You have a customer, and they bought a car. Now what? After the transaction ends, how do you ensure that client comes back for repeat business? Here are four creative strategies for connecting with customers between purchases.
#1. Personalized Contact
Whether you choose to communicate with your customers by phone, email or a form of social media, personalization is key. People today are extremely sensitive to junk mail and telemarketing calls, and generally, their eyes skip over ads on Facebook and Twitter. To really stand out, you need to make contact feel personal and unique to the customer if you want to get and keep their attention.
One key way to do this is to make sure every interaction starts with the customer’s name. Instead of beginning a phone conversation with, “Hi, this is Marcy from X Dealership,” make sure to say, “Hi Brian, this is Marcy.” Emails as well should begin with a client’s name before the pitch.
Additionally, keep track of your customers’ demographics so you can send information that is relevant to them. For example, if you sold a minivan to a large family, sending a graduation sale flyer will be appreciated. If you sold a first car to a younger driver, consider sending them helpful tips, like reminders to get snow tires in the winter. You don’t have to make individual emails for each customer–though if you can, that’s a great way to build client trust and connection–but you can group your customers into categories and send whole categories relevant updates or sales. By keeping things personal, there’s a greater chance you’ll hear back from customers, maintaining contact in between their purchases at your dealership.
#2. Focus on Feedback
Everyone has an opinion and most people like to share them. Seek out customer opinions regularly. This can build a strong rapport, especially if you follow through on different responses and update customers on how they’ve been listened to. Surveys are one easy way to generate feedback, though a good rule of thumb is to keep them short and consider an incentive like entries into a raffle for maximum participation. While you don’t want to deluge customers with constant emails or texts, regular calls for specific feedback can lead to meaningful contact between visits to your dealership.
#3. Easy Navigation
No matter what platform you use to maintain contact with customers, make sure that the modes are easy to navigate. Say you send an email. The text should be legible and comfortable to read. Often businesses go for flashy texts with alternating sizes and fonts. Instead, consider one font with key points highlighted and one or two related graphics. If you have a Facebook page, consider pinning important information in a post at the top of your page so it’s easy for customers to find. Not all of your customers will be familiar with using different social media apps and so you want to make your contact information and vital detail immediately accessible.
If you have a website, have it evaluated for user-friendliness. If you have an answering service on your phones, make sure the options are clear and unambiguous. All of these steps will minimize contact pain points and make keeping in touch more likely.
#4. Join the Community
Last but not least, if you want customers to stay in contact with your dealership between buys, join a community. Connect customers and the dealership in meaningful ways so that you come to represent more than just cars. Host charity events, sponsor local softball games and show up for neighborhood meetings. Be where your customers are going to be and make your dealerships name synonymous with the communities so that when they come to you, they’re not just supporting your dealership they’re supporting their values and their neighborhood.