[podcast flashvars=”transparentpagebg: ‘yes’, titles: ‘Quick Email'”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/da/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/podcast-feb2009.mp3[/podcast]
With online car buyers, you recognize the importance of quickly responding to inquiries. Before hitting the send button on that next email, though, be sure you’re also providing a quality response.
As with any written communication, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Have you answered all their questions and provided the information they need to move forward? Did you check the email for spelling and grammatical errors? You don’t want to undermine your efforts right out of the gate with an incomplete response or embarrassing typos.
Similarly, resist the temptation to call out certain words and sentences within your email. Many people equate all capital letters, bold type and multiple exclamation points with shouting.
Three other tips you should consider include:
1. Make a connection. Personalize the message wherever possible, especially if your store uses templates. Car buyers want to know they’re receiving information specific to their request. Just as you would qualify a customer on the telephone by asking, “Is this the specific car you want, or are you open to the nicest car like it?” and offering one or two options. With a new-car request, include links to a similar, late-model certified used car and a similar, late-model used alternative.
2. Ask questions. These questions help your email simulate an actual conversation and give the customer a reason to stay in communication with you. For example:
- <!–[if !supportLists]–>Are you open to other color choices if they could save you money?
- <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>If you have a trade-in, what do you like about this vehicle that you want to have in your next?
3. Customize the autoresponse. If toggling your autoresponder off and on during the day is unrealistic, create specific messages for when you’re away from your desk and after business hours. The reply should tell customers why they’re receiving an automated response and indicate when you can personally respond. Also be sure to include your contact information and store details such as the address, website and operating hours. That way, car buyers can take the initiative and follow up with you.
Regardless of whether you’re the first or the last dealer to reach customers, follow up at regular intervals until they make a purchase. While some shoppers will buy today, many more will carefully make their decision over several weeks. Staying with prospects throughout their shopping process signals your interest in them and separates you from the pack – and that’s the best way to win the sale.