Archive for December, 2003

Managing Your E-mail

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

The Internet has provided everyone with new ways of researching, comparing and shopping for used cars and trucks that were not available in the past. It has also provided car dealers everywhere new ways of advertising their Inventory as well as servicing their customers. E-mail has provided everyone a new form of communication and this new media has been embraced by some more than others. While a handful of our site owners are still bucking this new form of communication, others actually prefer it to using the phone.

Through e-mail, many car dealers get requests for more information on a particular car, get credit applications and even receive notification of online payments being made. Because many of our customers are using e-mail more and more every day, it is important to brush up on our e-mail management.

Like any other form of communication, response time is key. Many of our site owners have turned to Auto-Responders as a way of eliminating any lag time after a customer sends an e-mail message. An Auto-Responder is nothing more than a “form Letter” that is sent back to the person that sent the original message. While it does not necessarily answer your customer’s questions, it does give them the impression that you have received their request and allows you to pass on pertinent information such as your hours, phone numbers or location.

All new e-mail messages are usually found in the Inbox of your e-mail browser. After it is read and responded to, it is then common practice to move that message from the Inbox to the Trash Bin. This deletes the message and does not allow your messages to pile up. Other common folders are the Sent folder and the Drafts folder. The first keeps a copy of all the messages you have sent and the latter keeps copies of standard responses you might commonly use to respond to Credit Applications, Online payments and Vehicle Locator requests. What many do not realize is that it is possible to create additional folders in which you store messages. For instance, after I receive a message from a site owner asking for changes to be made to the site, we will do the requested changes and reply to site owner letting them know we did what they asked us to do. Then I will move that message I received from the client from my Inbox to a folder named JTZ Enterprise that I created. This keeps my Inbox clean but allows me to keep a record of all correspondence between our clients and us. I also have separate folders for personal messages and for messages sent to the car lot I work at. Occasionally I will then copy these folders and their contents on to a disc as a backup and delete them from my computer freeing up space.

Finally, it is also a good idea to save the e-mail address of each customer that sends you a message in an Address Book. This allows you to reach all of those people in the future anytime you feel like it and as often as you want. All you would have to do is type a message containing an advertisement one time and then send it to all of them at once. It also assures you that should you want to contact a certain customer, all you have to do is look him or her up in your address book.

For more information on how you can set up Auto-Responders or get more tips on e-mail management, contact JTZ Enterprise at 540-846-3821 or 1-877-286-1564.