This article by McKinsey says it all . On an average about consumers just go to one or two dealership and purchase the car. Previously it used to be 5 to 10.
The reason behind above fact is automotive buying process has become highly optimized with multiple digital channels to dissipate and consume information. Whether that information be about car history, car details, pricing, dealer ratings or even sales person ratings. For that matter, this industry is the very transparent if not the most transparent of all.
With so much research being done online by buyer, it is extremely important to engage customers head on online. Be it chat, email, TEXT , Voice.
That paper states that average 56% shoppers were ok with online chat. Those stats were of 2013.
Fast forward to 2017 and beyond, customer expectations of engagements have moved with evolving technologies. TEXT for example is one of the fastest growing engagement model being adopted by customers.
See the following for yourself . More thorough stats can be found here.
With above publicly available data and research it is obvious that businesses that have not figured out modern engagement platform or TEXT are living in “old times”. If your business or dealership doesn’t have TEXT as one of the primary means of engagement, it is equivalent to not having phone for your dealership or business a decade ago.
But with plethora of solutions out there how do you select the correct one ? Are all TEXT solutions one and the same ? The answer to this depends on various factors such as your business’s relation with current tool vendor that is offering TEXT as fill gap or your budget or sophistication of your staff to handle the new channel of engagement.
Be whatever be the case. Look for this features in the solution for it to be truly effective.
- Should not require your customers to download an app. Remember your leads are shopping online, if you ask them to do anything special, your competition is a click away.
- Should not require your sales rep to download an app. Sales reps are humans too, with advent of so many apps and with phones changing every year, managing an app is a logistical issue. Rely on built in functions of phone for communication.
- Should connect your customers directly to sales rep or support rep. Again there is limited window of opportunity to convert a lead. Don’t waste time by having lead being routed to IVR or front desk or a BDC manager to assign the leads, engage customer directly with sales rep.
- Should unify all reps via a single number. This is a no brainer. You don’t want customers to be fidgeting with platitude of numbers.
- Single number for VOICE and TEXT. Voice is still preferred way of engagement, but don’t go for solution that needs separate number for voice and TEXT.
- VOICE should directly connect to the sales rep. Same reason, you want to cut the chase and engage immediately.
- Finally and most important , make sure you go for solution that allows real time monitoring of conversation. With advent of social, any mis communication can be a disaster. Go for solution that allows to interject in real time basis. Every lead is precious, treat them like that.
In summary, move your dealership to “Correct” engagement models that are inline with current times. These models apart from being convenient to your customers, need to be convenient to you too.