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Powersports Dealers: Planning for Technology Improvements in the New Year

Dealer Webinar
8 min. read

[Webinar Transcript from December 2022]

Hey everyone, thanks for joining us today. My name's Ben, I'm on the marketing team here at Kenect. Today we're going to talk about some technology improvements that you might find in the new year or some ways that you can improve technology as you head into 2023. So we're going to first start out by talking about Kenect for about five minutes and then getting to the meat of the webinar, shouldn't be more than about 15, 20 minutes. And if you have any questions, please feel free to type them in the questions tab on the side panel there. And we'll get to them throughout this webinar or for sure at the end when there's more time. So with that, let's get started here.

Who is Kenect?

We're based in the Silicon Slopes of Utah. We're a text messaging platform for Powersport Dealers throughout North America and we're founded by dealers and built for dealers. So we help you communicate more efficiently, generate new leads, collect payments via text message and drive online reviews. We're a sixth fastest growing software company in Utah, that's according to Inc. 5000. And this is a second year in a row that we've been on the Inc. 5000 list. So we've really seen tremendous growth over the last couple years as more and more companies realized the benefits of texting and how it can improve their business, especially as we head into the new year.

So how do we do it? Two-way text messaging from your dealership without having to give out your personal cell number. So this is all done, this platform's all done through your existing business phone line. So it's very simple, and you don't have to give out your personal cell number anymore and neither do your employees. So it's all done through that existing business phone line and it's that number that you've given out for years. We're just adding texting to it. Web leads straight from your website, collect payments via text message, and then online review generation and reputation management. So why text messaging? It's because your customers prefer it. 89% of customers would prefer to interact with businesses via text message rather than a phone call. And 98% of text messages are open with 95% of those read within three minutes. So you're going to get information to customers faster and you're going to get information back from customers faster. 96% of consumers find phone calls to be disruptive and 78% of consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.

So this is just a quote from one of the dealers that uses us, "By using Kenect we're saving approximately 50 hours of labor weekly that would be spent talking on the phone with customers." So taking that time and spending it where you need to save time and save money as you're trying to get more customers in and making sure you're communicating with them in the way that they want.

This is the inbox when somebody texts in, this is what it's going to look like. And you can see on the side there as contact information comes through, you can see their name pop up each time they text in. You can also see the conversation as it comes in. So you can see past conversations, what they've talked about, what they've asked about. You can also choose which employees you want to have access to this. So you can choose all of your employees or just some of them. And then you can pick who's going to respond to each customer as they text in. So it's really handy that way and especially if all of these text messages are coming into one business line and then every text that goes out is coming through that same business line. It's also a free mobile app, so you can use this right on your phone. And then you can set things up like a notifications that show up just like a text message on your regular phone. So you're able to see that pop up as the day goes on. You can get texts from customers through this platform and it'll pop up just like a regular text message, but it's through this business line.

And with this you can also send photos, schedule messaging. You can also do video chats through your phone and right handy right in your pocket, as long as you get a signal you're able to use this app. So the top seven ways Powersports Dealers use Kenect. Scheduling appointments, setting up automated reminders, sending status updates, sending quick information hours, maps your machine is ready for pickup, sending targeted warranty reminders and scheduling maintenance notices. Selecting payments via text message, attach and send photos, videos, invoices and PDFs. Generate online reviews on Google and Facebook and then capture more leads from Facebook, Instagram, and your website.

Planning for technology improvements

So today we want to talk a little bit about planning for technology improvements in the new year. First off, we want to get through just to show you some of the basics of why more customers are texting and why that's the way to reach them.

According to Pew Research, 81% of Americans now own a smartphone, that's around 300 million people in the US. 78% of buyers say checking, sending and answering text messages is the primary way they use their phone. And 61% of people admit to spending more time texting daily since 2022 or since 2020. So you've seen that growth and you've seen over the pandemic that more people are using text messaging, more people are using smartphones and it's not just young people. A lot of the misconception is that this is, text messaging is a youth movement but it's actually across all generations and all people in the US. 81% of Americans on a smartphone and 78% say checking and answering text messages is the way they use them.

So that's the key here is to make sure you're capturing customers and meeting customers where they want to be, which is text messaging. So SMB technology problems here, that we're just going to talk about some of the issues and then get to some of the answers. So first off, 80% of small businesses are not taking full advantage of digital tools and that means texting also. 40% believe digital tools are not relevant for their business. That may be the case for you, but it's probably not, because we know that a lot more people are text messaging like I showed you in the slide before. And we know that people are embracing new technologies. Customers are. So you need to be able to embrace them yourself and you need to meet customers where they want to be.

The biggest barrier for small businesses is not being aware of the benefits of digital tools. So some might just say, "This isn't relevant from a business," but they don't realize how many customers are actually texting, how many customers are actually using these digital tools. And that's the key here, is you want to make sure that you know how many people are using text messaging. And this is a graph that we have from just the dealers that use us. We've seen a 55% increase in text message volume per dealer year over year, and dealers are now completing entire transactions via text, sales and service. And that's new. So a lot of dealers are saying we need to bump up our texting and because that's where customers want to be and we want to meet customers where they want to be.

Also with text messaging with images, 80% increase in MMS message volume per dealer year over year. And when pictures are sent back and forth, it usually indicates a service upsell or a serious sales engagement. So if you're using the text messaging platform, you're able to send pictures, especially in your service department, you're able to send pictures of the parts that you're using, the damage that's done or things that you're fixing. You're able to show customers exactly what you're talking about and that's key. You can't do that over the phone when you're talking, you can describe what it is, but you can actually show them via text. You can send them the picture and show them what's going on. And that's what we're trying to do.

Solutions to technology problems

We're trying to make sure that you're able to send customers these texts and be able to meet them in the digital platform that they're used to and familiar. So finding solutions, four ways to integrate technology, provide contact information. Have a place to store contact information, of course in the platform that we have as you're texting. As contacts come in, you're able to get their information and put them there. Have an online presence of course. Do you have a website? A place for customers to reach you? If you have a website, we use the “text us” button that you can have at the bottom of your website. So you can have the customers click that and they can reach you that way. But you also need a texting platform, some way for them to reach you that's not your personal line because you don't want customers texting you in the middle of the night or you don't want customers texting you at off hours. You don't want to give out that personal line. You want to make sure all this is done through your existing business phone line.

So offer online payment options. Do you offer text-to-pay? Can customers pay for service items? So a lot of businesses have shifted to text-to-pay and a lot of customers are used to this. So if you don't have text-to-pay or you don't have an online payment option, you need to start to think about it because a lot of customers are probably going to ask you about it. And it happened over the pandemic, it popped up quicker than a lot of dealers thought. But now that customers see what text-to-pay is, they want to do it more. And then use efficient software. So is the system the best way to reach you and communicate with customers. So make sure that you are able to communicate easily and communicate efficiently with customers.

So, create a texting plan for 2023. Start by setting up a communication platform for your business using texting not phone calls. Try developing solutions like standardizing workloads. Push back deadlines that are not urgent, focus on keeping service department and sales running smoothly. Automate certain tasks and then consider adding text-to-pay. And I'll go through text-to-pay just real quick so you know exactly what it's like and what it does and why customers are gravitating towards it. It's really gained momentum during the pandemic and it hasn't stopped. It's all about customer convenience and contactless interaction. So it's about customers saying "Hey, this is an easy way to reach us, an easy way to pay for things and get my equipment back easy and be on my way." Easy to do. Remote payments, cards aren't going away but we'll shift to remote payments. It's all about simplicity and convenience. So some of the data around text-to-pay. We've seen 85% faster payment collection via text-to-pay and that's just the dealers that use us and once they've adopted it, they've seen that growth and that quickness because customers are gravitating towards it.

Payment is on time nearly every time. 45 minutes is the average time per person in the service department during the day. That's the time you've saved. And especially if you have multiple people, dozens of people in your service department over the day, each of them saves 45 minutes because you're able to send them that link, they're able to send it right back to you and you're able to have them pay for something and you can meet them outside. You don't have to clog up your service bay and you don't have to clog up your showroom with stuff that you may or may not be selling. You can just meet them outside, they don't have to pay for, they don't have to bring their credit card into the showroom or credit card to you and have to type down the number or call in the credit card number.

They're filling that information out themselves with text-to-pay and then they're sending it back to you. Some dealers are also now running 70% of their service payments through text-to-pay. And then 91% of customers prefer text-to-pay when they start using it. This is going back to what I was talking about, customers already see that text-to-pay is the trend. They've already seen it with a lot of businesses and so once they've seen it, they gravitate towards it because they know how easy and convenient it is. And that's the key here. So we want to make sure the experience for the customers as easy as possible and it's what they want. So it's something that they are gravitating towards and something that you hopefully will be offering to them because you want to meet them where they want to be.

So why use text-to-pay? Collect deposits and payments via text message from sales and service, collect service tickets and special order price with a 98% open rate, allow for after-hours pickups and remote drop-offs by collecting pre-payments. Increase over the phone sales and offer curbside pickup, get paid faster and reduced accounts receivable and next day funding and a hundred percent secure. So this is what it looks like right here. This is the platform that you'll see. This is the text message interaction. You click on the bottom icon down there and then you enter the information, the amount, the invoice and the description and then the customer fills it out. So this is what the customer will see, they'll see your information, your details and how much, and then they'll see your logo at the top and you can choose which logo you want. However, that's going to look for your customer.

You can also use that when you're texting them for the first time or trying to say, "You'll know it's from us because you'll see our logo at the top." So build that trust and make sure that the customer feels comfortable filling out all the information and sending it back to you. Really simple, really easy. Takes about a minute for them to fill out that information and they're entering their credit card information, they're not giving it to you over the phone, they're not bringing it into the showroom, they're filling all this information out themselves. Less of a chance of something being transposed or something being wrong because they're doing this themselves. So really simple, really easy in what the customer's looking for.

Locations with text-to-pay. We have 1,600 plus locations using text-to-pay on a regular basis. And this graph is just the last two years. So pretty much down from like 75 now to 1,600 plus. So we've seen that text-to-pay growth over the last couple years. And the same with the text-to-pay volume, 15 times growth per month in two years. So more than $14.5 million is run through text-to-pay in March of 2022. So we've seen that growth, that's just through March. That's not compounded, you know added as each month, that kind of thing. That's just through March of 2022. We've seen that much money run through. So you see that growth, it's going up and up. It's because people are using text-to-pay and once they've used it, they want to keep using it. And that's the key here.

So the six benefits of texting, generating more leads from a website widget, that's the little “text us” button that I was talking about earlier. Generating dozens of five star reviews and standing out online to sell more units. Use video chat and sales and service for more effective communication. Collect deposits and payments from sales and service customers via text message. Save time and sell more by sending photos, videos and surveys. And then text from your existing business phone line instead of your personal line. So the key here, couple key takeaways. This is done through existing business phone line. So this platform, you don't have to give out your personal cell number and you don't have to get a new number. We just call your carrier and we set that all up. And then text-to-pay, it's where customers are at, are wanting to gravitate towards. So it's something you just want to meet customers where they want to be.

Technology's not daunting. It's becoming more and more easy to navigate. And especially as we head into 2023, it's a great time to start using new technologies and meeting customers where they want to be. So just being able to offer something to customers that they're asking for or being able to offer customers a new tool so that you can capture those leads, communicate with them more efficiently. That's the key here, we want to make sure that we are trying to capture all those leads that come in and trying to make sure we're communicating efficiently with those customers that we have. If you want a free demo, please text or call us. We can show you exactly what that would look like for your business, some of the other features that we have, like reviews and lead generation, that kind of thing. So we can show you exactly what that looks like.

Thanks so much for your time, really appreciate it and have a great rest of your week.

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