Discuss Forcing customers to provide their info in the Automotive Internet Marketing forum at Car Dealer Forums; Today Shaun Raines posted to his Dealer Advisor blog an entry about contacting prospects via ...
Today Shaun Raines posted to his Dealer Advisor blog an entry about contacting prospects via phone even after they specifically request the dealer not do so. Shaun even facetiously suggests that if you only want phone calls, then,
"take every form off of your website and stop buying third party leads. Point all of your effort towards getting people on the phone and see how many pleasant customers you end up with."
His point rings true with me. I have participated in a car-buying process 4 times over the past 5 years. When I submitted a form I was always required to provide my phone number and it annoyed me. I didn't want a dealer calling me because he had only one thing on his mind...how he could sell me a car. While I was on the market for buying a car, I preferred to do my own research and resorted to contacting the dealer when there was specific information I wanted to know that I could not determine from the online presentation.
Just last week I had my website provider modify the contact form on one of my customer sites to only require name and email address and leave all other info optional. I was concerned about the low number of web inquiries coming in and developed the assumption that it could be due to the fact that nearly every field on the contact form was required. I certainly would not submit all that info.
My dealer emailed me asking to make the phone number required. I just wrote him an email explaining why it should not be required and I referenced Shaun's blog post, but I wanted to put this topic out on here for discussion because I think it is pretty important.
So, if you are reading this, let us know your thoughts. Interested in both the dealer perspective and the buyer perspective.
As a buyer... when on the form it requests the preferred contact method... and one checks email and you still contact me by phone... your look so stupid... do you have brain... did you read the request fully... makes me questions if I want to deal with you.... oh the service departments are the worst... why are you asking for my vehicle information on the phone again... when I have already sent that to you by completing the form online... don't ask me this again... err... wasting your time and mine.
From a vendor prospective. I get requests like these regularly. Mostly from OEM dealerships. It goes against the basics... of form design... only ask the information you need to get your task done... You can solve the problem of no contact info by checking if email is there or phone is there... and if one is filled send the form... if both are missing then require one... As Sean Bradley put it... you are selling an appointment not a car.
Make requests with dealers without giving them your contact info
Wow this thread was originally posted in November 2007. Although this was not planned, as it turns out, my company recently launched a new website called AutoConverse.com where auto shoppers are able to make purchase and repair requests in their local markets, allowing their requests to be distributed to area dealers and merchants, without the requestor making his or her personal information or contact information available. In order to respond to the requests, the dealers and merchants must log into their account on the site and reply to the thread or send a private message to the requestor using the Private Messaging feature. Only when the requestor wants to share his or her personal contact information will the dealer or merchant obtain it.
Go to www.AutoConverse.com to register your free member account. Then, beneath the Connect tab at the top right click on the Markets Directory link, choose your state, and then subscribe to whichever local markets you prefer. By doing this you will be able to a.) make purchase and repair requests in those markets and b.) if you are a dealer or merchant then you will be able to receive requests from people that make them.