Many auto dealerships are feeling the pressure of a changing industry, especially with the rise of digital competitors like TrueCar and CarMax, which are transforming business and customer interaction by offering online and mobile services.
One of the best ways to combat declining foot traffic, leads, and sales is to implement new voice and text technologies that allow companies to engage with their customers on their cell phones. By reaching out to customers on their cell phones, dealerships increase customer satisfaction, provide faster response times, and save themselves a great deal of time and money.
Whether the goal is to send out details on a new promotion or make sure clients don’t forget upcoming appointments, advancements in voice and text technologies provide an easy, efficient method of communication.
There are a number of ways direct texts can be used to communicate with customers, such as:
- Progress alerts: Send customers real-time updates on their vehicles while work is being done, and send another alert as soon as their cars are ready to be picked up.
- Preventative maintenance: Text messages can let customers know when their car is due for regularly scheduled maintenance and oil changes, as well as alert them to any new factory recalls.
- Billing notifications: Easily remind customers of past-due bills or confirm a payment has been made—a simple, cost-efficient alternative to sending out reminders by mail.
- Retention: Send out a quick thank you message or survey once a service has been completed, and consider sending a small discount to be used on a future service in order to better retain both first-time and regular customers.
- Sales: Offer the latest discounts and promotions with a special sale code via mobile to regular and potential customers in your area.
- Virtual selling: SMS and MMS (short and multimedia messaging services, respectively) can be used to send a link with a virtual tour of a vehicle, or provide full-color graphics and video to present inventory in the best possible light.
A variety of voice technologies also provide many ways to engage with customers.
- Appointment reminders: Don’t let no-shows affect your overall sales for the day. Dealerships can reduce missed appointments with automatic call confirmations and reminders prior to scheduled appointments.
- Consumer surveys: Send out short surveys to recent clients on the customer experience at your dealership to receive feedback that can help your team improve. Find out what clients like best, and what areas need improvement.
- Call notifications: Send an instant alert out to all customers who are affected by a new recall or other urgent notification.
- IVR (interactive voice response): Free up employees’ time by setting up an automated call-routing system that instantly transfers calls to the right department. This eliminates unnecessary work for front-desk staff, which will now have more time to focus on in-person customers.
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. Dealerships should take advantage of all the tools at their disposal, and make the most of marketing dollars by implementing these new technologies.
Rob Thrasher pursues strategic partnerships for the CallFire family of brands. A sales professional consistently focused on driving innovative and digital communication solutions for enhanced productivity and profitability, Rob has held a number of roles in the carrier industry and focuses on the auto and insurance industries in his current role.
Latest posts by Rob Thrasher
- Use Voice and Text Technologies to Find (and Keep) More Customers - December 23, 2015