Auto/Mate’s new Texting engine was designed to facilitate SMS communications with sales and service customers.

Auto/Mate’s new Texting engine was designed to facilitate SMS communications with sales and service customers.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Auto/Mate Dealership Systems today unveiled “Texting,” a new engine built into its dealership management system (DMS) that allows users to quickly communicate with customers in a more effective way than with phone calls and email.

Both sales and service employees can use Texting for a variety of functions designed to deliver a better customer experience, sell more products and services, and reduce wasted time playing phone tag, according to Mike Esposito, the company’s president and CEO.

“Auto/Mate’s Texting is simpler and far less expensive than most tools currently available in the market,” Esposito said. “Texting allows dealers to meet customer expectations, have a written record of messages sent and received, and improves customer perception of their brand.”

Auto/Mate designed its Texting engine to be as familiar and easy to use as an everyday messaging application on a smartphone. When incoming texts are received from customers, dealership personnel receive an alert from the DMS. The Texting engine includes the ability to manage “do not text” records, create message templates and send welcome messages.

According to the Global Mobile Messaging Consumer Report recently published by Twilio, nine out of 10 consumers want to use messaging to communicate with brands, and 66 percent of consumers prefer messaging over any other means of communication. The report also found that consumers are more likely to opt-in for notifications from a messaging app than any other type of app, making it more likely for messages to be received through that medium.

“The increased opt-in rates and use of messaging allows dealership personnel to communicate with a higher percentage of their customer base on a regular basis, which is critical for establishing and maintaining relationships,” Esposito said.

In the sales department, texts can be sent to customers from within Auto/Mate’s CRM. The Texting engine can be used by salespeople and BDC agents to follow up with leads, set and confirm appointments, follow up with customers after a test drive, and more.

In the service department, texts can be sent to customers directly from a repair order or appointment screen in the DMS. Advisors and BDC agents can use messaging to send service reminders, appointment reminders, service recommendation approvals, vehicle status updates and notifications that a vehicle is ready for pick up.

“Texting is practical in service because it creates a written record of customer approvals and communications that can be used to identify issues within the dealership, retrieve details of discussions, monitor advisors and resolve customer conflicts,” Esposito said.

Additionally, using text messaging in the service department has proved to bring in more customers. The J.D. Power 2017 Customer Satisfaction Index Study revealed that 67% of customers who receive text message updates said they “definitely will” return to the dealership for paid service, versus just 55% of customers who were in contact only by phone. Despite this preference, only 3% of customers indicate they receive text message updates from their dealership.

“We have reached a point where dealerships must embrace and use texting, or they risk being perceived as behind the times,” Esposito said. “Our Texting engine makes it easy and affordable for dealerships to implement texting, delivering a better customer experience in both sales and service.”