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Getting the most out of saved customer inquiries

If you are reactivating your suspended CarGurus account due to the coranavirus, you’ll soon receive your backlog of leads. For our dealers, it’s a welcome return to business. But it may feel like you’re drinking from a firehose of leads and you don’t know how to start. Here’s how you can work this batch of leads to drive conversions.

Leads are lagging, not lost

Despite the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the majority of shoppers who were interested in buying a car still intend to. In April 2020, CarGurus surveyed over 500 shoppers on their sentiments toward car shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. 87% of 2020 auto shoppers expect to purchase later than they initially planned, but 68% of them are actively researching. Only 6% of those who were planning to purchase a vehicle this year have delayed their plans indefinitely. Even if these leads are older than what you’d normally like, make sure you follow up on every lead. Shoppers are still researching from home.

Lead with empathy

Every buyer’s situation is different right now. Lead with empathy and support—it goes a long way toward building good will and brand recognition. If they’re not ready to buy a car now, next time they are, they’ll come to you first.

Create and document a plan for lead follow-up

Before you start digging into your backlog, you need a plan. Work with your sales team to identify your strategy for managing the flood of leads, then document the process for everyone to reference. Decide who and how you’ll enter those leads into your CRM. Create a plan for how you will follow up with leads submitted at the beginning of lockdown versus leads submitted last week. How will you follow up with those leads again on day 1, 30, 60, 90, etc. and how will that be different than your usual 1, 30, 60, 90 day plan? You want to make sure everyone knows their role and the new process for following up with the leads.

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Communicate your contactless services early and often

If your dealership is offering contactless services, such as vehicle delivery, virtual appointments, or contactless purchases, communicate that to your leads from the beginning. Shoppers are very interested in these services right now. 67% of those intending to buy a vehicle in 2020 would prefer to use contactless services. Communicate your dealership’s services in your first contact with the lead, and make sure that same messaging continues on your website, social media channels, and any other advertising. Also add contactless services to your VDPs on CarGurus so that any potential leads who are filtering their search by service can find you.

Work with the customer’s timeline

Sometimes the dealer who wins the sale is the one who is willing to work with a customer on their timeline, not the dealership’s. Many customers may be dealing with financial hardships or other situations that they weren’t dealing with when they submitted the lead 15, 20, or 30 days ago.

Additional resources for lead follow-up

We hope to return you to your normal level of service as quickly as possible once consumer activity returns to normal. And we hope you, your family, and your dealership staff are staying as safe as possible. Please reach out to your rep or 1-800-CARGURUS if you have any questions.