Correspondence with customers can be one of the most powerful influences in customer retention. Reminders for recommended services, birthday cards and appointment reminders are opportunities to communicate with customers and provide value in the relationship. Messages should be concise, attractive and easy to digest. Communication should take place frequently enough to remind the customer of the company’s service but not so often as to become a nuisance. Following are tips on effective customer correspondence:
- Send Service Due Reminders – Notifying customers of scheduled preventive maintenance requirements helps them keep their vehicle in good, safe running condition. Following factory recommended service intervals or shop generated recommendations are both effective methods.
- Use Recommended Service Reminders – When shops make recommendations outside normal service intervals they’re usually based on an area of anticipated problems in the near future. Reminding the customer that these services should be performed should always be part of customer relationship management.
- Include Special Event Correspondence – Contacting customers on special events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays is a very effective way to maintain relationships. These contacts can be enhanced by offering presents such as discounts or credits as well.
- Notify Customers of Scheduled Appointments – Sending a customer a brief reminder of a scheduled appointment benefits the customer and the shop. Sometimes a long period of time elapses between scheduling an appointment and the date it arrives and customers may not have scheduled it on their calendar.
- Use Email and Text Messaging – The majority of people use their computers and phones for all types of correspondence. Email and text messages are much less expensive and much timelier than traditional mail.
- Maximize Presentation – Use graphics and formatting to draw attention to correspondence and make it more interesting. The correspondence should illicit a positive impression on the part of the reader.
- Keep Messages Concise – The reader should be able to absorb the content of the correspondence quickly and easily. If the message is too long or complex it will be ignored.
- Communicate Regularly – Correspondence should take place at proper intervals. It shouldn’t be too often but should be often enough to remind the customer of your relationship.