For years, RV dealers have been looking for ways to appeal to new, younger audiences, and texting is the new way businesses of all sizes are communicating with customers for good reason.
More than 89 percent of consumers would rather text with a business than speak to them over the phone, and RV buyers are no different. Texting is transforming the corporate communication landscape, and for innovative RV dealers to stay competitive and successful in the industry, it is something that your team needs to adopt as well.
Here are 5 ways texting is changing how RV dealerships operate and engage with consumers:
1. Texting engages consumers where they spend the most time
One amazing statistic from the past few years is that it’s Millennials, not Baby Boomers, who are single-handedly revitalizing the RV industry. As these younger consumers make buying decisions, engage with dealers, and share their hobby with friends, they expect a different standard of communication from their RV dealers.
Millennials are notoriously connected to their smartphones and readily prefer text message communications to emails or phone calls. For RV dealers looking to tap into this extremely lucrative market, text messages engage Millennials where they spend the most time.
2. Text messages can increase the chances of a response
If you’re like most RV dealers, you’ve probably been relying on the same communication workflow for the past few years. You call a customer with an update, question, or request, leave a voicemail, send a follow-up email, and wait for a response that is never going to come.
Instead of falling into this tedious cycle, text messages actually break through the daily marketing ‘noise’ caused by calls and emails and can prompt consumers into a response. Consumers are 7x more likely to text a business or service provider back after receiving a text message than they are to call back after receiving a voicemail. For RV dealers that are dealing with current customer communications (such as service updates), texting initiates a two-way conversation.
3. Texting converts prospects into consumers fast
The RV buying cycle isn’t an incredibly long one, but it does require substantial research and shopping on the consumer’s side before a decision is made. To help speed up this process, RV dealers are turning to text messages to relay critical information and details that are sure to be read by a consumer. Incredibly, 95 percent of all text messages are read within three minutes of receipt.
Your dealership can convey promotions, contract updates, or purchase confirmations via text to eliminate the uncertainty that often surrounds email communications.
4. Text messages can generate more consumer reviews
In today’s online world, the power of the online customer review cannot be overstated. Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing, and in an industry that has traditionally relied on word-of-mouth recommendations, RV dealers should be looking to increase online reviews wherever possible. This is even more critical now that Millennials have become such a prominent buying audience in the RV industry.
Millennials are even more aware of online reviews and feedback than other generations: 70 percent of Millennials are more enthusiastic about a product or service that comes with a glowing recommendation. Through text messages, your dealership can efficiently gather these online reviews by bypassing crowded email inboxes. Plus, texting shows your company’s dedication to a tech-first customer relationship, which could help increase your reviews down the road.
5. Texting strengthens customer relationships and builds brand loyalty
When it comes to communicating with customers, think about how you would want to be engaged. Nobody wants to sit by a phone waiting for a service representative to call and let them know their RV is finished with a tune-up. Nobody wants to check a dealer’s website weekly to figure out when the next tire sale is happening.
Text messages give dealers a way to eliminate these customer service setbacks and deliver amazing customer experiences. When your dealership is known for customer satisfaction, your online reviews will increase, and sales will increase as well.
As the RV industry continues its renaissance, dealers must figure out how to separate themselves from the competition. With a strong text message strategy, your dealership can truly rise above the rest and experience unprecedented success in this age of opportunity.
BIO: Graham Anderson is a Co-founder and the Chief Marketing Officer at Kenect. Graham has been creating technology solutions for many years focused on enhancing small business operations and growing revenue. Kenect was created to help dealers improve customer experience, capture more leads and generate online reviews through an innovative business texting platform. Kenect works with hundreds of RV dealers across the U.S. and Canada.