Text is still wholly underutilized in the automotive industry as a way to connect with your prospects and customers and have meaningful conversations. Today I wanted to point out a few unique ways to leverage texting from acquisition to advocacy, especially as we continue to live in the “contact-free” world.
Showroom “Check-in”– You can add a QR code at reception and have all incoming guests “Check-in,” which then opts them into future text correspondence from the dealership. You should also add one at the finance office and an additional one on the service drive as these places are all high contact points for individuals to opt-in to different available text programs. At 360Converge, we took it another step and made it easy to add people to any list and capture missing data fields through a series of questions to complete any customer profile in the database. This is by far the most straightforward program to implement and manage for your dealership. Plus, it helps to ensure every guest’s conversation continues long after their initial visit.
SMS Keywords- Another way to grow your connectivity with opportunities and existing customers is to let your customers subscribe to dealership lists using a simple SMS “keyword.” An example would be to text “Drive” to 844-360-0510. This will subscribe you to a specific single opt-in marketing list at 360Converge. You could have keywords for many different programs at the dealership giving your existing customers personalization at scale and ensuring you stay in contact with every customer throughout their lifecycle.
Post Sale Follow Up– Another often overlooked but huge potential profit center for your dealership is following up with your customers after the sale with text automation. This powerful revenue area is perfect to leverage texting to create meaningful conversations after the initial sale. You can target customers to increase the number of Google reviews or focus on customers who didn’t buy extended warranties. The possibilities are endless on building workflows that continuously impact your dealership’s bottom line through texting automation. One important one would be to schedule the first service appointment through an easy workflow that engages the customer through a text conversation instead of relying on email or your staff making endless calls.
Loyalty program- This is a missed opportunity in many service departments but a staple amongst the independent service marketplace. Using text, dealerships can create and administrate a loyalty program for their best customers or an oil change club, or any program the dealership would like to make. This is an easy way to build loyalty at the dealership and pack the dealership’s service drive every morning.
Lease Retention- Lease renewal systems have been around for several years now, but most require a tremendous amount of human capital to administrate correctly through sending emails and making calls. This could be automated with text and deliver a more significant impact by communicating through the entire lease cycle with text touch base messages, questions, and additional information instead of just a rush at the end of the vehicle lease.
Individuals love to text and the control it offers them. Smart dealerships will use this communication channel to drive better relationships during the entire lifecycle, not just use it for sales and service appointments but to ingrain it into the whole dealership’s communication workflow to drive retention. If you aren’t leveraging text you are missing the opportunity to build a lasting relationship using meaningful messaging that will continue to grow your bottom line every single month.