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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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How Dealerships Survive in 2015

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How many of you grew up watching Star Trek™? 

Just about every episode involved the use of “sophisticated” technology, from communicators to universal translators and teleporters. If only they could see us now. Gartner predicts there will be 4.9 billion connected things in 2015, up from 3.8 billion this year...with the highest growth in the automotive industry. We now live in that sci-fi world. 

Does your dealership live there too? 

Any company whose processes and communications don’t make that transition is in danger of living in the past and missing opportunities. It’s not a “coolness” factor; it’s because consumers won’t be able to easily find or reach you. So use the advances society has made in communication to your advantage.

“Beam Me Up” via Mobile App? Or Text?

You can’t actually teleport shoppers into your dealership (yet), but you can piggyback on the tech they’re already using to reach and influence them.

  • Mobile text - Integrate permission-based texting into your processes. It’s a native application on most mobile phones (customers don’t have to download anything), giving you access to a screen that 4.55 billion mobile users and 1.75 billion smartphone users (according to eMarketer’s estimations) rarely ignore. Whether you want an easier way for mobile shoppers to self-identify or a way to follow up faster or re-engage unresponsive leads, texting can help.
  • Video - It’s not quite a holographic image, but sending customers personalized videos can really make an impact (65% of us are visual learners, says Social Science Research Network). Record and text videos to service customers for a more transparent, at-your-service impression. You could even stream video in a chat, demoing a feature in the exact car an online shopper is considering.
  • Mobile apps & chat - People do almost everything via smartphone, so give them personalized access to your dealership too. DMEautomotive’s “Mobile Marketing Guide” said that customers who downloaded a dealer’s mobile app were 73% more likely to make a vehicle purchase and made 25% more service appointments. Make sure there’s an easy, instant way for the customer to get in touch with you and your team too (like tap-to-text or mobile chat options).

Whatever you do, the key is to start transitioning your business into this sci-fi world we’re already living in. Better experiences, faster service and more meaningful connections await. In the meantime, I’m going to download an app to turn my smartphone into a Star Trek Communicator. Seriously, there’s an app for that.

Feel like you’re the only Vulcan stranded in a dealership of Klingons? Are you trying to pass along the need for change without much luck? Check out a few of our text and dealership chat resources and arm yourself for your next encounter of the boss kind.

Jeff Collins
Nice job. "The Internet of Things" This term will be used with frequency in the near future
Aaron Hassen
Thanks for your response, Jeff.

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