Got an inquiry from a millennial shopper? Well, you’re probably not the only one they’re reaching out to (Deloitte says their 10+ hours of research spans about 3 brands), so you have to be fast. Slow responses aren’t smart for any generation—in fact, Deloitte also found that 34% of all auto customers aren’t willing to wait more than 20 minutes for information from a dealership.
And as you might imagine, a slow response is one of the easiest ways to lose a millennial customer. Growing up digital trained these consumers to expect instant gratification—not just in speed, but in doing things on their own schedule. Case in point: Many don’t watch live TV; they strongly prefer watching video on demand or over the Internet when they want (comScore).
Are you ready to provide the on-demand information such shoppers seek? Here are some ideas to implement fast responses at your dealership:
- Start small & instill value - Train a few people to provide the speedy responses you’re looking for and track the results. This is something Chris Hill, E-Commerce Director at Bill Jacobs Auto Group, uses to great effect.
- Offer two-way digital conversations for the fastest responses (live chat, mobile text). Not only do these communications let you interact in real-time, they’re also text-based...which millennials tend to prefer over voice-based. Back in 2010, millennials sent 3,339 text messages/month on average (Nielsen).
- Set benchmarks - How quickly should your team respond to an email or text inquiry? How often should they be available to answer shoppers’ questions? If you provide the right tools, it’s easy to cultivate an always-on approach. For example, Contact At Once!’s mobile app gives a sales consultant access to chats and texts right from their own smartphone or tablet. Just be clear about what you expect so there’s no room for confusion. Write it into your follow-up and sales processes.
- Reinforce the benchmarks - If you really want to test this approach and make a difference, hold your team to the response metrics you set. Otherwise it’s all too easy to slip back into the old ways of following up (or not, as the case may be).
- Back up your team - No matter how speedy your team becomes, develop a Plan B for when they’re all busy (or off). If you offer chat or text, for example, you can use a hybrid managed service: Your team gets the first chance, but a virtual team can talk with the shopper on your behalf if needed. This way online shoppers get consistent, fast service on their own schedule...and you don’t miss a chance to positively influence them.
- Empower your team - Can they respond when they’re outside the office? Give them what they need (mobile access, apps, etc.) to provide those fast responses anywhere, anytime. After all, millennials (and more!) are always connected. It’s a win for your dealership if you’re there to meet them.