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How to Provide Automotive Online Leads a First Class Experience

Three tips from EASI’R on how to provide the same excellent service to online leads, that customers in the showroom receive! 

A lot of managers in automotive, responsible for retail or customer relations, are struggling with the following conflict that slows down sales processes: Though online lead sources are getting more and more important, they do not receive the same excellent service and attention that is standard in a good showroom. Whereas in a showroom customers are served right away, online leads often need to wait days until they receive a reply – and the content is often neither tailor-made nor truly helpful. Often, the lead never receives a follow-up.

Facts: Today, an estimated 65 % of all potential buyers start the purchase process on their smartphone and more than 90 % research additional information about their future car online (Source: Frost & Sullivan). Extra fact: The study from Frost & Sullivan estimates that in 2023, more than 70 % of all leads will come from online sources. The data clearly indicates: A good plan on how to improve the treatment of online leads is key to success and future car sales.

But how can you improve the customer service online and support potential car buyers on their journey to acquire a car from your brand? EASI’R has compiled three tips on how to accelerate automotive sales and relationships from a lead management perspective!

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1. Enable dealerships to take customer wishes online as seriously as they do it in the showroom.

If a customer walks into a dealership, the standard procedure is to give him a warm welcome, take his jacket, offer him a coffee, sit down and talk about his wishes. In short; in the showroom, sales people invest time to provide a pleasant experience and to discuss the customers’ preferences – which builds trust, a sustainable relationship and increases the likelihood of selling the car. However, customers who reach out to dealerships online often do not experience the same attention. How to solve that?

⇒ Collect all available information that each online lead brings along. Such as age, preferred model, preferred colour, wished extras, location of residence, and store that information to be able to retrieve it afterwards. Motivate dealerships to use that information to tailor conversations and offers to the customer. The customer will appreciate this service!

⇒ Enable dealerships to follow up in real time: By equipping dealerships with a mobile solution that will notify salespeople about a new incoming lead immediately via an app on their smartwatches, tablets or smartphones. With the app, salespeople can also start the follow-up process in seconds. This procedure ensures that no customer is left waiting for hours or even days to get a reply on his request.

⇒ Give dealerships access to a customer’s research and purchase history: Has the customer bought another car before at your place? What was his budget? What was his family status? A good, automotive-specific lead management software that covers all steps of the car buyer’s specific journey will ease the work – and so help salespeople to make outstanding offers.

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2. Lower the technical barriers.

The shift from a showroom focused customer service to the new online buying experience is a challenge not only on the level of OEMs, manufacturers and dealership groups, but also for each individual salesperson. If you want to succeed with new technical solutions, it is crucial to keep the end user’s (=salespeople in dealerships) needs in mind. Often, there is a general skepticism towards new technical solutions like an automotive lead management software, and the usage rates will remain low without a clear structure of how to empower their adaption. Therefore: Try to think as salespeople, anticipate their challenges and find a way to lower the barriers for the usage of IT solutions within retail. How?

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⇒ Combine different IT solutions with an “Embed” solution and make data entry easier. With the increase of digitalization, dealerships have to work with many different IT solutions that cover specific areas of the retail process. One example: The contracts and legal framework is prepared in a salesman’s workplace, but for further work on the customer journey, salespeople need to open their lead management or CRM dashboard and enter the same data again. Two logins -> two rounds of data entry -> inconvenient -> lost time -> low motivation = lost data. This is a common chain reaction.

⇒ With the new EASI’R “Embed”, different IT solutions can easily be linked together. If a salesperson has, for example, just prepared the legal framework for a test drive on his salesmen’s workplace dashboard, a pop up window from EASI’R will open and will present that salesperson a form that has already been filled in via an automatic function. This way, all information from the legal preparation in the salesmen’s workplace will also be made available in the EASI’R dashboard, so that no data is lost in the system and the salesperson can conveniently continue his work on the lead management part of the planned test drive.

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3. Find a tool that increases efficiency in dealerships – with automated functions.

As mentioned above, providing a great customer service is also a matter of the right timing. A customer who has to wait for a longer time will turn away and look for support at a faster dealership – and is eventually lost as a disappointed customer forever. However, for the dealership management and for salespeople, being quick, especially with online leads, is a true challenge. Today, on top of the customers walking into the showroom each day, they also need to handle hundreds of online leads. Efficiency is the key to success – enabled easily by automatization functions:

⇒ Equip dealerships with a software that has a function to automate tasks. With this feature, salespeople can easily keep customers in the loop and answer a lot of requests at the same time. The lead management or CRM solution you chose should have a great stock of pre-planned emails including professional layouts for different purposes, e. g. for a test drive confirmation, for a reply to a brochure request or a congratulation email for birthdays.

⇒ Consider a lead management, sales and relationship accelerating software that also allows to pre-plan tasks. This way, you make it more likely that all tasks are really followed up on time, e. g. that a brochure request is followed by an offer for a test drive, shortly after the brochure was sent.

Want to learn more about the EASI’R lead management, sales- and relations acceleration features? Get in touch at demo@easir.com or check our website at www.easir.com

by Rasmus Helbo