It's almost 2023. Pretty crazy, right?
That means that the internet is almost 33 years old (if you go off of the timeline of the first genuine web page going live in 1990). In these last few decades, the internet has evolved in ways we couldn't have imagined, and businesses now use the internet and related technology as a non-negotiable part of their sales process and lead generation.
The retail automotive industry has done a pretty good job of adopting and implementing digital tools and services, but there is always room to grow when it comes to intuitive features that improve customer service, generate leads, and help increase sales.
As the internet has gotten faster, and customer lives get busier, the expectation is that communication with businesses will also be faster and accommodate busy, flexible schedules. As time goes on, more customers opt in to the idea of a text message being preferred for initial contact, or when addressing a concern.
Car dealerships can earn more loyal customers by meeting them where they are, and prioritizing super easy customer communication!
Your Car Dealership Benefits from Text Messaging
As stated before, modern customers are busier than ever. Not to mention, with customers coming out of an unprecedented pandemic, they have become accustomed to the convenience of text messages, and receiving advertising through text message marketing. Texting is preferred over phone calls.
How much do customers value business text messaging? According to a study from Juniper Research: "...global mobile business messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion in 2020, up 10% from 2019." Those numbers are staggering, and they paint a clear picture on the sentiment of customers communicating with businesses with text messages.
While buying a car from an auto dealership isn't quite the same as purchasing clothes or miscellaneous items from Amazon, your website visitors (and any new customers) could be higher in the sales funnel and are looking to assess how your team members communicate before moving forward.
3 Ways Your Car Dealership Can Utilize Dealership Texting Software
Implementing a texting platform can be a game changer for the modern car buyer, who can be a little apprehensive about entering car dealerships too soon in their personal customer journey. They feel comfortable texting because they can manually respond at their leisure.
Here are three ways your car dealership or automotive group can start to use text messaging to great effect:
1. Having text messaging as a communication option for your sales team.
We know that the sales team has a goal of getting potential customers into the showroom, but not all customers are ready for that. Whether it's through your sales teams business phones provided by your car dealership or automotive group, or if you already have a messaging platform implemented that helps with inbound lead generation, text messaging can be a great ice breaker communication option for those high to mid-funnel in their car search; which can then lead to more sales.
According to a Cox Automotive Research & Market Intelligence study in 2020: "...Most people are in the car-buying “market” for an average of 89 days..." (source: AutoList.com) In short, not all customers are chomping at the bit to come into your auto dealership right away, or play phone tag with sales.
However, once you begin to build trust with your car shopping customers, your dealer text solutions can get your customers who may not be far into the buying process increasingly more excited about a new car or a used car.
2. Using text messaging in your service department for service reminders.
Text messaging can also be handy in sending out service reminders (ex: scheduled texts/automated reminders) from your service department. Considering, as mentioned earlier, how busy the modern customer is, appointment reminders for an oil change would be greatly appreciated.
In addition, you can use text reminders as text marketing and sweeten existing appointments with eligible customers and automatically deliver discount codes to generate additional service business (which means additional revenue!) These kind of service reminders and automated texts can help bolster customer loyalty and make your service drive a memorable one for future visits.
3. Having a messaging platform that hosts texting/SMS.
As the world becomes increasingly mobile and social, businesses must follow suit. The auto industry, and it's retail arm, are no different. Solid customer retention relies on meeting customers where they are in how they interact with the world. Admittedly, many dealerships sometimes lose sight of that because the goal is to schedule appointments or physical visits.
When a customer begins their vehicle search, they are hopping from site to site performing what are basically "vibe checks" on car dealerships (if you're up on that sort of lingo). They want to see who is listening, learning about them in a meaningful way, and who is accommodating them best communication-wise.
Increase Customer Satisfaction with Car Dealership Texting Software
Text enable your dealership website to earn more sales, more deals, and show your customers you're willing to build trust and a working relationship before hurrying them into the dealership and potentially scaring them off!
Leave Phone Calls Behind with Auto Dealer Texts
Text marketing and email marketing can't be the only ways you instill trust in and entice your potential customers; text enabling your sales team to accommodate your customers is a great way to start building an honest working relationship that eases customers down funnel.
ActivEngage can help you do just that!
With a rock solid and reliable messaging platform that supports "EZ texting", you can have great conversations with curious customers that help them feel great about working with your auto dealership get them to visit your showroom or service drive sooner. Think of it as personal messaging apps for your customers!
In addition to our awesome messaging software, we have a whole suite of engagement solutions that help deliver an incredible, modern experience for your customers. Here are just a few of them:
- RetailSync, guide customers through financing processes in real-time.
- MyDrive, video test drives and overviews that help increase buyer motivation.
- ActivTarget, tailored behavioral offers for your dealership website.