Responding to customers and prospects even when you don’t have an answer for them builds trust. One of the biggest complaints from consumers today is the poor communication from dealership sales and service personnel.
Most dealerships depend on the use of technology to interact with consumers. In the last year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of unanswered messages in the CRM as the inventory shortage has left dealerships with little to tell the customer. However, not responding to customers can have long-term negative ramifications. People don’t forget; eventually, we will have chips, the inventory shortage will be over, and these potential customers you didn’t respond to won’t talk to you.
Here are some best practices our clients are implementing.
- Return phone calls even if there is no new information. Most people do not answer the phone, so leave a message.
- Prioritize people that have made multiple calls or contacts as they are more likely to post negative reviews if they receive no response from you.
- In service, it is crucial to provide updates even if the news is bad – like parts delays. Customers depend on their vehicles for transportation, and the unknown increases stress.
- Use your CRM to set up automated follow-ups with generic messages to keep the prospect engaged.
- Develop ongoing inventory update emails that link to your used car section of the website.
- When hiring new team members, note how fast they message you back to gauge how quickly they will respond to customers.
In summary, dealerships must ensure they respond to all customers and prospects quickly.
Better communication skills will lead to more sales.