Bridging the Gap
Messaging can help dealerships sell more cars.
Almost 93% of car buyers do their research and decision-making before ever setting foot inside a dealership, finding information online on what vehicles they want, vehicle reviews, what options are available, fair market prices, and financing options. Moreover, about 60% of the research is conducted using a mobile device. The reason for this is simple: customers demand convenience.
The harsh truth is that people do not want to get stuck talking to sales representatives, and this isn’t just for dealerships but all businesses. So, customers will do whatever they need to avoid visiting a dealership.
That’s why dealerships need to go where the customers are: online and on mobile devices.
Reaping the benefits
Updating communication systems is vital for every dealership. Around 90% of customers prefer messaging to any other form of communication, with 89% of customers more likely to respond to a text than an email or a phone call. Online chat services are also not as effective or as efficient as messaging customers directly.
According to Dan White, Vice President of Sales, Podium, there are six ways a dealership can create a positive experience for the customer through messaging.
First, dealerships should answer questions. There’s no need for the customer to go to the dealership when all their questions about vehicle availability, options, specifications, and financing questions, can be answered through text.
Second, dealerships can qualify leads. Messaging is an easy way to quickly determine which leads are the highest priority, and which ones aren’t worth spending too much time on.
Third, dealerships can enhance the conversation they have with customers using pictures and videos. By sending pictures of the lot inventory, interior details, exterior details, and service updates, customers have something to look at. This way sales representatives are still showcasing the vehicles in their lot but on a digital platform.
Fourth, dealerships can schedule appointments and send reminders through messaging, as text reminders have a 60% hold rate. This also allows people to confirm their appointments or reschedule as needed. Seamless communication is important.
Fifth, it is essential for dealerships to follow up. Response rates increase threefold when following up via messaging. Dealerships can make this form of communication unique and more fun for customers while, at the same time, allowing customers to take their time to make a decision in a supportive environment.
Lastly, dealerships need to gather feedback. Messaging leaves a record of what was discussed, what the customers responded to, and what to quickly fix, both in real time and at every point of the customer journey. This gives sales representatives a chance to learn and correct what doesn’t work. Dealerships need to start adapting to newer forms of communications to keep the conversation going with their customers. By optimizing the way they communicate with customers, dealerships are not only selling vehicles, but they are selling convenience. And that is something a customer will always come back for.