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2019-02-07 Make Phone Tag a Thing of the Past . . .

Make Phone Tag a Thing of the Past . . .

By Christopher Leedom

CEO, Textmaxx Pro

 

How many of you reading this article are frustrated by the volume of voice mail—both left and received—during the average workday?  Whether it is for sales, service or collections, your staff leaves dozens if not hundreds of voice mails every day.  It has probably become one of the biggest drains of productivity and labor—but nevertheless necessary—until now.  Do I have you scratching your head a bit?

 

First, let me issue you a challenge.  Identify one employee in your dealership or finance company that interacts with your customer base on a daily basis—for instance, a salesperson, a collector or a service advisor.  Next, identify twenty customers that you need to communicate with that particular day.  If you are a working with a collector, pick twenty accounts that just became delinquent.  If you are in sales, pick twenty customers that need follow up.  Now, take ten of these customers and send them an SMS message initiating communication with them.  Sales, service, or collections—it doesn’t matter.  Then, take the next ten customers and call them, if you do not reach them, leave a voicemail initiating communication.

 

By the time you get done calling the ten “phone call” customers, chances are 50% of the SMS customers will have already texted you back!  Why?  It is because the 93% of SMS messages are read within ten minutes and a return text is usually sent within twenty minutes.  How does that compare the voicemails—no contest.  You probably will connect with two or maybe three of the outbound phone calls and will likely leave seven or eight voicemails.

 

I have observed this exercise with countless operations.  Our organization has worked with thousands of dealers and finance companies over the past twenty years.  When we started Textmaxx Pro four years ago, I could not have predicted the impact on productivity.  We see it not just in the auto space, but across virtually every industry vertical we serve.  In today’s world everyone returns an SMS message well before returning a voicemail.  There are countless studies that prove this.

 

So how do you optimize your SMS messaging strategy?  First, think of it the same as your phone system.  You need a tool that is proprietary and resident to your business that will serve your SMS communication needs, and ensure compliance.  I hear too many dealers say, “My employees are really good at texting, they use their personal phones.”  When I hear this, I cringe.  Think about it, would you utilize your salesperson’s personal phone number when advertising on the web or in television commercials?  Would you give each employee a copy of their entire CRM activity when they leave your dealership to work elsewhere?  That is precisely what you are doing if you do not have a product that allows you to store, monitor and control all SMS activity.  It doesn’t matter whether it is sales or collections.  You need to retain and control those conversations for a host of reasons, none the least of which is compliance, but that is a topic for an entire article itself.

 

So, if you want to eliminate—or at least greatly reduce—the wasted time and effort of phone tag, implement a well thought out customer contact strategy where SMS communication is your first form of communication.  You will be amazed at the impact it will have on employee productivity.  It is an incredibly effective way to communicate with your customers.  In my opinion, it is even more effective in collections or service where you already have a relationship with the customer.  Today, studies show, SMS messaging to be the preferred method of communication of most customers across virtually every demographic.  It is hands down the most efficient mode for just about every conversation.

 

If you would like a deeper dive into this topic sign up for an exclusive demo with one of our sales representatives by visiting www.textmaxxpro.com for more information.

 

Chris Leedom is the CEO and Founder of the Leedom Group.  The Leedom Group includes Textmaxx Pro, a complete SMS messaging solution for small to medium business with a custom design for the automotive industry including sales, service and collections.  The Leedom Group is based in Sarasota, FL.  You may reach Chris at chris@leedomgroup.com.