Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Now more than ever, it’s time to get creative with customer communications. See how auto dealer text messaging can lead to more sales with fewer in-person interactions.
In today’s world, there are many ways to communicate with customers and sell cars. An increasingly popular method is auto dealer text messaging. While not new, text messaging is a meaningful way to interact with your audiences and help complete sales transactions.
In fact, over half of consumers would like to receive text messages from businesses that sell the products they’re looking for. Companies that use text messaging report significantly higher engagement levels—over 80%, with a 209% higher response rate over phone and email. That can turn into a pretty hefty return! But auto dealer text messaging isn’t as simple as it sounds. Some tips and tricks can help your text messaging campaigns and interactions turn into the kind of sales increases you’re looking for.
10 Auto dealer text messaging tips that will change your business
1. Ask permission first
Most people don’t like marketing surprises, especially through text. Before you immediately plug someone’s number into an auto dealer text messaging database, give customers the ability to opt-in from the first point of contact. Many of them likely will, and once they’ve opted in, the onus is on them to decide if they want to continue to receive messages. Doing this shows your customers that you care about their privacy and that you only want to reach out to them in a way that’s comfortable for them.
2. Schedule appointments and send reminders
Since text messages tend to be read more often than emails, they can be a convenient way to set up appointments and send reminders. There’s plenty of software (like AutoRaptor!) to help you do this with ease, so you don’t have to fumble with phone numbers and personal information—in some cases, you can even automate part of the process. Using auto dealer text messaging in this manner can help you stay organized, keep customers informed of important information, and engage them in ongoing dialogue instead of sending emails that never receive a response.
3. Keep it short
One reason why text messaging is so popular is that it’s brief; people don’t expect to read paragraphs of information on a text. It’s important, then, to make sure that you don’t overwhelm them with too much information or even too many text messages. Send them information relevant to their buying experiences and engage with them if they respond, but keep the word count to a minimum.
4. Send special offers
Discounts and other incentive programs can be very effective through auto dealer text messaging. Send people offers that matter to them. You can even include pictures to help further entice and enhance their remote shopping experiences.
5. Get personal
Another benefit of text messaging is that you can add a personal touch to each communication. Address people by name, perhaps refer to your previous interactions and the customer needs you deduced from them. People will be more likely to respond if they feel you’ve reached out to them specifically as opposed to sending out a promotional blast.
6. An alternative to live chat
Live desktop chat is a popular way to communicate with people, but a poor internet connection or limits on data can reduce the effectiveness of this for people using smartphones (or if they don’t have smartphones). Provide a number on your website for people to text instead, or invest in software that will allow you to respond to desktop chat inquiries via text. You’ll likely find it works wonders for customer engagement.
7. Easy follow-up
Once you’ve generated some leads, use auto dealer text messaging to follow up on your initial conversation. It can be as simple as a single-line text, just asking if the customer is still interested in discussing a vehicle. Customers can respond at their convenience and likely find your engagement less distracting than a phone call or email.
8. Provide useful updates
When new products or services come out, use auto dealer text messaging to let customers know. Even if they aren’t on the market for anything new, you’ll stay at the forefront of their minds when they are ready to buy something, and they’ll appreciate that they only have to send a quick text response to find out more.
9. Send receipts
Text messaging can be a convenient and powerful tool for something as simple as sending a customer a receipt, rather than giving them a handful of paperwork. With order receipts and other information safely stored in a text message, customers will always have easy access to their most important purchasing information.
10. Communicate in real-time
Finally, auto dealer text messaging is useful in that it can help keep a conversation in real-time, rather than having to wait a day or more to get a call or email back from a customer. One tip here: Make sure that if you have a responsive customer that you are just as responsive back. Doing so will help to make a customer feel valued while also narrowing the window of time it takes for you to close the sale.
Text messaging isn’t the only way you can communicate with customers, of course. But it is an effective way to stay in touch and provide top-notch customer service.
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