Top 10 Types of Text Messages Car Dealerships Can Send to Their Customers
by Dominique Conti, Marketing Director, Kimoby
Car dealerships are under increasing pressure to boost their revenues and mitigate their operational costs in order to remain competitive.
One of the ways dealerships are choosing to address these challenges is through innovative new marketing techniques, such as business texting. The reason? Gone are the days that car dealerships could thrive on bombastic radio and TV promotions and the bare minimum in customer service (telephone ping pong, anyone?).
Today’s tech-savvy and relentlessly demanding automotive clients are judging car dealerships based on the overall customer experience they enjoy—or don’t enjoy. As for new vehicle sales or repairs and maintenance, more and more customers who are glued to their smartphones want to do business with dealerships that use text messaging.
Business text messaging is an efficient and affordable way to reach existing and potential customers, generate foot traffic to showrooms and car lots, streamline customer service operations, and improve customer loyalty.
Here are the top 10 examples of text messages car dealerships can use to attract and retain customers.
1. Messages to convert lot and showroom shoppers into qualified leads
Converting lot and showroom walkers into potential customers can be difficult, especially with customers being wary of sales associates. However, once sales associates do engage with potential customers, it is the perfect opportunity to offer leads the possibility of receiving text messages to get the latest deals on specific vehicles or promotions on financing options.
2. Thank-you messages that are worth their weight in gold
Once vehicle sales are closed, text messages could be sent to new customers to thank them for their business and introduce the service department. After customers visit the dealership for car maintenance or repairs, another thank-you message could be sent out, offering tips to keeping their vehicles running like well-oiled machines.
3. Status updates or service information
Customers hate being left in the dark. Car dealerships can send text messages to customers letting them know the status of their maintenance or repair, offering information and videos on the work being conducted, and confirming, via pictures, what parts were changed. Is the repair taking longer than expected? Text customers with an offer to provide shuttle service for maximum convenience!
Text messaging is a much easier way for your service team to cater to customers’ needs—instead of playing telephone tag! These text messages go a long way to ease customers’ minds as to why their bills are a certain amount and if the servicing meets regulatory standards.
4. Appointment reminders to slash no-show rates
Nothing wreaks havoc on a car dealership’s work day and operations like appointment no-shows. Dealerships that use text messages to confirm appointments with customers and send them periodic reminders notice a dramatic decrease in no-shows. The reason? Customers are more likely to respond to text messages—and faster—than telephone calls and emails. With the right text messaging platform, you can automate these confirmations and reminders to unburden your service staff.
5. Ensure customers get the information they need for recalls
Vehicle recalls are a challenge for car dealerships: it can be quite a struggle to handle them effectively. Thanks to business text messaging, recalls can become a positive customer interaction. Dealerships can more easily text recall information to customers, knowing that they are likely to read the information more than multiple calls, an email or even snail mail! In addition, as mentioned before, one text message may be all that it takes to book an appointment for the recall, rather than multiple calls.
6. Thoughtful gestures, even by text messaging, can have a huge impact
As car dealerships look to develop closer relationships with their clients, many have begun collecting additional information in order to personalize the customer experience even further. They use texts to send birthday wishes or congratulations to customers getting married, for example. These simple gestures show customers that dealerships actually care, which in turn, can strengthen customer loyalty.
7. Give leads or customers access to exclusive promotions or products
It’s true: customers are bombarded with offers, whether on TV, the radio or email. However, text messaging is the new frontier for enticing leads and customers with one-of-a-kind promotions or announcing new product launches based on their past purchase behavior or specific needs. For example, car dealerships can send text messages to clients that need to change their tires after a set period of time. One caveat, however: don’t bombard customers with promo messages and make sure that anything you send out is ultra-relevant and ultra-personalized.
8. Send out special invites to upcoming events and watch the customer experience magic happen
Many car dealerships organize special events to show their appreciation for their customers, including summer BBQs, VIP cocktails, sneak peeks into new vehicle models, etc. One easy way to stoke attendance levels is through text messages. Texting customers with personalized invitations can make customers feel extra special—and be more inclined to accept.
9. Online payments and transactional messages can simplify customers’ lives
Want to provide customers maximum convenience, accelerate payments and unload your service team? Opt to use text messages so that customers can pay their bills right from their mobile phones. Some businesses also use text messaging to confirm that a payment has been processed, an order has been shipped, an electronic statement is available, or if there is a back order on a specific part.
10. Enhance customer satisfaction and get those all-elusive reviews to optimize your social proof
Using text messaging to encourage customers to complete satisfaction surveys or to offer comments about your dealership on various review sites can help to establish credibility and convince leads of the value you bring to the table. However, surveys and reviews are critical to quickly addressing problems as they arise so that, in an era of rapid-fire social media, a dealership’s brand is not tarnished. Moreover, surveys and reviews are rock-solid tools to tweak your sales and service process.
In sum, in order for car dealerships to stand out, they have to be different. A two-way conversation using text messaging is a powerful marketing tool to facilitate how customers do business with you and create a positive impression on your brand—which will keep your clientele coming back for years to come.
If texting is not yet part of your communication strategy, you may want to start looking for the best solution that will meet your goals. Take a look at our platform.