The Benefits of Texting; Communicate with Customers the Way They Want

  It’s time to rethink how you communicate with your customers.  95% of adults own a cellphone of some sort and 77% of those phones are smartphones.  Texting makes sense.  It is popular, it is fast and it is convenient for your customers and for your service department. Text messaging is the most used data service in the world Americans text twice as much as they call. 81% of Americans text regularly. 97% of American adults text weekly. Texting is 10 times quicker than phone calls. 33% of American adults prefer text to all other forms of communication. However, few dealerships use texting.  J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study found that only 3% of more than 70,000 vehicle owners and lessees received text updates regarding service work. The study also found that text messages are a more effective way of communicating and keeping in touch with customers.  While 55% of customers who received a phone call from their service provider would definitely return for service, a whopping 67% would definitely return if they received a text message. Why aren’t you texting? Many dealerships are reporting that texting provides big benefits in terms of customer satisfaction, as well as in their efficiency. The J.D. Power study also found that customers want to communicate with their service advisers by text. In fact, 27% of customers with mass market brand vehicles and 42% of customers with premium brand vehicles would prefer texting.  And it’s now surprise that 41% of younger customers would prefer to text. “It’s not surprising to see the preference for receiving updates through text messages continue to rise, but...

Dealerships – It’s Not Just About New Car Sales

Because improved technology and assembly line advancements have made automobiles both more efficient and more reliable with fewer warranty issues, car dealerships must find ways to add value to their customers, and increase revenue. Selling Happens at All Levels of a Dealership Increasing perceived value to customers, will not only increase repeat sales opportunities, but also add revenue through the Service Department. To accomplish this, dealerships must consider service and maintenance opportunities for current customers.  This is something that can be accomplished at all levels.  For example, salesmen should talk to new car customers about the value of regular maintenance to keep the car in top operating condition. The finance department might stress the value-added services offered. Both entities should stress that the level of knowledge and expertise of the dealership’s service department for their specific brand is more complete than other servicing operations that handle vehicle makes and models on a more global level. When customers do return for maintenance or repairs, it is service advisors who become the “face” of the dealership.  Spending a little time educating customers on the specific needs of their vehicle, and offering advice that will not only keep their car or truck in top condition, but could save money, time, and aggravation down the line. When small problems are addressed, larger issues that might result in a breakdown on the road can be minimized. Problems Can Be a Chance to Add Value When a customer returns with a problem, it is important to not only address and solve the specific problem, but also to do a comprehensive review of the vehicle, including...

Keeping Customers Happy is the Bottom Line

  Make new friends, but keep the old…  This is a ditty that many of us remember from our childhoods.  However, the idea is especially true for car dealerships when it comes to keeping existing customer happy … and coming back. The challenge is maintaining a good relationship with existing customers until they need their next new vehicle.  This not only improves sales, but adds to a dealership’s income stream, even during times of economic downturns. However, extended maintenance intervals and higher customer expectations, along with stiff competition from aftermarket vendors make it difficult to maintain customer loyalty.  In fact it is estimated that 77% of routine maintenance is performed outside of car dealerships. As automobiles age, customers become lost to the dealership when they need unplanned repairs and replacements, including tires, brakes and batteries. Aftermarket vendors tend to compete aggressively on price, convenience and expanded services, including multi-point inspections.  Some also tout their certified technicians. All of these factors combine to make it difficult to keep the loyalty of existing customers. How Dealerships can Compete Customers must be educated on the fact that technicians at dealerships specialize in the vehicles sold by the dealership. They are more intimately involved with the vehicles they service, and understand their products better than most aftermarket technicians, who must have a cursory understanding of a wide range of makes and models.  An important first step is to acquaint all new vehicle owners with the service department, including all of the products and services it offers customers to protect one of their most significant investments. Drive-Sure Helps Dealerships Compete The Drive-Sure plan engages...