7 ways dealers can start a conversation today

Last Updated : July 25, 2023 — Sales

“How do we implement messaging and start chatting with consumers?”

It’s a question our team hears daily. And it’s no surprise. Messaging is changing the way dealerships do business. To stay relevant, dealerships are realizing they need to adopt messaging in order to attract today’s consumers.


Messaging is more than just live chat. Messaging isn’t about a single tool like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or SMS. It’s about how you view one-to-one conversations between consumers and your dealership. So how do you go about starting conversations with buyers on the messaging channels of their choice?


1. Start a conversation on your website


As simple as it sounds, your dealership’s website is the easiest place to start the messaging journey.

Car buyers today expect real-time, personalized interactions. And your website is the best place to offer it.

Whether it’s with a human or a chatbot, messaging on your website can help buyers navigate through your car portal, find the car they desire and arrange an in-person (or virtual) test drive.

It’s also a great conversion booster. Replacing the forms on your website with bots and messaging tools has proven to boost conversion rates significantly meaning you can turn more buyers into sales opportunities with just a conversation.


2. Outbound Campaigns

With over 90% open rates it’s no wonder dealerships are making full use of Outbound messaging .

But did you know that the WhatsApp campaigns you send out are also a great conversation starter?

The typical outbound WhatsApp campaign usually contains an offer/promotion with a link back to the dealer’s website. With a messaging first approach and the right automotive conversations platform, your outbound campaign could be the perfect start for a conversation that turns the consumer from a recipient to a qualified opportunity.


3. Inside your dealership

Now hear me out.

The typical service repair goes a little like this:

• Customer drops off car and told it’ll be ready for collection in the afternoon
• Car is placed in a queue until it’s time to go on the ramp
• Customer calls to check in 1-5 times to ask for an update
• Mechanic finds an issue which requires more work
• Mechanic calls customer but there’s no answer and waits for a call back
• Customer calls again for an update and gets frustrated that they weren’t told sooner about the issues
• They agree to the repairs and hang up
• The customer comes in to the dealership to pay for the work and collect their car

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately the servicing experience is one of the main reasons consumers fall out of love with dealerships.

But with messaging this no longer has to be the case. Invite car owners to opt in for messaging updates when they drop of their cars and keep them updated on their vehicle via the channels they use.

Extra work needed on the car? Drop them a message and take full advantages of the functionality of today’s messaging apps by sending images of the faulty parts. Once the customer agrees to go ahead, drop them an invoice which they can pay for with in-app messaging and deliver a frictionless experience.


4. Email

Similar to WhatsApp or SMS campaigns, use the outbound campaigns you send out to direct consumers into a conversation rather than directing them to your website.

And hey – if they don’t like emailing back and forth (I mean who does? 🤷🏾‍♂️) invite them to carry on the conversation on a platform they find more valuable like WhatsApp.


5. Social

Social media.

It plays a crucial role in everyone’s life. And as much as we hate to accept – it also consumes a significant chunk of our day. So where better to connect with your future customers than on the social media platforms they’re already on.

Connecting Facebook to your automotive messaging platform allows you to have 1-2-1 conversations at scale and tap into the billions of people already on those platforms.


6. Search

Every online journey starts with Google.

It’s how consumers today discover brands and businesses.

And while having a Google listing for your business is a great start. It isn’t enough to stand out.

Plug your messaging tool into your Google profile and give the consumers looking for your services the option to message you instantly.


7. Offline media

Whether it’s a billboard, a flyer, a blip in the sky or a receipt, you can now bring the offline online thanks to the use of QR Codes.

Just as kids today use SnapCodes to connect with one another, adding a QR code that leads consumers directly into a conversation with your team is another great way to start a conversation with your future customers.


Still stuck or looking for more ideas?

We’ve got you covered. Click the link below and speak with an automotive messaging specialist who will share with you a few more cool ways we’ve helped dealerships engage car buyers through messaging.

Talk to a messaging expert

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