on when they will need an oil change, routine maintenance and more.
Customers appreciate a personal touch that is based around their needs and their important dates. When dealerships stay connected with customers throughout the year with personalized messages, customers are more likely to return for maintenance and also recommend other customers. Automation enables a dealership to reach out to every customer, even when the shop gets busy. Automation takes care of aspects that can consume staff time, such as appointment reminders, maintenance notices, regular customer satisfaction surveys, seasonal promotion advertising and email newsletters.
Make More Sales and Create Stronger Connections
Personally targeted messages are proven to be more effective than mass messages for driving sales and creating customer interaction. Customers learn that the dealership is passionate about providing information that they need to know and focusing on high satisfaction rates. Customers’ automotive needs are simplified with timely reminders right when they need them, and personalized promotions make the customers more likely to return again and again for service.
Personalized messages also build loyalty. Only trustworthy dealerships that are dedicated to their customers provide highly personalized customer care messages. Dealerships already have or can gather all the information they need to reach out to each customer individually. Automation makes that goal possible and achievable. An automated solution can help a dealership effectively market their products and services to customers who need them, drive repeat business, connect with new leads online, and provide interactive, personalized communication that builds trust and loyalty.
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.