Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dealership’s Use of Mobile

The last 2 months have been crazy for me. Between work, school, and my wife and I having our second baby, I have been very busy.  Because of my busy schedule, it has caused me to work more “mobile” than ever before. Almost every email I have read or responded to was from my phone, please excuse the brevity and any typos if you received an email from me recently.

This week DealerSocket had its annual User Summit in Dana Point, California  The summit was a great opportunity for users of DealerSocket to come together and share best practices and also learn how to better use DealerSocket.  My presentation at the summit was about how dealerships can better use mobile.  I thought I would pass along some of the things I discussed.

When I began my session I asked the attendees to raise their phones, I was very pleased to see that almost everyone had a smart phone; thank goodness I didn’t see any “Jitter Bug” phones.  In my research, I was amazed that there are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers in the world.  That’s 77% of the world population.  We are even seeing a big shift with the use of mobile phones; in fact 1 in 4 households have a mobile phone, but no landline.

Mobile, it’s the device we all have, it’s always on, it’s always within an arm’s reach, and allows us to have instant access to everything on Google. It’s no surprise why mobile phones are popular; they seem to do everything as the tagline says, “there’s an app for that”.  The real benefit of mobile is the fact that it is the world’s first personal mass medium device.  Never before has one person had the power to broadcast something that has the potential of reaching the whole world. 

It is important that we understand how dealerships can use mobile.

Mobile Marketing:

Texting:  Although I am against bulk text messaging,  having your salespeople communicate to their customers via text has its advantages.  Text messages have a 98% open rate and for the customer who aren’t returning your calls this can be a good alternative.

Email:  We understand how important email marketing is but, do we understand that 70 million mobile users access email through their phone? That 35% of mobile users check their email first thing in the morning before they do anything else?  This makes you rethink when the best time to send out an email is. Other questions I ask myself are, are your emails mobile friendly?  Do they look good on a phone?  Does it encourage people to access mobile content?

Social Media:  35% of mobile users use Social Media on their phone.  Are you using Social Media for Marketing, Public Relations, Branding, Product Knowledge?  Is your Social Media content valuable for your customers or are you always selling?  Are you monitoring what others are saying about you?  I love to use HootSuite to monitor Twitter and Facebook.

Mobile Website:

Do you have a mobile website?  It should be a condensed version of your website. With 24/7 access to key information like contact info, directions, special, and inventory.  It should be a medium that converts visits to leads.


Mobile App:

Having something that your customers can save to their devices is critical, even if it is simply a shortcut to your mobile website.  Are you giving your customers an incentive to access your mobile content?

One example, DealerSocket recently came out with the “Customer Mobile Portal” that allows the dealership’s customers to have access to key information that is similar to what they would see on a mobile website, but with the ability to be integrated with your CRM (DealerSocket) to see their service history, set service appointments (Pushing in to the DMS), and appraise their vehicle.  The customers have access to your specials and inventory including images of the vehicles.  It links with your social media.  There is even a way to push announcements and marketing to the device.  The best part is that it works on all devices (iPhones, iPad, Androids, and BlackBerrys) and not does not need to be downloaded.

Mobile Dealer:

Is your dealership using mobile to assist in processes?  Are leads being sent to phones so salespeople know instantly when a lead has been received?  If they respond to the lead on their phone does it stop the clock?  Make sure if there are interactions with the customer on the phone that info gets back into the CRM.  Do your salespeople have access to your inventory from their phone?

These are all things that can help your dealership.  What are your thoughts?

About Hunter Swift

Hunter Swift is the Director of Sales Development at DealerSocket and has been with the company since 2005. In addition to his current role, he has fulfilled the responsibilities of customer support, consulting, training, and sales. Hunter specializes in helping dealerships improve sales and follow-up processes through the use of CRM technology. He is known for his ability to connect with people and demonstrate his knowledge to help others solve their problems. Hunter honed his dealership skills as a salesperson prior to joining DealerSocket. He has earned a Business Degree from Pepperdine University. Hunter can be reached at hswift@dealersocket.com and on social media at @HunterSwift.

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