We just finished a 30-day, full (email, phone and text) internet sales mystery shop of 21 dealers for a 20-group presentation I’m delivering next month. Of the 21 dealers we shopped, only five sent an auto-response to the inbound e-lead. Five! This means more than 75% of the dealers did not use an auto-responder.
The 20-group I’m addressing is a mixed group with mostly GM dealers; and it’s interesting that only one of the General Motors dealers used an auto-response. This tells me there is some consultant, trainer, OEM manager or other “expert” committing malpractice by telling GM dealers NOT to send an auto-response.
As we wrote in our 2015 Automotive Mystery Shop Study:
Have you or your colleagues ever debated the need for an auto-response? Silly, because there should be no debate.
Every dealer should be sending an auto-response to every e-lead they receive. Period. End of discussion.
Ever heard of Amazon? Ever ordered anything there or anywhere else online? Did you get an order confirmation? Were you happy to see that confirmation?
The e-lead auto-response serves the same purpose: it confirms to the prospect that you’ve received their information and that you’re working to “fill their order.”
As we wrote: End of discussion.
And this really should be the end of the discussion, but we are seeing more and more dealers abandoning the auto-response because someone they know or trust overthinks everything related to internet sales.
It’s time to stop overthinking this and many other aspects of your lead follow-up processes. The auto-response serves a purpose to the prospect (“we got your order”) and can serve a purpose for you, if you’ll include a couple of “Next Steps” in your auto-response.
You see, this whole car-buying-inquiry-thingy-over-the-internet is new to your prospect. Giving them a reassurance that you got their order and explaining (briefly) a couple of next steps will go a long way toward giving you the advantage and allowing you to more easily drive a solid appointment that shows and buys.