It’s never been more important for your auto dealership or business to incorporate lead response best practices in order to outshine the competition.
Businesses that implement these 10 lead response best practices will see sales increase in 2018.
Top 10 Lead Response Best Practices:
1. Respond to Every Lead.
Don’t cherry-pick leads!
Have a system in place to manually or automatically provide a professional response to every sales inquiry you receive, including car buyers looking at vehicles you’ve listed on Facebook Marketplace. If shoppers take the time to reach out, they deserve a response. Give every shopper lease and finance options for multiple vehicles, not just the one they inquired about!
2. Respond Quickly!
Your lead response time should be in minutes – not hours!
Studies show internet shoppers who receive a response within 10 minutes, are three times more likely to visit the dealership. Contact leads right away – at their highest point of interest! We mystery shopped 1,577 dealerships over a 4-month period and found that only 16% of dealerships respond in less than 15 minutes with vehicle and pricing information!
3. Personalize the Response.
Customizing your response will make customers feel more important. Buying a car is a big decision, so you want them to know you have their best interest in mind.
Your responses to leads should always include:
- The lead’s name.
- The dealership’s (or company’s) name, logos, and taglines.
- A salesperson’s name, photo, and direct phone number.
- A strong call to action – tell them what to do next!
4. Respond Profressionally
If you wouldn’t send it to your mom – don’t send it at all.
Eliminate typos, inconsistencies and irrelevant information that distracts the customer! Courteous and professional responses help instill a sense of trust in your business from customers that earns you referral business. Adding video to your email, showcasing the vehicle or even your showroom, can make you stand out from the competition and provide something visually appealing to the customer.
5. Answer Questions in the First Response!
Seems like a no-brainer for a best practice, but we see it all the time!
Generic, automatic responses are not enough to satisfy customers who have questions. If you don’t have the option to customize your automatic emails, it’s time to look for a new provider, wink-wink. 15% of customers will make comments in their inquiry – look for points of interest and specific customer questions before you respond!
6. Be Proactive!
Only 3% of automotive dealers respond with a multi-vehicle quote with prices. 42% of customers who inquire about a new vehicle buy a used one. Don’t let them buy from one of your competitors! Get in the habit of updating lead response emails with current promotions. Customers often overlook promotions on your site. Including the offers in your emails helps increase awareness and competitiveness in the inbox.
Stand out from the competition in the inbox by offering:
- New & Used options
- Lease options
- Multiple trim levels
- Current promotions and offers
7. Price Based on Location
Target your competitors’ customers with geo-based pricing! Don’t count prospects out just because they don’t live in your primary market area. Customers are willing to travel more than 20 miles to visit a car dealership they trust.
Conquest business from areas outside your primary market with a positive online reputation and competitive pricing based on zip code and city.
8. Have an After-Hours Game Plan!
Up to 40% of leads are generated after hours.
Does your dealership currently have a process or technology to personalize responses to customer inquiries after hours? If it doesn’t, it should.
9. Stay Engaged & Nurture Leads.
Follow up with leads for 180 days and make it simple for your customers to re-engage.
It’s best practice to use automated follow-up so your team can focus on hot leads.
10. Make Your Dealership Available to Customers 24/7
Use A.I.-powered messaging to engage with prospects on your website, Facebook Messenger, and by text message 24/7. Allow customers to text your business directly from Google search results. Increased engagement will result in increased sales! Highlight hot deals to move inventory off your lot weekly and even allow customers to schedule appointments directly through “chat”!
Now that you’re familiar with lead response best practices for 2018, let us know when you’re ready to elevate your digital strategy to the next level. Want to know how your lead response stacks up against competitors? Request a free mystery shop of your dealership and your three closest competitors today.