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nurturing customer relationships

Nurturing Customer Relationships with Email Correspondence

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We recently discussed the importance of replacing direct mail with an email welcome kit. Once you’ve welcomed your new customers with an engaging, interactive, and powerful message, the next step is to onboard them and start nurturing customer relationships.

Onboarding is a critical aspect of customer retention and familiarizes new customers with your products and services. The most efficient and simplest method to onboard new customers is to create a short series of onboarding emails.

As they move along, the emails need to continuously develop and engage the customers. You’re taking them on a journey, nurturing customer relationships along the way.

Here are the emails that should follow your email welcome kit.

Content Email

While onboarding customers, make sure your campaign isn’t only about your products and services. You should also create emails with useful content aligned with the interests of your customers and your dealership. As an auto dealer, you could talk about car maintenance, recommend the best car accessories, discuss the importance of oil changes and replacing filters, and so on. Of course, you can mention your products and services when relevant. But, when you share content in an email, your goal should be to provide value and not just promote your dealership.

Support Email

At this stage of your customers’ relationship with your dealership, it would be a good idea to check in and ask if they have any questions or need support. Even though you mentioned the customer service and maintenance details in the very first welcome email, make sure you cover all customer service touchpoints and support resources in this email. These can include your FAQ page, user guides, contact forms, etc. However, before you send out the support email, make sure your customer support team is well equipped to handle the questions that will follow.

Feedback Email

Imagine having a best friend who only talks and doesn’t listen. Wouldn’t it feel like a one-sided friendship? Well, the same goes for your relationship with your customers. One of the most effective ways to win customers’ confidence and grow trust is to solicit feedback and reviews and provide them with a voice. Customers like to be heard. Once you have their valuable insights, you can use them to improve your products and services.

Upselling Email

Once you’ve thoroughly set up the customers with your dealership, provided them with useful content and support information, and solicited their feedback, now is a good time to draw their interests in more products and services or “upsell” them. Just be sure to keep messages personal and don’t hit customers over the head with a sales pitch.

Other Useful Tips for Nurturing Customer Relationships with Emails

If you want to convert new customers into ongoing revenue, it’s important to devote quality time to brainstorming and planning out the content topics for your onboarding email sequence. Always remember that welcoming a new customer to your dealership is similar to welcoming a guest to your home. It makes a huge impact on whether or not they’ll visit again. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Run Automated Emails — If used correctly, automation can streamline the email process, save you time, and ensure that the right emails are being sent to the right audience. All in all, automation can help you continuously engage with your customers.
  • Personalize — Personalized emails can be tremendously effective, not only in growing open-rates and sales but also strengthening customer relationships with your dealership. Through personalization, you can show your customers that they’re not just another name in your audience database. You are valuing them and respecting them as individuals.

Plan the Timing — Customers don’t like to get bombarded with too many emails. Space your emails out and don’t send every day. Keep an eye on when customers are opening and engaging with your emails, and send on those days/times.

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About the Author

Richard Knight

Rick Knight is an Automotive Customer Retention Executive who founded Certified Maintenance® Programs in 1996. Rick has been successful in building custom retention strategies for thousands of auto dealers to better than double CP/RO counts in the first 12 months of ownership, drive back 34+% of lost opportunity customers and help auto dealers Sell The Next Vehicle™. 

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