Imagine you’re finalizing a sale, and all that’s left is a signature. After signing on the dotted line, getting their keys, and driving off the lot – do you just pat yourself on the back and move on to the next buyer? If this is your process, then it’s probable that you’re forgetting one critical step.
It’s highly likely that you, like other salespeople in the automotive industry, put forth a fair amount of effort to ensure that each customer picks out their ideal vehicle, while also making sure that the customer feels as welcome as possible. But are you willing to take an extra step and mail the customer a ‘thank you’ card?
Many adults at least have a thought to send a thank you card after an important event. But life moves fast and it’s easy to forget to actually do so. In professional settings, it can be hard to know when a thank you note will be overkill or appreciated. However, you need to do something special to show the customer that you appreciated their business aside from just hoping that they will return to buy another vehicle one day.
Your customer could have chosen any other dealership to buy a car, but they chose yours for a reason. Even after they showed interest in a certain vehicle, there was no guarantee that they would return or recommend the dealership to their peers.
The Importance Behind ‘Thank You Cards’
Many dealerships send e-mails to thank their customers after they make a purchase, which is better than sending nothing. In order to differentiate and elevate yourself from your competitors, you should make personalized and handwritten notes that you mail to each individual customer. You need to tie it all up after the sale to show them how much their business is appreciated.
Handwritten ‘thank you notes’ are a step further up than the typical ‘thank you emails’. In today’s modern world of social media, texts, and emails – handwritten notes are rare, to say the least. They indicate investment and costliness that indicates value through the whole process of drafting, writing and mailing them.
There are various reasons (three to be specific) as to why it’s a good idea to send a thank you note, these include:
- It’s the right thing to do
According to Margaret Shepherd in The Art of the Handwritten Note, properly expressing gratitude requires a little work. Your note should recapture a hug, handshake, or smile that you would give that person. A good thank you note should feature five distinct characteristics, including personal, succinct, prompt, specific, and generous.
- It sets you apart
As said by Heather Wiese, owner of Bell’Invito, if you’re looking to stand out of the crowd, the easiest thing for you to do is to write a thank you card. A ‘thank you email’ is more likely to get lost in the crowd than a physical, handwritten card.
- Perpetuates An Important Part Of Our Culture
For centuries, handwritten notes and letters have been the preferred communication method. Some might even say that we are wired to express ourselves without electronic assistance. When you write, there is no mechanical equipment acting as a barrier.
What Should You Include On The Note/Card?
Don’t worry, your note or card does not need to be the next great American novel. It should be short and sweet, but still be personalized and professional. It really only needs a few sentences to make an impact on the customer.
Your note should be personalized – When writing these notes, it’s important to ensure that they are personal to the recipient. Don’t just write ‘Dear customer’, that won’t garner the desired results. If you do not have the time to personalize each card by even their name, then don’t bother sending cards.
Keep it short and sweet – To actually make an impression, the length of the note/card doesn’t really matter as much as the actual text.
Share personalized details – Below we have included a sample template to help you get started on the note. However, it all depends on you adding a few customer-specific sentences to really get the card to hit home. If your customer shared any sort of personal information during the sales process, you can use that information to personalize the card. This can be anything from ‘best wishes to your son/daughter on starting college this fall’ or ‘the winter is fast approaching, so those heated seats are sure to come in handy’.
Leave your mark – Regardless of whether you’re typing or (preferably) handwriting these notes/cards, you should make sure to sign it by hand. So, no matter what your chosen technique is, it still adds a hand personalized touch.
It can still be hard to know what to write even after you the know the importance of actually doing it. Some individuals might find it hard to put pen to paper and figure out exactly what you want to say. Below, we’ve added a simple template that should help you figure out exactly what you want to say to your customer.
Dear [customer name],
Thank you for trusting me to help you find the perfect car for you. You were a pleasure to work with and I hope you have been enjoying your [model/make of vehicle purchased].
[Write a sentence here about a personal fact that was learned about them during the sales process – for example, what did your son think about the car when you brought it home? Did he love the stereo system, like you thought he would? OR What did your wife think of the car when you brought it home? Was she pleased by the surprise?]
I greatly appreciate your business. Thank you for being such a great customer and making my job so easy. If I can help you with anything else, or if you would like to set up your first maintenance appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
At the end of all of this, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t necessarily matter what you write, as long as the note conveys true appreciated that you wish to show the customer. It should show them that you were actually listening and taking it everything that they were sharing with you. It should also mention that you are available to them if they ever need help with anything.
Though these are small gestures, it can really make a big impact on how your consumer sees you. These can help make them feel special, which in turn, can help repeat business and word of mouth recommendations. Adding them to your follow up process is likely to give you an impressive uptick in customer loyalty and positive sentiment.