Everyone texts. In fact, texting is the most preferred communication channel across all generations. More and more, customers want a quick and easy way to communicate with your dealership. Texting not only decreases your turnaround time, but also saves people from playing phone tag or picking up a call from an unknown number.
Here are 11 ways to use a texting platform to boost customer engagement and increase your department’s efficiency.
- Reduce No-Shows– Send appointment reminders via text.
- Increase Retention– Schedule outreach to customers reminding them of service appointments or recommended maintenance.
- Increase Reviews– Send a BCC group message thanking customers with a link directing them to your Google or Yelp review page.
- Respond After Hours– Set auto-replies while your office is closed so customers don’t feel ignored. This ensures a speedy response time even in the middle of the night.
- Set Custom Signatures– Let customers know who they’re texting by assigning unique signatures to each employee and their dealership.
- Exchange Pictures– Receive important documents faster by having customers send a quick snapshot of their information (i.e. car part, insurance information, paperwork, etc.) via text rather than email, fax or mail.
- Reduce Repair Times– Instead of waiting for customers to see repairs in person, send photos of any progress while the RV is on the lift. You can also send screenshots of pricing breakdowns for repairs.
- Use Templates– Ensure consistency across all employees and save time with pre-drafted text messages.
- Maintain Oversight– From an accountability and liability perspective, it’s important for managers to keep record of all communication between employees and customers. If employees text on their personal cellphones, there’s no way to maintain this type of oversight – especially if the employee leaves the company.
- Keep Time Stamps– Since all messages are recorded and timestamped, customers will never be able to dispute approved charges or file claims against you.
- Use Your Existing Phone Number– Text-enabling your existing dealership phone number offers numerous benefits that short codes lack, and letting customers text you on the same number they already call offers a seamless customer experience.
Once you’ve secured a reliable texting tool, let your customers know about this new communication channel through your existing marketing channels (website, social media, email signature lines, business cards, signage, radio, etc.).
You already advertise your existing business phone number – just let people know they can now text.
BIO: Leila Mozaffarian is a senior account executive, automotive specialist at Zipwhip Business Texting in Seattle, Wash. Leila’s consulting has been able to help create better communications, increase profits, and better CSI engagement in dealerships. For more info, call or text (206) 582-3782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.