Regardless of what OEM or brand you work with, mystery shops have either returned or become more important in 2022. With money tied to performance, it can be a chore to ensure that every aspect of your customer engagement is executed consistently and professionally, regardless of the time the engagement began.
One area specifically is lead engagement and emails. While you may have a good cadence of automated emails being sent to customers, they are not able to address questions that the consumer may have. And with the majority of customers starting their buying journey online, and many now looking for ways to complete much of the process digitally, your email engagement is more important than ever.
Here are three tips to ensure you win with emails. And while each and every OEM is different, this could be a good start at ensuring you meet and exceed requirements.
Three Tips for Email Engagement
Fast, Professional Response
In a study completed by Podium, they surmised that lead response time is critical to lead conversion. Regardless of the hour, your potential to win the customer increases dramatically with a quick, professional, and personalized response.
“It has been found that a lead response time in five minutes or less is the ideal timeframe, and after five minutes, the odds of converting a lead drops by 80%. Additionally, responding within five minutes is 21x more effective than responding after 30 minutes.”
It is commonly taught to address the consumer inquiry within 30 minutes, but you could potentially be losing out on 80% of your customers if you are waiting to respond. Speed is important.
But what you don’t want is to automate your initial responses without an agent reviewing the lead. Automated responses have come a long way, but they cannot address questions and create a level of personalization that collaborative technology can. The goal is to respond quickly, engage the customer, and start a relationship with them that will lead to a conversion. Straight automation will not be able to provide all of those elements.
You only get one chance at your first impression.
Ask Questions and Address Questions
Once you know you will engage quickly, the next critical element is to engage the customer. The best way to do this is to ask a question. Not “What day can you come in?”, but something more personal. People love to talk about their cars, and a great opportunity to start a conversation is to ask if they have a trade-in. If they have already noted that in the inquiry, then ask specifically about their car.
- What are your favorite features about your current vehicle?
- What options is your current vehicle lacking?
- What are the top three things you are looking for in your new vehicle?
These types of questions in an initial response will help spark conversation and prompt the customer to email or contact you back. They are personal, they are specific to the customer inquiry, and should help you learn more about how to best guide the customer when they come in the showroom or engage virtually.
Addressing questions is also a critical component of an engaging first quality response, and cannot be done solely by AI. If a customer has a specific inquiry within the lead, address it. Your team may not be able to answer it (depending on who is crafting the emails), but acknowledge the question, let the consumer know you are looking into it, or let them know someone will reach out to address it. Regardless of how you approach it, acknowledging the question lets the customer know a real person has viewed the question and wants to assist.
Provide Value Rich Content
One of the last elements is to provide valuable and rich content within the email response. These can take a variety of forms but are meant to both catch the attention of the consumer and get them to interact with the email.
Here are some examples of Value Rich Content:
- Video of Vehicles
- Video from the BDC Rep/Sales Person
- High-Quality Vehicle Images (not stock if possible)
- Links to Scheduler
- Links to the VDP of the Vehicle of Interest
- Links to the Dealership Website
These are just a few examples of ways to engage the customer, provide them with content they can interact with, and bring them further down the funnel.
While email Mystery Shops can seem frustrating at times, they are full of value and can help you evaluate your customer experience. Look at your mystery shop scores. Are you providing a fast, personalized response that engages your customers? Are you addressing their questions and providing deep links to their vehicles of interest?
If not, now is the time to adjust your process. If you need assistance with this, Better Car People is here to help! Click the button below to schedule a 15 minute call.