Dealership texting platforms: options and recommendations
Staying connected with your dealership’s customers is strongly desirable. If you can communicate everything, things get done – fast. Especially today when time is money and customers are often impatient to get everything completed as soon as possible and as expected – or else they will switch to your closest competitor.
Data obtained from Shiftcom suggest that 82% of survey respondents open every text message they get, whereas only 1% confirmed that they do not read text messages. This number is high enough for you to consider choosing a suitable texting platform for your car dealership.
However, with so many texting platforms out there, such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, online chats, etc. one must wonder which option is best for them.
So, let’s see what we have got.
The adage, “be where your customers are” is so true in certain forms of promotion. Since people spend most of their time on social networks, it seems quite logical to be where they are. There are dozens of social media platforms which have a chat or instant messaging app connected with their services, some of which are the following:
The biggest social network on the planet, which recently became infamous due to the Cambridge Analytica and data misuse case. With its inbox and Messenger chats, as well as company pages, there are many options for you to connect with your users/followers. For example, your customers can write messages directly into company inbox and get instant replies.
However, the downside of this is that you need to have a Social Media Manager to reply to those messages if they become frequent, which may pose an additional cost for your dealership. Social media presence is a good thing, but issues may arise, primarily in the forthcoming months and with the application of potential new laws in regards to data protection and safety.
Twitter is another great social media platform where you can monitor events as they happen. It also has a personal messaging option, so your dealership may have to have another SMM employee to respond to those messages as well. If your consumers are using their app, they would probably want to get replies in real time, which may pose a challenge when it comes to managing different channels.
Although their business messaging options are limited, meaning that company profiles still cannot exchange private messages with individual profiles. The only alternative is to communicate via comments. However, the odds are that you are probably not going to get into a B2C conversation via LinkedIn, but rather focus on some other platform instead.
Instant messaging apps
The proliferation of smartphones and their massive usage in connection with the Internet revolutionized how people communicate. The fact that almost every demographic population now has Internet access in their pocket brought about the need to develop messaging apps.
In 2018, WhatsApp has been the third most popular messaging app in the US (source: Statista). Used by more than 18 million people, it has a lot of advantages: it is easy to use, direct, and people can exchange different formats, such as images, videos, links, PNGs, etc. Concerning business communication, however, it may pose specific challenges such as data protection and history.
The second most popular mobile messaging app, Snapchat is trendy among the youngsters (usually Generation Y) but also the Millennials. However, one of the central concepts it was based on is that messages are only available for a short time, which makes this platform a no-go for dealership texting. Unless you are testing it as a means of promotion, using which you can give special offers to your target group for a limited period of time. But that is a whole different story.
Facebook’s Messenger is an excellent option for consumers, especially since more than 100 million Americans use it. However, the very fact that it requires a downloading action means that not all of your customers would have it, thus still making it an imperfect means of communication.
Many websites today have a live chat option. This is great because you can connect with your website visitors, in terms of helping them, in real time. When they visit your web page, you can answer all their questions before purchase or scheduling additional appointments. Many live chats today can be automated, especially in the age of artificial intelligence and customer experience.
However, the drawback of website chats is that they usually do not keep customer’s messages on an online server, which means that when the session is over, all data goes down the drain, including consumer data. This may also pose a threat to sharing your dealership’s business secrets or competitive rates with scouts coming from your competitors.
There are no words which can express how wrong the idea of using a personal cell phone to communicate with your customers is. Besides personal data protection and all possible misuse issues that may arise, it would be merely unprofessional for your dealership staff to use their private phone numbers to contact customers. Not to mention TCPA-compliance and FCC’s regulations which ban communication with customers without their prior written consent.
Having all of this in mind, you surely do not want to send the wrong message to your customers, don’t you?
So, what to do then?
You should use an option all modern and not-so-modern cell phones have: an option that will pose minimum hurdles and zero noise in the communication channel. This technology has been around for more than a quarter of a century, and it is called texting.
Mobile texting for car dealerships
Using a mobile texting app specially designed for your dealership can be the best choice you make this year. Coming from experts in the field, this app should be available to use on all devices: desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones, no matter the OS.
On the other hand, since all consumers have incorporated a texting option on their phones, it is entirely logical to use it given the open-rates of SMS as mentioned above. Therefore, you ensure that they get the message and decrease the possibility of missed calls, voicemail, or the message ending up in the spam folder.
We would like to present you the best texting app in the US: advantage txt., which was designed for car dealers exclusively. This app has been designed with the intention of solving all your woes and improving sales. Besides being easy for customers to use, it requires almost no training for your staff, and everyone will love it – no matter the age. Numerous happy customers are satisfied with it because it improved their sales by 400%, which brought a significant ROI and, most importantly, kept private conversations private, without TCPA liability.
If you want us to drop by to your dealership and give you a demonstration of how it works, just text “DEMO” to (415) 903-8800.
Msg&Data rates may apply 😉