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Following Up and Standing Out: How Are You Differentiating Yourself from the Dealers Down the Street?

Since recently purchasing a home, I continue to be impressed by the follow-up we receive from our Realtor. She not only checked in after the initial purchase, but she has continued to reach out to us monthly.

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Since recently purchasing a home, I continue to be impressed by the follow-up we receive from our Realtor. She not only checked in after the initial purchase, but she has continued to reach out to us monthly.

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First, I received a handwritten letter with home budgeting tips, next it was a Halloween invite to join her and some other customers for happy hour and to receive a pumpkin. Last, she topped it off with a note that said she would like to bring me a pie of my choice from a local bakery at Christmastime.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this extra effort she’s put in. Her gifts have been considerate, useful and appreciated. You can tell she and her team put a lot of thought into them; and hopefully they have some fun doing it. She knows that the costs of this investment will be quickly returned (and then some) the next time one of our friends or acquaintances is looking to buy or sell a house and needs the name of a Realtor. She’ll be the first one we think of.

She knows that by being different and caring about her customers, she’s earning customers for life.

Are customers wowed by your follow-up service? While you can certainly follow up with gifts such as those above or car-related accessories like a new key chain or license plate frame, many follow-up services can be done at little to no cost.

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During the next vehicle sale, find out how the customer likes to be reached. Say they prefer email, after an obligatory thank-you letter, you could follow up with tips on how to use certain features or new technologies in the vehicle. After buying the vehicle, the customer may not remember your explanation of how to set the adaptive cruise control or some of the other smart features of their new vehicle. You can point them to a video on the OEM’s website, quickly type out a few steps or send them your phone number and talk them through it.

You can also keep track through your CRM of approximate customer timelines and forward them a coupon for service. “Hey Jeff, your Honda CR-V is likely nearing the 5,000-mile mark, and I saw we are offering this 20-percent discount in our service department for an oil change, just thought I’d send it your way. Have a great day.”

Sometimes it’s the little things like these suggestions that mean a lot to someone — and when they use that coupon or the feature you helped with, they will recall you going out of your way to assist them.

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Next time you purchase an item and have a great customer follow-up experience, think of how you could implement something similar into your dealership.


Click here to view more solutions from Susan Givens.

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