How 1 email lost a car dealership an otherwise guaranteed sale

I have a weird obsession with Subarus. But due to the size of my family, I haven’t been able to purchase one. Until recently that is.

They came out with a new model about a year ago, so as soon as I knew the dealership had one, I went to test drive it. I was head over heels for this car.

I sat down with a salesman and learned that due to the popularity and high demand of the vehicle, the dealership didn’t have one in stock. So I told him exactly what I wanted and gave him all of my information. Then I went home and waited…

About a week later I heard from the dealership. But it was an email that had nothing to do with the car that I wanted to purchase.

So I waited some more, though I wasn’t very optimistic.

Two weeks out, I got another email. I’d obviously been placed on a basic email marketing campaign. Yet again, the email they sent me had absolutely nothing to do with the car that I wanted. It included no personalization.

A little while after that I reached out to the dealership because I hadn’t heard from the salesman or anyone else within the time period I had originally been quoted.

The car that I wanted had come and gone, and apparently so had the salesman who I originally talked with. He didn’t pass my information along because he didn’t even save it in the first place. The only thing connecting me to the dealership? My email address on a generic list.

What’s the deal with follow-up?

I’m still getting emails from that dealership, but I’ve never received a phone call, a follow-up, or any other form of touching base. Nothing.

Had they kept my information and reached out to me when that car came in, they would have had a guaranteed sale and I would be driving a new car.

There is a saying: the fortune is in the follow-up. Let me take that one step further.

The fortune is in personalized follow-up.

A person counting money.

If my information had been saved and my follow-up automated, nothing would have been forgotten.

In my case we’re talking about a car dealership. (So many people come through their doors and there are only so many salesmen.) The same remains true for businesses of all kinds. Owners, sales teams, and customer service agents get busy. People transfer jobs. And customers slip through the cracks. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Is it possible to scale personalization?

In the past, the only way to nurture new leads or manage and retain customers was through automated email campaigns.

We now see right through superficial messages – or no messages at all. We live in the age of personal touch, and consumers not only demand better than bots, they also deserve it. The business offering the best price no longer wins, but the most human brand certainly does.

I would rather have received no email rather than the automated emails that they sent. It said more about what they didn’t know. In short, it was a huge automation fail.

Having worked for years in a large business that dealt with leads, I get it. A business grows because people feel important, and in the beginning, teams always follow up with a human touch. As the business scales, however, the pressure to keep in touch with leads, customers, and everyone else increases and the only solution to keep up the juggling act is automation.

I love the flexibility automations provide; so does everyone at Skipio. But we also know every automation needs to maintain a certain level of humanity.

So yes, it is indeed possible to scale personalized automation. You simply have to keep a human in the automation loop.

Every company wants to engage and be “part of the conversation.” But a conversation requires two people. It requires listening and authentic responses. Sure, automated processes make it easier to reach out with an email or a text blast, but what most automations don’t allow for are those moments that feel like real, organic communication. That’s what Skipio is out to change by investing in human-in-the-loop automations.

How do you combine automation and personalization?

Communicating with your customers is crucial to building their loyalty and boosting sales. Your business’ voice should shine through in every interaction as your very best promotional tool.

Think of your communication tool as the lifeline between you and potential or current customers. How do you keep a pulse at every handoff? Personal touch points. How do you do that on an individual basis? Certainly not through email or phone calls.

Unfortunately, even texting alone doesn’t solve that problem. You simply don’t have enough time or energy in a day to text every single lead or customer. Everything from sales calls, service reminders, appointment confirmations, and follow-up chats easily fall through the cracks while you handle any number of other important matters.

That’s where human-in-the-loop automations come in.

Once you combine your knowledge of the customer journey and all your customer information with the automations of Skipio, suddenly…

  • you have the ability to write and schedule personalized messages to go out at the perfect moment.
  • your show-up rate goes through the roof because Skipio automatically sends appointment confirmations and reminders.
  • people are ready to renew their contracts before they even expire because Skipio automatically followed up the month before.
  • you’re nurturing more leads, gaining new customers, and retaining old customers too because Skipio allows you to communicate with everyone at once even though you’re not literally texting them at that moment.

You have the ability jump into the conversation at any point to manually respond, all while knowing exactly how the conversation has already been going.

So do yourself a favor and automate what can be automated and keep a human at the ready to monitor and fine tune every automation and join the conversation whenever it’s necessary.

That’s automation meets personalization at its finest.

About Bianca Collings !

Bianca is Skipio’s Senior Marketing Director. Her top strengths are Arranger and Communication. In another life she was a professional harpist and is also very proud of her calluses.

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