Whether you think Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday of the year or an elaborate scheme by greeting card companies, it is upon us. We spend this time of year showing our loved ones we care, but is your dealership doing the same for your customers?
While making sure customers feel valued is a year-round endeavor, there is no better time than the season of love to evaluate how you’re interacting with your customers. Most dealerships have a system for communicating with customers, but only the most successful dealerships have a system that truly builds and nurtures relationships and retention.
This Valentine’s Day, skip giving your customers chocolate and roses. Show them you care about them with thoughtful communications. Here’s a few key areas to keep in mind when evaluating your customer communications.
On Valentine’s Day, most significant others expect to receive gifts that are especially for them. They’ll likely be less than thrilled if you show up with a teddy bear you picked up at the drugstore on the way home from work.
Your customers are the same way, and for good reason. They are inundated with hundreds of advertising messages every day. To catch their attention, you have to send messages that are customized
to their needs and offer them unique value.
is a treasure trove of data, and if it integrates with your service platform like Connect CRM integrates
with Xtime, it is an even more valuable resource. Create a process for using the customer data you have already to create highly customized messages that they’ll be excited to receive.
Closely related to customizing your messages is the importance of targeting them. It’s tempting to send all your customers every single offer you can think of, but targeted campaigns
have been shown to outperform generic campaigns time and time again. If you keep sending your customers messages they don’t want, they are going to ignore them, or worse, unsubscribe.
The most successful dealers are getting creative about targeting their communications. Targeting by demographics or by equity is a great start, but you’ll really earn the love of customers if you can target them by characteristics that really matter to them, such as service intervals, lease expiration or even their birthday. Tools like TargetPro
can help you easily create campaigns like these and increase ROI.
Automated replies sometimes get a bad rap, but when used appropriately, they are a great tool in building customer relationships. Automated replies
can let your customers know their messages have been received and share useful information with a speed that your salespeople could never achieve manually.
The problem is that many dealerships aren’t making the most of automation
; many are failing to customize their replies. Though automated replies are templates by nature, they should be customized to match the personality of your dealership. Many CRMs providers, including VinSolutions, offer highly customizable templates for automated replies, so take advantage of them!
Implement these approaches into your customer communication processes, and your customers will be feeling the love in no time.
A version of this post originally appeared in AutoSuccess.
Mark Vickery is the senior director of performance management at VinSolutions. He is an expert on the retail car business, with a focus on customer retention and leading and establishing teams. Have a question for Mark? Connect with him on LinkedIn or shoot him a note.