Is anyone using a texting solution for service successfully and if so which vendor do you recommend?

Tracy Gell

We've got some funds to use for service and they can only be used in a couple of ways. One of which is a texting solution for service. Has anyone had good luck with this and do you have a particular vendor you would recommend using? Have you found any issues or pitfalls with the system you're using for texting? I appreciate any help I can get with this one as I've not tried this before.

David Yasnoff

Our view is that #6 is THE critical issue for big dealerships, dealer groups and OEMs.  ...and yes our product is also used during the repair to exchange messages/calls and pictures.  Sorry if I didn't make that clear.  

Even though it sounds like you're a competitor I'd urge you to consider how you can offer to protect dealerships from liability.  While many of them won't bring it up in a meeting it's the "elephant in the room."  It's widely known Lithia Group paid $2.5 to settle an SMS lawsuit...  and we're in the same state so we're very familiar with that case.  

Whatever gains are afforded by texting with customers are all wiped out and then some if a dealership has to pay out a settlement anywhere near that size.  So step one (again in our view) to growing SMS in the auto space is to provide liability protection.  That protection can only be offered if you're 100% certain you know the laws about this exactly, your tech works perfectly and prevents misuse/abuse and that you can backup a guarantee with real resources.  

We've addressed all those issues and therefore we offer our service at a significant premium above what most providers charge because we are solving two problems for the buyer... problem 1 is using SMS to drive business.  Problem 2 not getting fired and/or driving their company into bankruptcy by selecting a cut rate provider.  

I hope that's helpful and I sincerely embrace competition in this area so we can all share the burden of educating buyers and growing the market.  

 

Gabe Peizner

Tracy,

The number of messaging platforms in the auto space that do texting is increasing at an alarming rate so your options are going to be plentiful in finding the right solution. If I were to give advice, I'd focus on these questions when demoing a texting platform:

1. Will my customers be able to text my Google branded business number or do they provide a new number other than your business number?

2. How fast will my customers receive these messages?

3. Are you able to text every cell provider on the market?

4. How will I be notified that I've received a message?

5. Do you have any integration capabilities with my CRM/DMS?

Hope this helps,

Gabe Peizner

David Yasnoff

I respectfully disagree with Gabe's view of the most important factors in determining a provider but Zipwhip and SendSmart.com take a different approach to SMS in the auto industry.  While the factors he lists are worth considering any reputable providers can deliver on all 5.   Ultimately it's up to you as the customer to decide what matters most to you, and if liability is a concern I'm confident we have the best solution.  If price is your chief concern zipwhip may be a better choice for you.  

RIck Cuesta

In our group, we have used communication products from Kaarma for years.  Their texting application is user friendly and flexible.  I highly recommend it.

Leila Mozaffarian

Poor Tracy, she is never asking for advise again because of all these, myself included, vendors! I think that is the one thing we can all agree on! Haha

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