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Why Business Text Messaging Makes Sense for Car Dealerships

by Dominique Conti, Marketing Director, Kimoby

In today’s hypercompetitive market, car dealerships are facing tremendous challenges, including declining new vehicle sales volumes, competition for aftermarket servicing and major shifts in customer expectations.

Did you know that text messaging can play an integral part in mitigating these issues? As the most widely used feature on mobile phones and with unbeatable performance levels, text messaging has tremendous potential for a car dealership’s marketing, sales and customer support.

Many car dealerships have already added text messaging to their growth strategies. What are their reasons? Let’s take a look at the benefits of text messaging for car dealerships.

Simplifying communications with customers

Thanks to text messaging, car dealerships can send timely information to customers, including targeted offers and promotions, new product arrivals, product recalls, appointment reminders and follow-ups, request authorizations and more.

With a comprehensive texting strategy, a car dealership will keep its business top-of-mind with customers. Considering the performance rates of text messaging, that same car dealership is likely to notice an increase in business.

In addition, text messaging can be used to accelerate vehicle servicing. For example, car mechanics can send pictures of parts that have to be replaced on customers’ vehicles to quickly get their approval for the repairs. Subsequent pictures could be sent showing that the work was effectively carried out, thereby fostering customer trust.

Providing a stellar customer experience

Today’s tech-savvy customers compare their car-dealership experiences with all other shopping or service experiences they have. This means car dealerships are being matched up against customer experience juggernauts, such as Apple and Starbucks.

Text messaging helps car dealerships to up their customer experience game by allowing them to answer requests and inquiries faster. Studies show that three-quarters of consumers would rather text a customer support agent instead of using other available options. Why? Just because by texting with customer support centers, consumers avoid the frustrating wait times on the phone.

In addition, text messaging can ease the payment process for customers. How? By offering mobile payments, customers can avoid lineups at checkout and avoid wasting precious time. Has a vehicle been serviced and is ready for pick-up? A notification is sent to the customer, along with the bill, and in just a few clicks, the payment is made.

Improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs

Car dealerships are under pressure to streamline internal processes and slash profit-gouging costs. Text messaging, as “simple” as it may appear, can definitely improve a car dealership’s operations. For one, dealerships can automate communications with their customers, as mentioned above, so that employees can focus on more value-added tasks, such as customer service on site.

By automating other aspects to customer service, like follow-up calls and payments, car dealerships can also strike a more profitable balance in terms of their staff on hand during lulls. The rushes during peak periods (hello, tire season!) can also be better managed thanks to text message automation.

Future-proofing the dealership thanks to consistent customer feedback

Gone are the days that car dealerships could send out a yearly customer satisfaction survey and call it a day. Regular feedback after each customer touchpoint is critical to determine what is working — and what is not — in a car dealership. If you don’t know something is broken, how can you possibly fix it?

Gleaning customers’ opinions about products and services on an ongoing basis is important to future-proof car dealerships. Use the feedback to identify the causes of customer dissatisfaction as well as the cogs in both sales and customer service wheels. Monitor trends in how customers resonate with certain promotions or what type of new services could be offered to boost engagement. Customer satisfaction surveys through text messaging are easy to implement and manage, allowing dealerships to more readily access invaluable information into what makes their clienteles tick.

Car dealerships are on the cusp of seizing a major opportunity to build solid, long-lasting customer relationships thanks, in part, to business text messaging. Interested in learning more? Explore Kimoby, a cloud-based text messaging platform designed for car dealerships. Kimoby seamlessly integrates with Auto/Mate. Learn how McClure Honda boost its CSI and improve customer engagement by reading the case study.

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