As everyone in the automotive industry knows, follow-up communication with your customer base is extremely important for every salesperson.

It is important to maintain a relationship with every customer, no matter how they contacted the dealership – walk-ins, phone calls, website contacts or those who have purchased a vehicle.

By using innovative new automation technology that has been recently developed, it is simple to contact customers on their preferred mode of communication by adding the element of automation to their customer experience.

The automation process is one of the most efficient time-savers retail dealerships can employ. By automating certain tasks, like message sending, gathering information, segmenting customer data and more, the dealership team gains hundreds of valuable hours.

Automation is one easy way to provide a better customer experience than your competitors, giving you an edge and helping you to retain valuable customers. Create messages that will be sent to customers automatically based on time restrictions that you specify during initial setup. Managers do not need specialized technical skills to create and schedule messages.

Customers can specify how they prefer to be contacted: by email, SMS or voice messages. They can also automatically receive different messages based on selected preferences, for example, the type of vehicle they prefer. You do not need to manually separate customers based on their interests; software can take care of that tedious process for you.

During the sales and service process it is essential to build trust and maintain a professional relationship with customers to ensure repeat and referral business. It can be challenging to stay in touch with customers so they feel well looked after and remain engaged, thereby positively affecting any survey scores.

A great way to promote your dealership, book more appointments and grow your vehicle sales is through targeted email campaigns to your customer base providing vehicle updates and service specials on a regular basis. Studies have shown, however, that only 14% of the automotive industry regularly utilizes email marketing. Take advantage of this opportunity!

Using automated technology, dealer management can do some amazing things on behalf of the sales department and create an inbound sales process for their people.

For example, on your website use a signup form to ask for a few key details like name, phone, email and vehicle type interest.

Using this collected information, the automatic platform can instantly email, text or send a voice message to customers saying “Thank You” for contacting the dealership and also send them information about the vehicles they have selected.

After that, you can have an email campaign sent out at a pre-scheduled time that provides inventory or additional information on the vehicle type. This process can continue via other channels as well including text, social media or even fax for commercial clients.

These are just some examples of how new automation technology can explode dealerships' business and save time and effort. Automation makes it easy to share promotions, confirmations and reminders with a wide audience, while allowing the sales team to focus on their customers.

You are able to provide a higher level of customer experience than was previously possible, as you can now contact customers through multiple modes of communication and it is all done automatically so you never miss an important detail, sales opportunity or date. This technology is the way of the future for the automotive industry.

Shawn Ryder is director-business development for SimplyCast, a provider of automated marketing tools to the global automotive dealership marketplace.