In a previous blog, I had talked about autoresponding and how to autorespond effectively. Then in more recent blogs regarding handling leads, we uncovered some issues with autoresponders that came from some secret shopping we did to see how our dealers were responding to their customers’ inquiries. We saw that in most instances how the autoresponders were being used and their contents were not effective. An autoresponder cannot completely handle your lead, nor do you want it to. An autoresponder should simply be a notification to the customer that their inquiry was received along with the expectation of who and when someone will be contacting them to answer their question(s). Ideally, the best way to handle a customer is to respond yourself as quickly as possible, but if you want to use an autoresponse first, just make sure it is relevant The more common questions customers are asking are regarding price, availability or options on the vehicle. An autoresponder cannot answer these questions, so keep your autoresponder brief with your contact info and when they should expect to hear from you.

Sometimes, we have to think about our own shopping experiences online and what we like and expect to see when inquiring about an item. If you would not want to get the autoresponders that you have created for your customers, then they probably do not either. I do not know of anyone who would not want to know some kind of eta on when their question might be answered and by whom. With over 80% of vehicle shoppers starting online and your competition just a mouse click away, you have to put your best foot forward to give yourself the best chance at meeting that customer and making the sale.

If you would like an example of an effective autoresponder, please let me know. Also, if you have input about this subject, I would love to hear your ideas.