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How to Communicate with Mobile Customers

It’s becoming more common for customers to shop, communicate and conduct daily business using their mobile devices.

If you are selling cars in a dealership, I’m guessing you’ve received many responses from customers with the signature “sent from my iPhone/4G-LTE smartphone/mobile device.” When you see this type of response, do you attempt to communicate as you normally would?

 

Almost all of the e-mail templates and responses I have seen were created for customers who are sitting at their computers. Many salespeople have been trained to reply to an Internet lead with a fairly long, personalized response that includes links to several pieces of inventory, reasons for buying from this dealership and one or two questions designed to engage. This type of e-mail is great if your customer is sitting at the computer. But if you send that same response to a mobile customer, they’re probably not going to engage.

 

So what’s the best way to communicate with a mobile customer? Here are a few tips:

 

1)    Get to the point. Mobile customers don’t think or respond the same way, and don’t have the same level of patience as when they’re sitting at home on their computers. A mobile customer is probably going to be distracted; multi-tasking, bouncing from checking e-mail to Facebook, to Twitter, to attending to their daily life. For this reason, keep your e-mails to no more than a couple sentences and you’ll be more likely to engage that customer in a conversation.

 

2)    Choose attachments and links carefully. If you’re used to sending a brochure about your dealership, an embedded video, or showcasing a particular vehicle with hundreds of photos, think twice before sending memory-heavy attachments to the mobile customer. Mobile users aren’t likely to open an attachment that’s difficult to view on a small screen or takes a long time to download. Instead, send a link to a video or send one good photo of the car that they inquired about.

 

3)    Be Patient. On mobile devices, many people respond one line at a time, as if in a chat. Going back and forth one line at a time may become frustrating to you. But remember, this is not about you, it’s about the customer and their needs. You may reach a point where you think that one phone call could replace all this, and ask the customer to just call you, or you may try calling them. Or you may be tempted to write, “if you set an appointment to come in and take a test drive, all your questions will be answered.” Yet, just as we’ve been taught to earn the right to ask for the sale in the traditional sales process, you must earn the right to ask your mobile customers. When you’re communicating via mobile, it may take a lot longer, moving one small step at a time. Trying to skip ahead in the process could disconnect them from the conversation.

 

What tips do you have for communicating with mobile customers?

Views: 391

Tags: AutoUSA, Internet, auto, car dealer, customers, leads, marketing, mobile, website

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Comment by Alexander Lau on March 1, 2013 at 10:07am

Josh, my bad. I was unsure of the direction of the article. :-)

Comment by Josh Vajda on March 1, 2013 at 10:06am

@Alex - The article doesn't mention "Hybrid Web Design," though I see a graphic that's being used to illustrate a mobile site (relating to a mobile customer) mentions it. Our company doesn't sell websites or design them, and the content of the article was solely about best practices for dealing with a customer using a mobile device. I apologize if the graphic misaligned...since I'm not an expert in website design, I tend to leave that topic alone.

@Shuki - thanks for the nice words.

Comment by Shuki Lehavi on March 1, 2013 at 9:51am

Excellent post! thank you for sharing.

Comment by Alexander Lau on March 1, 2013 at 5:55am

Josh, what do you mean by Hybrid Mobile Web? I've never heard of that term before or is this something your company sells that is quasi-responsive?

Don't you mean 'Responsive'? I didn't see the word mentioned in your article.

There was an article developed recently over @ http://www.drivingsales.com/blogs/dealereprocess/2013/02/28/sem-to-..., and although it holds it's weight in making a point, he also failed to mention 'Responsive Web Design'.

It makes me wonder. Have companies sunk so much money into developing desktop and mobile site platforms (mutually exclusive = bad idea), that they don't want to face facts and dump that approach for Responsive Web Design tactics and strategy?

A very good response in the article: 

I would respectfully disagree with this. If a dealerships website is built on a Responsive Platform, the VDP will dynamically adjust to the mobile device the customer is using. The URL for Mobile is the same for Desktop. According to Google, this is their preferred method for creating mobile websites. Having an m.dealership.com or iphone.dealership.com is Google's 3rd choice. You can read it directly from Google:

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Not only a better customer experience, but also helps with Organic Search as you're sending all your traffic to one URL.

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