How to Run Sales, Service, & Parts in a New Digital Age

Nov 18
min Read
Dealer Webinar

Are you ready to be a digital dealer?

More buying is done remotely and digitally and Google and Amazon have trained us to be more simple and have a more convenient experience for the customers. Consumers have been sitting on zoom meetings for the last 18 months and they know how to do business online and from their home. And they'd actually prefer it. Your customer is sort of getting younger, but also the older customers, even if they are older, they're learning more about how to do online things, right? Since we've been sitting at home, we've learned and adapted to the digital age or your customers have. So you need to join them and keep their business, faster buying cycles shopping's being done online before they even come to your dealership. Some are even not coming to your dealership, they're doing all they're buying online. Nearly 70% of consumers say they would pay more for a product if the buying process was convenient. So let's go through the importance of digital convenience, right? Purchase intent versus asking questions. 90% of the decision is made before they come in or call, customers are looking at your website, looking at your shop online, and they're already seeing what they want.

So they're already ready once they've contacted you, they pretty much know what they want. That's what we've seen. That's the trend that's on right now. And customers are buying independent of discounts. Like we just talked about, they're willing to pay more for things if it's convenient for them, if they can get it really quickly, or if they don't have to be doing in person sales. Less than a third of young consumers prefer conducting a sale in person at a dealership, respondents are even more interested in con tactless service. Half of respondents are willing to pay extra for this service. So you can see in person sales are kind of going out the window. So the digital convenience is that much more important, convenience and simplicity wins every time. And that's sort of the trend that we're seeing everywhere right now, not just in dealerships, but everywhere people want the convenience and simplicity.

Five ways to become a digital dealership

1. Text messaging

2. Digital lead generation

3. Contactless payments

4. Online reviews

5. Virtual appointments

And now we're going to go through all of these so that you can step by step kind of figure out what you need to do to get your dealership up to date with because with clients and make sure that you're meeting them where they want to be. So first off, let's talk about text messaging. Does email still work? Yes, it does, but the average open rate has dropped to 20%, right? 17% in most studies. Pretty much, if you send an email for anything, you usually get a response 1% to 2% of the time. So this is how the open rate is but the response time is even lower than that, right? 49.7% of all emails is now spam.

So customers don't even look at emails. A lot of customers don't even look at emails, just email response rates have dipped below 6%. Like I said, 1% to 2% of the time they're responded to. The average business professional receives over 120 emails per day. So it gets drowned in a sea of spam emails and business emails or all that kind of stuff that they really don't have time to look for, or they don't want to take the time to look for because again, they want simplicity and convenience. So the average business professional seems, this is where they come from American online, Hotmail, all that kind of stuff. But do people still answer the phone? That's the big question. Yes, the phone call app on the smartphone is the fifth most used app, but also customers are kind of, going away from actual phone calls, right?

Customers are seven times more likely to text you back after receiving a text. And they are to call you back after receiving a voicemail, rising span and robocalls over 3 billion robocalls were placed one month in the US. So that's an average, right? 18 billion. It was in 2017 and 26.3 billion in 2018. So these are, those are yearly totals and they're just going up right up and up and up. And people don't want robocalls and they don't want to answer robocalls. So they're more likely to answer a text, especially if they're coming from a number that they know, like your dealer number, then they'll know that it's coming from you and you make sure that they'll respond to you. Some reports suggest that half of all calls placed and cell phones are spam calls. It's huge, that is a huge number.

Text Messaging

So why do your customers prefer text message? We went through this and we'll go through it one more time because it really hammers the point home because not 89% of customers would prefer to interact with businesses via text message rather than a phone call. 98% of all text messages are opened. And 95% of those are read within three minutes. That is a fast turnaround rate, and that's a rate that helps you and helps them. They want simplicity and convenience, and you want a quick turnaround so that you can get their sale or you can get their equipment out of your service bay fast and make them happy and make you happy. 96% of consumers find phone calls to be disruptive. And 78% of consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach for important service updates and purchases. That's key, phone calls are there, They see them, but they don't necessarily want to answer them. They'd rather just take a quick message and send one back to you. And texting is key right now.

98% of all text messages are opened. And 95% of those are read within three minutes

So here's a look at the text message per month per location. This is for dealers and you can see the 55% increase in text message per dealer year over year. This is the spike in COVID right in the middle, but you can see the trend is upwards, right? This one only goes to June because you don't have the last quarter information, but the trend is definitely up, but you can also see the spike. This is March right in the middle of March 2020, April 2020, and May 2020. Look at that spike. This is when people started thinking, Hey, I don't want to go to in person things because of the pandemic. So I got to learn text messaging, I got to learn how to shop online and become proficient at it. So your customers are already doing that and you just need to meet them there, it's not that hard, we can do it, you can do it. And it'll help in the long run for your business. 80% increase in messages per volume in dealer year over year, this is with images. So these are texts like, "Hey, you've got something wrong with your car here's what we found." Hey, you've got something wrong with this equipment, here's what we found." This also helps with service upsell, "Here's your air filter. Here's your oil filter." This is all this kind of stuff. "Here's your tires. You've got a nail in it." You can show them that there's stuff that needs to be fixed and then you can help them out. And it helps you out right? Serious sales engagement, right? So this is what it like just kind of how this would show up for customers and for you, this is the picture right at the top, this is a dealer sending somebody a picture saying, "Hey, do you want me to fix this?" "They say, sure, go ahead." this is how it looks, but also for service, you can also do appointment reminders, right? Here's when you say, Hey, just wanted to let you know your appointments tomorrow. You can automate this and you can schedule it to show up for customers. So you don't have to actually remember to call them. You can just send them a text and they'll say, "Sure, I'll be there tomorrow." Or you know, make sure you respond. They say, "sure, I'll be there." And then get online reviews, which we'll talk about it in just a few minutes, but this is what it looks like.

And this is how Kenect can help you with this system because we actually give you an option to send a customer to say, "Hey, did you have a positive experience? Send us a great review, we'd really appreciate it." And it's simple and easy for them to give you five star reviews.

Digital Lead Generation

So the next topic right here, digital lead generation via text message. This is a big issue or has been a big issue, especially after hours leads 40% increase in text leads year over year, this graph may look similar, but the graph, the data is different, but the trend is the same trends up, right? If presented with an option to call, fill out a contact form or text 75% of customers will text. That's what you're going to get. 260% increase in inbound leads when adding a text widget to the website, right?

So this is how, this is how you need to make sure that you're giving customers the option of the text, because then they'll come in and give you a response, in short order. They're not going to necessarily respond to a call, but if you text them, they're definitely going to help. And you can text them through the app on your phone again with your business line and not your personal line. So that helps you not give out too much information, but it also helps you respond to the customer whenever possible, even if it is after hours, sometimes.

Contactless Payments

This is the text to pay system that we were talking about, right? 80% of customers have used con tactless payments options in the last 12 months. Okay? 74% of consumers have concerns about cleanliness of cash. This is from the pandemic.

This has started to happen a little bit before that, but it's really hammered home in the pandemic, right? People don't need the face to face. They want to just give you their card number and off they go. 64% of consumers have the same worries paying by card because of touching a card, pen signing receipt, et cetera. Like we just talked about in the pandemic and 57% of consumers advised that they would be more likely to do business with those who offered a con tactless experience. Okay? So text to pay is huge and here's why we use it, right? Collect payments, deposits, and pay via text message for your service and sales departments. And that's just, you know, you can send them an invoice really quickly collect on service tickets and special parts has a 98% open rate. You can also set up after hours pickup and remote drop-offs by collecting pre-payments, so they can give you their card right in the phone without even talking to you over the phone, they can just text you their card numbers through the process, through the text platform, Kenect's text platform, and then they can just give you the payment already.

You can increase over the phone sales and offer curbside pickup. You can get paid faster and reduced accounts receivable, send them an invoice. You get a response right back. You also can get next day funding and it's a hundred percent secure. So text to pay growth over year per location. This is four times year over year growth per location. This is for dealers. Some dealers are running 80% of their service parts is through the text to pay system. So this is from April 2020 to May 2021. Again, like I said, we don't necessarily have the numbers for the last quarter they're coming in. We'll get those shortly, but you can definitely see the trend, it is huge. And this first part, April 2020, this is the start of the pandemic. It was already starting to go up, but text to pay growth has just increase phenomenally, especially in 2021.

just April and 2020, you get 16,000 almost in sales in April 2021. That's an average, right? So this is text to pay is the big thing, right? They don't want to give you their physical card. They want to make sure that you're getting their payments over the phone, through text. They give you their number and you charge them that's it simplicity and convenience.

Online Reviews

This is another big thing that you need to keep in your mind in your mind as you're going through and talking with customers and thinking about who's going to give you a good review and how you're going to get it, right? So let's first say 81% of consumers use reviews as the first step in choosing a dealership. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

So word of mouth is pretty much online reviews, you don't need to go to word of mouth anymore, you can just use your online reviews as let them do the talking 80% of consumers say they trust a business. If they have an above four star rating, this is obviously difficult sometimes when it seems like a daunting task, but it's not that daunting, right? You can get customers to give you good reviews and build that star rating up above four stars, and it doesn't have to take a long time. So 94% of consumers say they'll avoid a business if it has bad online reviews. So let's take a breakdown of the review sites. Let's go through them Google, you have 158 million visitors per month. This is the number one review site. And of course this is the one we talk about all the time, It's not the only one. Facebook also has 85 million visitors per month. Yelp is a good one. Yellow pages is also a good one and Foursquare, of course. So you want to make sure that Google is your top priority though, because as you can see, this is where most of the people go to look at reviews and look at four star or five star ratings. They want to see what the Google review is before they come to your site. So what do buyers want to see in their reviews? Quality, star rating is the most important factor, five star reviews preferred Google actually uses star rating as one of their main factors. If not the main factor, when they're actually putting your company up on their website and where it goes in ranking, right? Quantity, the minimum of 50 reviews is necessary.

Obviously you want to get more, 150 plus is ideal. Quantity drives the conversion rate, but you want to make sure you're doing this over time. You don't want it to have a bunch of reviews all at once, but this is a great way. Quantity is definitely a main factor. Businesses was more than 82 total reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue than the average and businesses with 200 reviews are, or, or nearly twice as much in revenue than the average. Basically more reviews, mostly positive, of course, the more reviews, there are the better it increases your star rating. It also increases what people are looking at in the positive way so that you can make sure that you're showing the customer or a potential customer, that this is the best thing. This is what they want, right? So here's a couple of examples.

For owner response matters 44.6% of consumers are more likely to visit a local business If the owner responds to negative online reviews. So again, you don't just respond to positive ones. You also respond to negative ones, right? 75% of businesses don't respond to any of their reviews. This is a big mistake because customers definitely want to see you responding, positive and negative, preferably negative, because this is how this is how customers see you as a real person, right? You're going to respond as a real person to these negative reviews. So here's an example of a bad response, right? This is Evan. He said, This place is too expensive, they overcharge me." And this is an example of a bad review, mind you, so respond from the owner, "Go find another dealer. There's one down the street. Our prices are fair. Get out of here." when you see a review like this, you're like, "Hey, I want to respond. I want to show him that we are actually a good company. And you know, he's out of his mind. we don't want this". Right? However, think about this, right? He's giving you bad review. And then your response is out there for the world to see. So here's an example of a good response. This is a negative review. Again, one star I'll never go back called sat on hold for 10 minutes. You know, staff was short and didn't help. Okay? So here's the response from the owner. This is what customers are looking for. "I'm sorry you had a negative experience with our dealership. This is not how we normally do business. Please call I'm the owner" take ownership, that kind of thing.

So this is the owner, making sure that the customer is taken care of and they can call, chances are, they're not going to, but at least you gave them an option and said, "Hey if you want to talk about it, I'm here, right? I want to improve my business." Then potential customers. Who's reading this review, see your response. They say, "Hey, here's Bob, he's the owner. He wants to help out. He wants to make sure that his business is top notch. And he's not sure why this person had a bad experience, but look, he's willing to help out. He's willing to figure out what happened and get to the bottom of it." So, Good responses to bad reviews is definitely key here. So steps to success with your online reviews. These are things you should put in place immediately if you have bad reviews, or if your rating is low, or you don't have enough reviews, first take control. Don't let angry customers determine your reputation, get the great customers to leave reviews. You can send them a texts and you can send them a little response that says, "Hey, we know you had a great experience, hopefully happy with your sale. Give us a review." Make sure I would say that these customers didn't have a bad experience. Always pick the ones that had a good experience. So you can get your star rating up, right? Build a repeatable process within your company find a point in your process where you can easily ask happy customers for reviews, use Kenect messaging, not email, Kenect 35 times more effective than email in collecting reviews. That's because we have the option of you giving a customer just a little link, right?

You can say, Hey, give me this Google review. Here's the link. And they can easily do it on their phone. It takes them minutes, maybe seconds, even to just leave a star rating and say, "I had a great experience." Done, respond and start marketing. So all of these responses in the reviews, especially with the reviews that are positive, you don't necessarily need do bad reviews and how you responded to them just the positive ones, but all of them that are coming in, you can use any of those in your marketing, and your ads, and your story, "Five star rating, would come back." That kind of thing. All of these are positive for you. This is easy, right? This is something you didn't even have to come up with. These are your customers telling you how great you are and you to use that on your website and in your ads.

Virtual Appointments

So last one here, virtual appointments, the search impression for web and video calling software increased by 500% in the first four months of the COVID 19 pandemic, it's only going up, right? We all do video calling, right? Zoom calls, WebEx, Teams, all of it, right? So this is just an easier way that you can just do it on your phone, right? Kenect allows you to do all of this through your own phone, with your business line and not your personal line. 60% of consumers participated in video meetings in 2020 than in 2019. And it's only going up in 2021. We've all been there. We've all done video meetings. It's just the future, right? So the way that Kenect can do it is you can make it easy for you, but you can also make it easy for your customer because they can just do it on their phone.

You say, "Hey, pop up the video. I'll show you what I'm talking about. I'll show you this, this issue with your car or your vehicle or your equipment. And I'll show you, Hey, this is what needs to get fixed" or "Here's what you wanted to buy. It's right here in my showroom, you can take a look with me and we'll talk about it." That kind of thing. So, convenient, easy for customers. So reviewing here five ways to become a digital dealership. Obviously text messaging is key, convenience, simplicity. You want to make sure that you can give customers the option of paying online of making sure that you can text them easily. They don't have to have a call from you. You can meet them in the middle. You can see the trend, it's happening. Text messaging is key digital lead generation.

We talked about how they can call you anytime, but you can respond to them using your business line. You don't have to use your personal line. It's right on your phone in an app, you can see that a customer called and said, Hey, how about this? You know, what's the price on this? You can respond to them and say, "Hey, I'm at dinner, but I'll respond to you in a few minutes." Or you can even set up automatic leads responses so that when people do text you, you can actually have them get a response. And then you come back when you're ready and available of them, a full rundown of what's going on. con tactless payments, text to pay system. It's huge. We want to make sure that this is convenient for you and the customer. You get paid faster, They're able to give you their credit card information over the phone without actually physically giving you a card or money, they can just give in their number, pay it. It comes within minutes, within seconds even, and you get paid within a matter of hours or a matter of minutes. Online reviews, we just talked about huge problem, right? You want to make sure that these reviews are buttoned up, make sure your customers who are having a positive experience. So the ones that are giving you good reviews, and you can make this as simple as having a plan, making sure you are texting people after they are in and have a good positive experience. And then you can use those reviews in your marketing. And of course, virtual appointments. This is becoming more of a trend as we've all seen zoom calls, Teams, WebEx, all of it.

Who is Kenect?

We're based in the Silicon flows of Utah, this is outside of Salt Lake. We're a text messaging platform for Marine dealers throughout North America. We're founded by dealers and built for dealers, and we help you communicate more efficiently, generate new leads, collect payments via text message, and drive online reviews. So how do we do it? We use two-way text messaging, this allows you to use your business phone number so you don't have to give out your personal cell number. We generate web leads straight from your website through a button we attach, we'll go through that in just a few minutes. We collect payments through text messaging in our text to pay system, which is simple for you and convenient for your customers. We also help you with online review generation, help you gain reviews from customers, and also make sure that you are able to quickly respond to reviews, both positive and negative.

So here's what the texting inbox looks like, it's built similarly to an email box. So you can see who you've sent messages to what you've sent them, where the conversation left off and who is outstanding in your inbox, who you haven't responded to yet. So you can see it's obviously a text platform, but it looks a little like email. And so here's what the mobile app does too, so you can take a look similar to emails, you can see who you've texted, but you can also from your phone, send like pictures, use your camera, and then request payments, invoices and stuff like that, send them to your customers. So the top seven ways dealers are using Kenect, schedule appointments, set automated reminders, send status updates, great for your service department, but also if you're impending sale, if a customer's looking for something, you can send them updates, send quick info, something your store and your shop and what's going on. And if people need to pick up their car, you can send them a little quick note, your machine's ready for pickup. You can send targeted warranty reminders. These can be set up as alerts, so you don't have to remember to call somebody. You can just set it up as an alert. You can collect payments via text messaging in our text to pay system, attach and send photos and videos and invoices, generate online reviews through Google and Facebook, and capture more leads through Facebook, Instagram, and our website.

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