How to Communicate with Mobile Customers

by Josh Vaj­da, Direc­tor of Inside Sales, AutoUSA Inter­net Sales Solu­tions

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?

JoshVajda-PhotoAlmost 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?

Josh Vaj­da is the Direc­tor of Inter­net Sales, AutoUSA Inter­net Sales Solu­tions. He can be reached at 800–243‑9935