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3 Easy Ways to Level Up Your Texting Game

New text message alert on mobile phone
Article Highlights:

  • 89% of text messages from businesses are opened and read by customers.
  • Follow 3 easy best practices to take your texting to the next level.

Texting is no longer just for friends and family. Business-to-consumer texting has become a very common practice today, and customers are becoming more accustomed to it as well. In fact, 89% of text messages sent by businesses are opened and 82% are read within five minutes. But, just because your dealership is texting customers doesn’t necessarily mean the right messages are being sent.

I want to share a recent experience that left a lasting impression on me. After several great years with my car, it was time to upgrade. After finding a few decent options online, I began going in for test drives. I wanted to weigh my options, so after each test drive, I would opt in to text with the salesperson to keep them updated as my search continued.

After several weeks, I finally found the one. It had all of the bells and whistles I wanted, the right age and mileage, and the right price for my budget. Now came the hard part, breaking the news to the other salespeople that I went in a different direction. I was met with two very different responses to the news.

Despite having good interactions in person with both of these salespeople, Micah is easily the person I would recommend to my friends and family. Her response was professional and positive, where Alec’s came across unfriendly and passive aggressive.

With 95% of customer experience being largely embedded on how well or poorly you communicate with customers, every interaction must be treated with the utmost care. My experience could be the exception rather than the rule, but it’s always good to check in with your salespeople and make sure they are following these industry best practices when it comes to texting customers.

Keep messages short

Get to the point of what you want to say. Aim for 160 characters or less when sending a text, with the most important point at the beginning of the message. If 160 characters isn’t enough, opt for sending two text messages rather than a single long one. This allows the customer to digest your message quicker and be more likely to respond.

Use text templates

Help salespeople keep messages short by creating a handful of text templates to choose from in your CRM. Include a variety of topics like new inventory, follow-up after a test drive, or setting up an appointment to sign paperwork. Include brief language, attention-grabbing openers, and a strong call-to-action, such as, “Reply to this text,” or, “Please call this number.” Text templates give you the ability to maintain some control over interactions with customers and takes a little work off of your salespeople’s plates.

Text using your CRM

Texting from your CRM allows all information to live in one central hub. You can keep track of who has willingly opted in, which is a requirement to be able to text your customers. You prevent losing a customer’s contact information if your salesperson breaks their personal phone or leaves the dealership. Plus, your CRM can keep a timestamped record of all texts sent between salespeople and customers, which can be used later for coaching opportunities.

In an industry where customer experience creates loyalty, you can’t afford to scare customers away with frustrating or negative text messages from your employees. Working with your salespeople to develop standards for texting customers, and using your available communication tools to make it easier, will create both happy employees and happy customers. We need more salespeople like Micah who will leave a lasting and positive impression, even through a medium as simple as a text message.

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Marketing Communications, Reynolds and Reynolds

Madeline is a Marketing Communications Supervisor at Reynolds and Reynolds. Since joining Reynolds, she has marketed key solutions such as the docuPAD® system, eWorkflow, and Reynolds Retail Management System. She is currently a supervisor over the Reynolds Account Based Marketing team with a focus in fixed operations and the business office. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from Wittenberg University.

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