Texts can help car dealerships find and keep customers

Almost every industry has now gone mobile, and car dealerships are no different. In fact, Dealer Marketing Magazine has said that all companies in the industry must improve their customer interaction through online and mobile services, including text messaging, if they’re going to keep up with digital leaders.

There’s certainly a lot of pressure on car dealers of late, with more customers now purchasing their vehicles online instead of visiting a showroom. However, the benefits of introducing text technologies can help struggling showrooms and used-car dealers prevent a decline in sales, leads and foot traffic, writes Rob Thrasher on dealermarketing.com.

Mobile phone contact with customers is also said to increase customer satisfaction, provide faster response times, and save dealers money in the long run.

Text message solutions which can help car dealers might include progress alerts, where they can let customers know how the work on their car is coming along, and when it’s ready to be collected. Likewise, automated and scheduled maintenance text alerts are a great way to remind your customers that it’s time for them to bring their car back to you for a service. This makes customers come to you, without you having to physically lift a finger.

Billing notifications can be sent via SMS, to let customers know that a payment has been confirmed, or if a bill has yet to be paid. Text messages in this instance are likely to be more effective than a phone call, which could come across as threatening.

Text messages are also said to be ideal for car dealership marketing. Organisations can send out special discount offers to their entire customer base, or to a specific set of customers. Promotional sales material, such as a link to an online virtual tour of a new car, is also effective when sent by text.

The most personal messages car dealers can text to their customers are thank-you messages, either for choosing your service or for completing a survey.

Meanwhile, voice technologies could also improve a car dealership’s service, the magazine claims. These could include appointment reminders to customers ahead of their scheduled timeslots, reducing no-shows and ensuring staff aren’t sat around waiting in vain for someone to turn up.

Automated call-routing is another handy technology which removes the need for staff to field calls and transfer them to the right department. Call notifications and consumer surveys could also boost customer engagement.

“The use of voice and text technologies can greatly improve the bottom line at your dealership – from getting new customers in the door, improving relationships with current customers, and retaining first-time and regular customers for the long haul,” Thrasher notes.

“Dealerships should take advantage of all the tools at their disposal, and make the most of marketing dollars by implementing these new technologies.”