Make Gratitude Work for You, Part I: The Thank You Message

Use thank you messages to make an impression on customers

You shell out hard-earned cash for a high-ranking website, work to build a solid online reputation, and even pay for digital advertising to supplement your SEO. Then, a customer arrives. She finds a car she simply must have. She fills out a form asking your dealership to get back with her. What do you do next?

Unfortunately, most dealers only follow-up with a less-than-imaginative response like: “Your request has been received. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”

Doesn’t that make you feel special?

Instead of following the crowd and serving up thoughtless thank-you messages that make no impression (or the wrong one even), take this opportunity to wow your customers. How?

1) Dynamically insert her name. She just entered it on the form – use it. Everyone likes to hear (or see) his or her own name. It makes the moment more personal, instead of just another customer transaction. It’s now between you and her.

2) Introduce yourself, too. Instead of being an anonymous person hiding behind a dealership logo, make a connection. Who will she be working with? Who should she expect to follow up? You can even link to your picture on your website’s staff page, giving her a face to put with the name.

3) Offer suggestions. Rather than sending her back to inventory, use the information she submitted to show her similar vehicles. You can also give her inventory tools to narrow down her search even more. Ever use Amazon’s suggestions to fine tune your interests? I have, and I’m often blown away with how accurate their suggestions are. So is my credit card.

4) Keep her coming back. If she still needs more information and doesn’t want to wait for a reply, she might leave to shop other sites. Don’t let her go. Send her to your site’s relevant model overview page (a static page for SEO value that describes all the features of each model you carry). If you don’t have those (and you should), keep her engaged with your blog, social sites, About Us page, or any other source she might find useful.

5) Give her direction. Literally. Make it easy for her to take the next step and visit your dealership by including a map and directions.

Thank You messages don’t have to be a one-way, one-time interaction. Use them to show appreciation while gently nudging your prospect to the next step.

Speaking of next steps – check back for Part II of Make Gratitude Work for You.