How do you use Text Messages?

Cheryl Lynn
Hi Shannon: I never refer my clients to have their salespeople texting the client. Ooooo, too close for comfort. If anything happens with the salesman, he has the client's cell phone number? Text messages should always be in control by the dealership not the employees. We do provide salespeople with a mobile business card but it is always driven back to the main dealership phone number. All customers have the dealership phone number and not the salesmen's cell. Hope this helps, Shannon :)
Shannon Hammons
Why wouldn't you want the salesman to have the customer's number. People are more likely to respond to the salesman by text than any other method. I don't understand your thinking. Please inform me.
Jake McCracken
I would have to agree with Shannon. I have never thought twice about one of our salespeople having the customer cell #, and or the opposite. As far as the original question, I am interested to see some other views on this, because we have talked about using text more frequently. As of now, we use text on a case by case basis that the salesperson will find out in their talks with the customer. We have had several deals that the majority of the process was done via text.
Russ Chandler
We use Contact at Once for chat with our website which actually includes text interface. We self-manage our chat and have setup each of our locations with a number customers can use to text us with. When place the text number at the beginning of the vehicle description as well as put the number up outside the dealership for customers driving by or through the lot. When a customer texts us using the number the conversation comes through the same interface as a chat would making it easy to manage. Each salesman also can make outbound texts to customers using the chat software which is setup with the proper opt-in or opt-out permission process for the customer. In other words they can just text back STOP there fore disabling the ability to text that number. Since its part of chat software it gives us full reporting with conversation scripts and tracking. The feature is no extra cost and once you have the text number you can use it any way you would like. Placing it in the VDP page of the vehicle allows us to get the right text number for each location on only their inventory for those who have multiple locations. Place the number in your auto-description, opener for descriptions and there ya go. Check it out>>
Alicia Harris
Salespeople definitely need to have the ability to correspond with customers via text. Doesn't everyone find texting a very convenient method of communication? If so, empower your salespeople to text your customers and give them the tools to do it. You will want to make sure you use a permission-based system and that a third party manages those opt-ins, opt-outs. Make sure this communication is trackable in your CRM tool. Salespeople are texting their customers anyway. You may as well get on board, embrace it and track it.
Jared Hamilton
I personally have a hard time with the argument that sales people should not have customers cell phone numbers, although Cheryl brings up a common concerns. My response is that since the dawn of time time, our sales people have always had customers phone numbers - why are cell numbers treated any different?? By the logic that sales people having/keeping customers numbers is too dangerous for business, simply ask yourself if you ban sales people from keeping customers business cards. I think the argument is based out of discomfort with technology. A few months back I bought a new car, and the whole deal was done over text messaging, including delivering the numbers and me passing over my drivers liscense etc. Oh, they did send me a video walk around via youtube, then mailed the paperwork and shipped the car. I encourage dealers to embrace text messaging. Its HIGHLY effective at communicating with customers. That said, I also completely advocate that sales people do have to be trained to text properly, like they should be trained at face to face, phone and email communication skills. Ideally, as alicia said, texting should be managed in the CRM system so you can track and manage the communication preferences properly.

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