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Zenith Dealer Solutions Blog

Why Text-Enable Your Phone Lines?


There’s an undeniable revolution in the ways we communicate. Until recently, we communicated through letters, face to face, and land line phones. The advent of the computer, the internet, and the smartphone introduced new modes of communication—emails and texting are very common and social media is not far behind.

Millennials Text

Younger Americans are embracing newer technologies quickly, and stay “in touch” with friends and relatives constantly. Millennials have been the quickest to adopt new communication methods that new technology represents, and the use of ever-evolving technology will increase in older age brackets as Millennials themselves get older.

Millennials will text your dealership. According to a recent Gallup Poll, text messages are beginning to outrank phones calls in this age bracket as a dominant form of communication.

Millennials tend to think of texting as more considerate and efficient than calling. Receiving a text is convenient and the receiver doesn’t get distracted by an unplanned phone call. Those who text have to be succinct. Less time is lost by playing the proverbial “phone tag.”

Does Your Dealership “Get” Texts?

In today’s marketplace, almost 20% of outbound calls from a dealership receive a text reply. If your phone lines are not text-enabled, customers who text you might be texting into a void, and the dealership is missing opportunities. Often, if the person is not able to take a phone call they will text back; or if they don’t recognize the number, they will text ,”who is this?”

Millennials will assume that numbers are textable (especially local ones), and often their price and service inquiries will come in the form of texts. What if your dealership doesn’t see these texts? Certainly, opportunities are lost here, so text-enable your local lines and allow potential customers to text back freely. Millennials would rather text than talk about routine things. When you text-enable your lines, you can immediately respond to questions and solve problems—and get them into the buying cycle.

How to Text Back

Once your dealership is set up to respond to text messages, instruct your staff on how to respond. Texting approaches may vary by dealership according to guidelines and customer expectations, but your texting “style” should reflect the same level of customer service a phone conversation with your dealership has. Here are points that every dealer should consider:

  • Quick response time: The best response to a text is right now. If someone is texting your dealership, they’re expecting a response immediately.

  • Staff training: Texting to set appointments is a skill that must be mastered. Cover the scripts that will help your people turn texts into appointments and instruct them on guidelines and what to do when a texter replies “STOP” to a text message.

  • Adhere to proper etiquette: Have staff double-check a text before sending it. Autocorrect mishaps that can easily be avoided by proofreading. When texting someone, include a friendly signature so they know who they are talking to and can start creating a relationship. Don't use text abbreviations (lol) when it doesn't make sense, and be sure to consider whom you're texting...not all texters are familiar with text acronyms.

  • Minimize the text exchanges: Keep focused on the appointment.

For Millennials, securing an appointment over text often provides the best possible customer experience, meeting them where they would like to be met. Keep the customer experience positive while texting and with excellent same day service on appointments set this way.

I you need a little help with new technologies and your phone process, give us a shout. That's in our wheelhouse. We can get your lines text-enabled, as well.

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Topics: phone skills Dealership Sales texting