When is a “Lost Sale” not lost?

We were recently asked by clients to come up with a way of re-engaging with “lost” customers. The first thing we asked was “what’s a lost customer” – the answers were:

  • A customer who has made an enquiry with a dealership but hasn’t gone on to order a car after a certain amount of time
  • A customer who has searched for a used car on the dealer website but can’t find a suitable match

With that in mind we set about the issue and came up with some ideas to pilot, using our SocialStock Facebook used car app and our CRM engine.

Case Study – Sinclair Audi

With the first client – Sinclair Audi – the marketing manager had been running a manual process to send stock alerts to customers whose enquiries hadn’t led to a sale. We set about automating the process by creating up a link from their showroom system, through our CRM engine, to our SocialStock car search app in use on their Facebook page. The thinking here was to automatically send personalised stock alerts tailored to the vehicle of choice, to the prospective customer to keep them interested in the dealership as new or reduced price stock becomes available.

Pilots were launched in December 2014 at 2 Audi dealerships with striking results:

  • The dealerships are receiving 200 clicks per month back into their website from the Car Alerts emails.
  • The first Audi dealership recorded 40 sales in 3 months to customers who had been subscribed to Car Alerts from their showroom enquiries.
  • The 2nd Audi dealership recorded 46 sales in 3 months to customers who had been subscribed to Car Alerts from their showroom enquiries

Sinclair Audi Marketing Manager Jon Robbins said “We’ve been delighted with the results from Car Alerts, both in terms of re-engaging potentially lost leads and bringing them back to our website, but, more importantly, with the sales it has contributed to. We have no doubt we would have lost some of these leads without the process Marketing Delivery built for us.”

Case Study – Cambria

With the second client – the Cambria Group – a website API was developed and introduced in December 2014 for the Motorparks website, allowing visitors to request a “Car Alert” email if they couldn’t find their vehicle of choice. Given these customers are much earlier in the purchase process, with no direct enquiry to a dealership yet the aim is to encourage repeat visits to the website through the Car Alert emails. Any subsequent sale to these people can be considered a great success.

  • Motorparks are averaging over 300 return website visits each month from Car Alert messages. To date there have been 7 recorded sales to customers who received a Car Alert by email and have subsequently gone on to purchase a vehicle.

Cambria’s Head of Web, Richard Mochor said, “Keeping in touch with lost customers and re-marketing to them is important as we try and stay in the visitors thoughts for their vehicle search. Car Alerts is an ideal tool to help us do this and we are delighted with the early results.”

Case Study

With a third client we introduced a “lost sale” follow up email to be sent after the sales executive had marked the enquiry as “Lost” in the showroom system. These emails generated a further 10 vehicle sales in 3 months.

The lessons learned have shown us that the key to success is to keep in regular, relevant contact with prospective customers, maintaining the relationship until the customer is ready to buy.

Check List

  1. Make sure you have the option to keep in touch with website visitors, at their request, when relevant vehicles become available.
  2. Keep in touch with showroom visitors when they can’t initially find their ideal car – it may take a while, but if you keep in touch with your relevant stock, you stand a greater chance of winning their business.
  3. Check why a “lost sale” is marked as such – ask the customer, not the sales executive!!
  4. Don’t underestimate Facebook – it’s a trusted environment where customers can search for cars without the perceived pressure of a dealer website.

We’d love to show you more of our findings – get in touch!