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The True Cost Of Communication Gaps At Your Dealership

[fa icon="calendar"] June 20, 2019

9 minute read
the true cost of communication gaps at your dealership

Keeping the lines of communication open with employees and customers at a busy automotive dealership is challenging when you have so many other areas to consider. While communication may seem like a minor issue, a gap in it can become extremely costly.

Customers today do not answer phones, emails end up in the spam folder, and direct mail goes straight into the trash bin. Making it hard to find an effective way to communicate effectively and efficiently with consumers.

Take for instance, asking customers to open and reply to a manufacturer's survey. It seems like only the very few dissatisfied customers actually make a point of opening and responding to your customer satisfaction index survey. So how does a dealer encourage happy customers to reply to the surveys?

Sending text message requests to customers asking nothing more than please open and reply to the survey results in an average increase of 208% to survey open rates. Happy customers responding to these surveys improve CSI scores and retention while improving future business.

FCA dealership case study that proves the cost of closing communication gaps

Another example is getting customers to actually show up to their scheduled appointments. A gap of communication between your service department and your customers will cost your dealership revenue.

Results of an analysis performed in April 2018 on 126 FCA dealerships revealed sending customers automated appointment reminders via text message had an average of 6% higher show rate than dealerships who do not send appointment reminders. Here are more results of dealerships that used TEXT2DRIVE’s appointment reminders:

  • Generated an additional $15,200 per month in gross repair order revenue over the dealers that did not deploy automated appointment reminders*
  • Enjoyed a 74% show rate with appointment reminders compared to 68% with no appointment reminders
  • Scheduled an average of 660 appointments per month, with an average of $380 per repair order (RO)

tools that close communication gaps at no extra cost

Tools That Close Communication Gaps While Increasing Revenue, Efficiency & CSI Scores

The cost of communication gaps between your customers and employees can truly affect your dealership's efficiency, CSI score, and revenue. The solution is TEXT2DRIVE's text message marketing and sales communication platform.

Designed specifically for auto dealerships, TEXT2DRIVE™ is an innovative communications platform that utilizes two-way text messaging and other powerful features, such as recommended repair videos and TEXTcoupons, that allows your service department to become more profitable.

  • Recommended repair videos generated a 148% increase in repair order totals.
  • Texting coupons earned Hawkinson Nissan an additional $168K in only 9-months.
  • Declined service reminders via text message provided an average of $409 per RO total.
  • Customers who received service reminders brought in an average repair order total of $294.

The software includes a parts interface you can use to quickly check on the availability of parts and place orders for parts. You can feel confident knowing your employees can execute repairs successfully and re-stock inventory in a timely manner. Dealerships have experienced a 54% decrease in parts obsolescence with SO Parts Notices.

texting safety recalls returned a monthly ROI of $48k in warranty revenue

You can transform vehicle safety recalls into powerful sources of revenue for your service department with automated recall notices sent to customers who have an open recall on their vehicle. The software also allows you to set your preferences so we can do the rest. Texting safety recalls returns a monthly average ROI of 523%.

Recall notifications netted Avondale Dodge about an additional $48K per month in warranty revenue!

The last thing your dealership and manufacturers need is for low CSI scores to become public via third parties such as J.D. Power. Take control of your CSI surveys by deploying to customers via automated text messages. These requests are sent automatically following each service appointment.

Text communications are convenient and the preferred method among 94% of consumers with a 98% average open rate and 90 second median response time.

And by using one of our personalized automated survey templates, it will demonstrate that you care about the experience they had at your dealership and increase the chances of request completion.

text message communications saved us 40 hours per month and closed the gap

Sandberg Volvo Cars benefited greatly from this feature:

  • CSI scores increased by 35.2% from 71% to 96%!
  • Service advisors saved 40 hours per month by skipping voice calls and utilizing text messaging.

Speed CheckOut™ gives your customers the option to skip long checkout lines (typically 20-minute waits) and pay invoices securely via their mobile device within 3-minutes. They resolve their bill quickly and you get paid faster. Plus, customers will appreciate the convenience that text-to-pay offers them when it comes time to fill out that survey request.

Don’t be shackled to your desk. Take advantage of TEXT2DRIVE’s mobile app and tablet interface. Service technicians can send customers videos showing them exactly what needs to be repaired on their vehicle, gaining their trust with this transparency. Plus video walkarounds save your service department headaches from legal fault battles and high fines. 

Our new release of this mobile app includes the ability to add media such as text, pictures and videos to each customer’s repair order. Doing so ensures the customer is notified every time media is updated to their timeline, saving your employees valuable time in the process. 

Customer-to-Dealer Website Features Are Low Cost But Powerful Communication Tools

Interact website features drive revenue for your sales and service departments by making it easy for customers to directly contact the correct staff and receive special offers. Each of these features adapts to any website or device for seamless integration.

Dealerships receive alerts whenever one of these features is engaged and every interaction is stored in the TEXT2DRIVE™ platform. This allows administrators to monitor and analyze SMS activity via detailed reports compiled by the software. Plus, they follow all FCC and TCPA legal compliance requirements.

  1. TEXTconnect connects customers to any employee directly.
  2. TEXTcoupons is a green-friendly way to get customers the coupons they want, when they want them.
  3. TEXTvehicle sends viewers information and pictures about a vehicle that they are interested in.
  4. LIVEchat helps people in real-time while controlling the days and times this widget is displayed.
  5. TEXT4appointment is great for new purchases and service center appointments with multi-location finder.
  6. TEXTmarketing will double opt-in your viewers for future marketing promotions legally and effectively. 
  7. TEXTme begins a text conversation between your customers and any dealership employee so they can get their questions answered faster.

TEXT2DRIVE is truly automated and improves communication gaps

While similar platforms claim to be automated, most require manual effort such as uploading spreadsheets. TEXT2DRIVE™ is truly automated. It was designed to automatically deploy 17 unique alerts including:

  • Service reminders
  • Appointment calendar invite
  • Vehicle status updates
  • Speed CheckOut™ mobile bill pay
  • Service follow-up and thank you
  • Customer satisfaction index (CSI) survey request
  • Safety recall messages
  • And more

TEXT2DRIVE is the investment that pays off with improved communications

An Investment That Pays Off

TEXT2DRIVE™ CEO and founder Gregg Owen is an attorney who ensures that the communication platform is legally compliant in every way, meets all Federal regulations, and closes gaps other softwares don't. Saving you costs from high fines and legal disputes such as these three situations:

  1. One of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S., paid $2.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit for text messaging customers and failing to provide the ability to opt out of future text messages.
  2. If you send a marketing message to customers who have specified they only want transactional messages, you could be legally liable like Jiffy Lube was. They were fined $47 million for texting an oil change discount to customers who did not opt-in to receive them.
  3. If you don’t get written or recorded permission from customers to do extra work on their vehicles, they are completely within their rights to refuse payment. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, for example, ruled a consumer didn’t have to pay a dealership $5,000 since they couldn’t prove the repairs were authorized.

In addition to all of the aforementioned features and more, TEXT2DRIVE™ is intuitive, user-friendly and easy to learn. Anyone who has used the text messaging app on their phone can learn to use the software. You will save valuable time and money by avoiding spending long hours training employees who are not tech savvy.



Rick Walters says, “I do not embrace technology in any way… but it has made my job a lot easier and customers are just elated.”

Most importantly, TEXT2DRIVE™ works:

  • Courtesy Acura saw a 72% increase in response rates to its CSI surveys and a spike in its customer satisfaction score.
  • Woodhouse Auto Family went from reaching less than 10% of their customers using old methods of communication for customer follow-up to reaching over 75% of its customers through text messaging.
  • Fort Wayne Toyota achieved its highest service reminder response rate to date.
  • Hebert's Town & Country increased its CSI survey completion rate by 208%.

TEXT2DRIVE™ offers dealerships true automation, a robust suite of marketing tools, a large variety of daily reports, a dedicated customer success manager, and integration with every major DMS and your BDC.

The cost of TEXT2DRIVE’s marketing and sales software varies, but even with our standard package you will close many communication gaps. Also, pricing packages are flexible and you can always upgrade anytime to gain access to more tools. The basic level of our text marketing and sales software includes unlimited users, mobile app, employee-to-employee messenger and group chat, video messaging and multi-messaging, several interfaces, texting templates, and so much more.

Add-ons include Interact, Speed CheckOut, Voice Calls and Text Recalls. Promotions and co-op incentives are available as well.  

You can see for yourself how simple the platform is to master and get pricing by requesting an interactive demo of TEXT2DRIVE™ today.

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Related Articles

  1. Watch How You Can Start Driving Sales To Your Dealership
  2. 10 Stats Proving When Dealerships Text, They Sell More Vehicles
  3. Open Lines Of Communication With Customers To Increase CSI & Revenue

Topics: customer communication, dealership, dealerships, Effective Communication, Improved Communication, text communication, better communication, text communications, communication, cost of communication gaps, general dealership

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