Service business

BEST PRACTICES: Planet Automotive uses SMS to drive service activities, sales

Chatterspot automates this process. It connects to a dealership management system, collects relevant information and email or SMS coupons and offers aimed at the target audience.

Planet Mitsubishi has added nearly 12,000 customers who have opted for SMS in the past 12 months. On specific SMS campaigns, the dealership recorded engagement rates of 70%. Felfel’s dealers still use traditional advertising methods and he concedes that his customers may have been influenced by these collective efforts. But with Chatterspot – which can also send emails – the results are immediate.

“Yeah, customers might have been affected in three, four, five different ways,” Felfel said. “But the main thing is with that, they answer.”

In a new car sales promotion conducted in May, dealerships sent 451 text messages that directly generated five sales and $ 10,000 in gross profit, according to Felfel. During a buyout drive in June, he sent 2,705 text messages that generated $ 37,000 in gross profits, he said.

“For us it’s a big deal,” he said. “You can cut that number in half, and I’m still a believer.”

What he also likes is the minimal attention he pays to advertising. Felfel, 55, says he spends 10 to 15 minutes at the start of each month planning scheduled promotions. Then it will increase throughout the month as needed. If the service areas are open, he will take the opportunity to find customers who have not visited the dealers for more than a year.

“The Sunday newspaper coupon has been replaced with the text Chatterspot,” Felfel said.

The root of success, he believes, is not the text of the text, per se, but the experience provided. Coupons are an online version of a scratch lottery ticket – recipients are encouraged to take action to see what kind of discount they will receive.