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3 Reasons You Should Text Your Customers

Article Highlights:

  • Text messaging has become a widely-accepted form of communication.
  • 1 in 3 consumers want text messages during the buying process.

With nearly two-thirds of Americans owning a smartphone and 90% owning some sort of cellphone, text messaging has become a regular form of communication. We’ve become used to it. So much in fact, that text messaging now outranks emailing as the most-widely used smartphone feature. What used to warrant a phone call or email has now become a quick text messaging conversation, loaded with smiley face emoticons and slang.

While text messaging has become a popular and acceptable form of communication, many dealerships have not yet adopted it as a way to maintain relationships with their customers. Some dealerships worry it will be too hard to manage, while others would rather avoid dealing with the compliance issues. Here are three reasons to get on board with text messaging:

1. Instant communication

Consumers who receive a response within 10 minutes are three times more likely to visit a store than those who received a slower response. Text messaging gives you the opportunity to respond faster and have your message read sooner since consumers often open and respond to text messages faster than emails. The average person will respond to a text message within 90 seconds versus 90 minutes for an email, meaning your message not only gets to him or her faster but has a higher chance of resulting in a sale.

2. More likely to be read

Consumers want fast responses to their inquiries. Many dealerships will say they can achieve that with a phone call or email.  But most people won’t answer phone calls from phone numbers they don’t recognize, and the open rate for emails falls far below that of text messages. Text message open rates are around 98 percent with email typically landing around the 20 percent mark, so not only are you able to send a message faster, but it’s more likely to be read.

3. How consumers want to connect

Over a third of consumers want to be texted during the buying process, and over half would like to be communicated with via text after their purchase about service updates and maintenance information. This rate is even higher for millennial buyers; 70 percent have reported texting a dealership themselves. Millennials make up a growing portion of future car buyers, so it’s important to make the needed changes to best engage these buyers. To turn consumers into lifelong customers, you have to meet them where they are and communicate with them how they want.

Conclusion

Implementing text messaging in your dealership is an easy, effective way to move your dealership forward. When done correctly, text messaging enables dealership staff to better communicate with customers, all while being effectively managed and tracked as part of the dealership’s CRM efforts. Dealerships that embrace text messaging to respond to leads and maintain communication throughout the customer’s lifecycle will have an advantage over those who don’t.

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Director, Product Planning, CRM and Variable Ops, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ed Pontis is Director of Product Planning at Reynolds and Reynolds for CRM and variable operations solutions including Contact Management, docuPAD®, Desking and more. Ed was a director in a large international consulting firm, bringing in leading practices from these segments to Reynolds.