Manufacturers and dealers have been using Quick Response (QR) Codes in advertising in order to give shoppers rapid access to additional information while the prospect of buying a car is front of mind. Likely, we’ve all scanned a code or two ourselves recently—perhaps rewarded with a view of a video or invited to sign up for a product or service demonstration.
Still, doesn’t the very nature of a QR code imply the promise of a “quick response” from the advertiser who placed it in the ad? Presenting the interested shopper with a form to complete followed by an indeterminate period of time to wait before contact is made could be asking for the customer to keep looking for that next car.
My colleague at Contact At Once!, Ed Parkinson, has been speaking at a number of industry events about the expanding on the currently hot concept of “Influencing ZMOT” (Zero Moment of Truth), and instead being “Present at Every Moment of Truth.” In order to truly build trust and rapport with the shopper, Ed tells dealers, your sales team needs to be present and available to that shopper at every point in the buying process.
This is why Ed loves the new feature we’re beta-testing with some of our dealer customers. As noted in the press release, this innovation allows shoppers with SMS enabled cell phones to initiate a chat with a dealer with a text message to the dealer. Even better, that text message can be initiated by scanning a QR Code with a camera equipped phone!
That QR Tag could be printed in your Sunday Newspaper Advertisement. It could be found on the advertisement you placed in a bus or a commuter train. It could be placed on your direct mailers and on the back of the business cards of your sales team. When you consider how many different places where you could add an instant, real-time connection to your customers, you can see what Ed means about connecting at Every Moment of Truth.
It should be noted that this isn’t the same thing as simple SMS text messaging—it just feels that way to the shopper, as it uses the same SMS interface used for all their texting. On the dealer’s side, all the chats are routed into the standard chat interface used by for all Contact At Once! chats. Behind the scenes, the detailed usage and performance data is captured to ensure dealer compliance with government regulations concerning SMS text messaging.
With no new systems to master, the chats that come in via SMS text messages look identical to the ones which come in from a browser chat window. To see how the system works, scan the QR Code with a QR app and camera, or send a message to 972-675-7271. Someone will be right with you!
Bill Sengstacken is director of marketing at dealer chat provider, Contact At Once! For more information, email [email protected].
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