By Dave Close | Director of Operations, NEDA
In today’s world, texting has become a very powerful tool in the service department at your dealership.
Imaging your service technician working on a piece of equipment, has to stop because he/she needs approval from the customer to continue to do the job. This could take hours or even days before the customer gets back to you. By texting/video chatting from your phone with your customer you can get the approval within minutes!! Now the technician can continue with the job, get it finished and off to the customer. In the end, the customer is extremely happy and the technician can now move on to another job. No down time at the dealership. That sounds like more profits in your service department!
Your customers want to be heard, and by video chatting and texting this happens, and it happens quickly!
1. We found that our customers were just not responding to phone calls and many employees were using their personal cell phones to text customers. While these texts were more effective, the communication was limited between that one employee and the customer. We wanted a texting option that would be open and available to all employees, so if they could cover for each other and the customer experience was seamless. We reviewed about 4 different texting software companies. Based on the features, pricing and support, we chose Kenect.
2. We did it at all locations from the start. We kept all employees in the loop on it and talked it up to the stores as a tool to help them waste less time chasing down customers and to get less phone calls. That helped us get buy in internally.
3. It has had a huge impact across all departments. Our service departments probably uses it the most. They schedule appts, give customers updates and even send appt. reminders via Kenect. We have implemented Kenect into our website, so customers can even text our sales departments at each store to inquire about machines. We have also incorporated a “can receive texts” option on all our online lead forms so that sales reps can text customers right away. The response time and % to texts vs. emails or phone calls is much higher. We get “ghosted” a lot less. Parts likes Kenect because customers can easily send us pictures or video of the part they need. It’s a lot easier than verbal description or email. Our parts team, in turn, sends texts to customers when the part they ordered has arrived. It has saved our team and customers and lot of phone tag and time.
4. I think I may have combined a lot of this question in the past, but it has saved us a lot of time and current customers are leaning and more receptive towards texting as well.
5. Kenect’s onboarding is better than any other software onboarding we have ever had. They did an onboarding for each of our stores with a live video call. They even ran a contest for each store (the person with the most texts in the first two weeks got an Amazon gift card) to get buy-in from the employees and encourage software fluency. Ongoing support, you get a dedicated rep. He’s almost immediately available whenever we have an issue or question. They’ve been really friendly and helpful each and every time.
Our mission is to promote the general welfare of Northeast Equipment Dealer Members by supporting favorable legislation and providing programs and services to help reduce a dealers cost of doing business. We address issues affecting equipment dealers outside of their normal day-to-day business activities with their customers.