The way dealers are collecting payments from customers is changing, and it’s important to make sure you stay on the front lines of this dramatic shift.
Over the past year and a half, we have seen customers choose convenience and simplicity over in-person shopping. This means dealers must find a way to change some of the most basic practices, to keep the customer from going somewhere else.
Change in payment collection methodology: Customers will choose convenience over in-person interactions. Remote payments are becoming more common. In fact, some businesses do all their bill collection via text.
Growing remote payments: According to our data, dealers who have adopted a new text-to-pay platform have seen a nearly four-fold increase in growth year over year. Dealers who were doing around $4,000 a year per location are now seeing upwards of $15,000.
Making a change: Of the data we collected, we are finding more dealers are relying on text-to-pay for more than just sales. Some dealers are running 80% of their service/parts and payments through text-to-pay.
Its what customers want: Dealers are seeing the change and want to meet the customer where they are most comfortable. If they don’t want to come into the shop to pay, then send them a text with a link to make a payment right on their phone or computer.
What’s driving text-to-pay?
The short answer is customers, but its more likely the overall trend.
Customers are using texting for more than just payments. Data from dealers who use Kenect’s texting platform show a 55% increase in text messaging per dealer year over year. This started even before the pandemic.
Leads are also driving this text-to-pay trend. With more people opting to do business out of the comfort of their homes, more people are also using texting to get ahold of dealerships. Kenect offers dealers a button that we add to dealer websites, where customers can just click on it and get more information.
The data we collected shows that 75% of customers would rather text a dealership about a lead, than give them a call.
And without needing to see customers face-to-face, some dealers are now completing entire transactions, lead to payment, via texting.
Credit cards are not going away, but the way customers are using those cards is certainly changing.