Giving Your Customers the Apps They Want

Effective opt-in marketing, when done right, is extremely rewarding. The only dilemma is there are very few true opt-in options for customers to choose from in the automotive industry. To create apps for your customers, social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook have established a powerful tool that allows you to inform customers of significant topics pertaining to their world. For instance, simple reminders like allowing for a few additional minutes in the morning to scrape vehicle windows or check tire pressure before heading to work.


Your apps should be personalized to your customers and their vehicles. Giving your customers a value-driven app that's personalized to their specific vehicle, new or used, while giving customers their manufacturer's recommended service schedule when they are within 500 miles of their service is a true opt-in marketing approach. The best part: you're not asking for anything in return, at least not in a way that the customer will see.


Imagine your phone indicating a service is due and then a simple “three click” option to schedule it. After completing the “three click” scheduling process, you move on with your day. Consider how simple that process sounds versus the alternative of locating a phone number or website, contacting the dealer, waiting on-hold, and maybe scheduling that service appointment if you aren’t sent to voicemail. Website scheduling has the same disconnects for the customer: too many entry fields, VIN, email, contact info plus item(s) of repair, etc. You lost your customer at "Too Many Entry Fields." The path of least resistance is certainly the path most travelled. You must simplify the process for maximum customer participation.


In our world today, a significant amount of auto applications are in the market, but very few provide value to the customer. Let’s face it, we're in an instant gratification society. If we can't have it right now, we find a way to get it right now or we move on to something else. Offering customers true convenience while capitalizing on their behavior patterns equates to a winning opt-in concept. A “customer use” opt-in app called AutoAdvizR accomplishes everything listed above.


The delicate or problematic part about asking or implying that you want anything in return from the customer is that it can and probably will cancel out the entire opt-in opportunity. With asking for anything, you run the risk of being removed from the customer’s world entirely—you only have one attempt at getting the opt-in right. It's important to establish the right opt-in policy with consistent and relevant client perceived value the first time.


When considering the value of an effective customer opt-in tool like the AutoAdvizR app, consider customer satisfaction and retention. As we know, one way to maximize referrals and expand additional business opportunities is to enhance the relationship with our current base. AutoAdvizR provides a valuable and non-intrusive medium to enhance customer/dealer relationships via constant connectivity and you will be set up for success. The ROI can be explored by considering what a referral from a customer or increased service visits from an existing and receptive opt-in customer may be. The question we need to ask ourselves is "Am I leveraging this new app technology correctly?"


Natalie Nunamaker is the media director for Emerald City Sales & Marketing.





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