How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 3)
TRANSCRIPT: Let’s talk about connecting today’s connected customer. What I want you to understand is please, don’t get hung up on popularity. Okay? All communication channels are valid because all communication channels are in play. That means email is in play. Right? That means phone is in play. That means direct mail is in play. They’re all in play. They all have a place and they all can show some ROI.
Let’s talk for example about Facebook Messenger or texting. I still get asked all the time. When I do 20 group, and I do lots of 20 groups, I get asked all the time, “Hey Steve, should we be texting to our customers?” I think, “Texting? Are you kidding me?” Texting overtook mobile voice in 2007. Of course you text your customers.
Here’s the reason you want to text your connected customers today, they prefer it. See, it’s flexible. They can respond when they want. They like that. It’s effective. 90% of all the texts that you send are read within 3 minutes. It’s efficient. Connected customers like text messaging because it limits unnecessary greetings and the exchange of irrelevant information.
I’m going to let that sink in for a second.
Now I’m going to repeat it. Because when you talk on the phone using old school word tracks, you use a lot of unnecessary greetings and you exchange a lot of irrelevant information. Somebody calls and they say, “Hey, I’m looking at this minivan that you’ve got on AutoTrader. Is it still in stock?” You ask them how they’re doing. You ask them how their day is going. You try to build rapport, which you can’t do over the phone, with someone you’ve never met.
Then you do one of the dumbest things ever and you say, “Is it just minivans you’re looking at? Are you also looking at midsize SUVs?” See, they’ve called you because they chose your vehicle out of the millions that are for sale online right now and they want to buy it. When they said, “Is it still in stock,” they’re actually saying, “I want to buy that vehicle.” They do not want unnecessary greetings. Back to why millennials and connected customers like texting, it’s efficient. It eliminates unnecessary greetings and the exchange of irrelevant information.
All right, let’s go through some quick texting dos and don’ts because these are important with today’s connected customer.
Do provide texting options on all your websites, especially mobile.
Don’t allow employees to text unmonitored from their own phones. We’ll do some math in a second on how much that costs you.
Do enable the texting options in your CRM. Now some of you are thinking, “Steve, that module costs me $300 a month.” I’m going to show you why it’s worth it in just a second. One of the main reasons that you want to enable the texting options in your CRM is because you want to be able to have templates for your team to use, and you want to have a recording long term of all the text messages that went back and forth with a prospect.
Now don’t treat your text messages like they’re short emails, they’re not.
Do treat your text messages, your chats, and your Facebook Messenger messages like mini phone calls because that’s what they are.
Don’t pile up your text messages, meaning if you sent someone a text message today and they haven’t responded to that, wait until tomorrow to send the next text.
Do use templates, and always proofread everything that you send out.
Now why should you only text through the CRM? There’s something called the TCPA, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA provides fines up to $1,500 per offending text and requires a lot of things that your CRM tool can help you with or your texting application can help you with.
For example, the TCPA requires that you get expressed written consent to opt in, including with your existing customer base. It also requires that you provide opt-out and help instructions, and that you indicate the frequency of the texts. The TCPA, you need to indicate that messages may come from auto dialers, you need to disclose possible carrier costs and fees, and you need the content that you send to match the initial opt-in request.
This is all important. When you let your sales rep text from their own mobile device, they’re not following the TCPA. They’re not following all the simple rules I just went through.
Here’s the biggest reason you want to use your CRM or your texting tool, and that is because fines can add up quickly. Be sure to stay compliant by using a reliable texting program or enable the texting option in your CRM.
Let’s do some quick TCPA math. Let’s say you have 10 salespeople, only 10, and those 10 salespeople only send 5 offending texts per day per salesperson. They text 5 people in their database once a day, that’s it. After 5 days at $1,500 per text, your fine could be $375,000, after 5 days. Believe me, whatever the texting program you’re looking at costs, it costs a whole lot less than that. Enable this in your CRM or get the texting option, or get a texting tool rather.
By the way, the texting opt-in is not a license to spam. It is a privilege, and you need to use this privilege sparingly. See, connected customers say that SMS, texting, is the most personal form of communication for most of them. Right? Think about it. Text messages I answer right away. If I don’t recognize a phone number, I don’t answer it. Right?
The same thing with connected customers. They just don’t do that. They read every text that they get, and it’s a very personal form of communication. Sell at your own peril, because remember, the content that you send in a text must match the initial opt-in request.
If somebody opted in to get oil change coupons from you, and you send them a friends and family pricing or 0% financing or a lease special, you have just violated the TCPA and you could be subject to fines. More than anything else, you’ve broken trust with that customer. How do we make sure that we’re compliant? Remember, I’m not an attorney, but I’m take you through a few things to make sure that you can remain compliant with the TCPA and at the same time not anger your customers.
I would start with a simple online opt-in. This is simply a disclaimer on our forms. Right? Says something like, this is just at the bottom or with an asterisk on the form near the submit button, “By providing my phone number, I authorize the dealership, yada-yada-yada. I recognize I’m not required to enter into such an agreement as a condition of purchase, and that I could receive up to two text messages per month and that standard message and data rates may apply.”
That’s a simple online opt-in, and you can have that on your website, and you should have that on your website. You should have an asterisk on every form so that they understand when they submit that form that they’re agreeing to that. You’re always going to use what we call a double opt-in. Okay? This is where your texting program will save you. This is where your CRM, if you enable texting, will save you.
To ensure compliance, you always need to use a double opt-in when you get a e-lead form. When you get a lead form from your own website and they’ve given you a phone number and they’ve obviously given you consent to text, you need to send them a double opt-in like this, “Steve’s Toyota is confirming a request to send message. Reply A to allow, S to stop, H for help. Message and data rates apply.”
See, there is no guarantee, and any of you who answer Internet leads know what I’m talking about, there’s no guarantee that the prospect entered the correct phone number, is there? Without the double opt-in, you could be sending spam and violating the TCPA because the person’s number that they did enter never did opt in, did they? Okay? Make sure that you use the double opt-in before sending any sales message so that you don’t violate the TCPA.
Now simply put, this is a double opt-in. Steve’s Toyota is confirming. Simple as that. When they reply to allow, you’re set, and you can start having conversations with them.
You also want to make sure that you have some offline opt in options. On your repair orders and similar in dealership documents, in the F&I office, you want to have people sign off. You want to make sure that they’ve signed off on a texting opt-in that requires at least their initials if not their signature. On your RO, you want to have something similar to what I just wrote or the online, and you want to have them just sign off on that.
To gain texts, to gain consumers and their numbers and the ability to text them, to market that to consumers, you want to use in dealership signage. Especially in the service waiting room, you should offer the option to have texting options.
Here’s a sign that could be in your service waiting. “Would you like to receive service coupons and offers on your mobile device? Text OFFERS to 12345.” Then I said right on the note, “Standard message and data rates apply.” Now the double opt-in, once I submit that, should fire automatically. Someone should get the message that we’re confirming that you wanted to opt in.
Now when you do mass text marketing, when you’re going to send mass texts to your database, I want you to understand, even though they’ve opted in, even though they’ve double opted in, this really is a service play. Because again, SMS, texting, is the most personal form of communication for most connected customers.
If I just bought a car from you three months ago and you start telling me about your lease specials, I’m not only going to opt out and you’re going to lose me in your database because it has no value for me, you’ve just broken some more trust with me. If you’re going to do mass text marketing, at least today it really is just a service place. Coupons and offers work best, but you want to make sure that you segment your database and that you don’t spam.
Let’s say you have 30,000 people in your database. If you sent all 30,000 of them a free oil change or 30% off your next oil change, something like this, and let’s say 1% showed up at your dealership today, could you handle that many extra oil changes today? That’s 300 oil changes, just 1%.
What I like to do is I like to take the last service of 120 to 150 days ago. If their last service was in that range, 120 to 150 days ago, then I might send them this coupon. No matter what, I’m not going to text them more than once every 90 days, and I’m going to assure that my team has capacity before I send that out.
If I have a thousand people that could potentially receive that text today, that’s probably okay. Right? If I get a 1-2% response, that’s 10 to 20 oil changes today, I’m going to be all right with that. If when I run my database and I find out that I could actually text to 5,000 people today, I’m going to break that up and send that out over 5 or 6 days.
All right, what about Facebook Messenger? Because I know a lot of you are thinking about that. You’ve heard about it. Should we do it? The answer is yes, you should use Facebook Messenger, and it’s really easy to set up. I want to make sure you understand, it’s not a bunch of crazy voodoo that you have to do. I would prefer, if I were you, to work with my chat provider or my CRM partner on this.
Now with Messenger you can send inventory, videos, images, offers. You can book your sales appointments. You can book service appointments through that. These are easy to set up. You can use chatbots to manage most conversations. Okay? Again, that’s easy to set up. Again, this is not something you should be doing in the dealership. I personally would leverage my chat partner or my CRM partner.
Now some of you might be going, “Steve, I’m not sure if we have Facebook Messenger set up.” Listen, if you have a Facebook page for business that you’ve claimed, then you already have Messenger for business. It’s already set up. People can already contact you through Messenger. Again, work with your chat company, your texting company, your CRM company to get Messenger put on your websites and to make sure that you’ve got your chatbot set up.