Text-to-Pay at Dealerships

A breakdown of new data on payment collection during the pandemic.

The way powersports dealers are collecting payments from customers is changing, and it’s important to stay on the front lines of this dramatic shift.

Over the past year and a half, we have seen customers choose convenience and simplicity for their buying experience. This means dealers must find a way to change some of the most basic practices to keep customers from going somewhere else.

Right now, we are seeing a change in payment collection methodology. Customers will choose convenience over in-person interactions. Remote payments are becoming more common, and we have found some businesses do all their bill collection via text.

According to our data, dealers who have adopted a new text-to-pay platform have seen a nearly fourfold increase in growth year over year. Dealers who were doing around $4,000 a year per location are now seeing upwards of $15,000.

Of the data we collected, we are finding more dealers are relying on text-to-pay for more than just sales. Some dealers are running 80% of their service, parts and payments through text-to-pay.

Credit cards are not going away, but the way customers are using those cards is certainly changing.

Dealers are seeing the change and want to meet customers where they are most comfortable. If they don’t want to come into the shop to pay, then send them a text with a link to make a payment right on their phone or computer.

One of the biggest questions we get asked is: What’s driving text-to-pay? The short answer is customers, but it’s more likely the overall trend.

Customers are using texting for more than just payments. Data from dealers who use Kenect’s texting platform show a 55% increase in text messaging per dealer year over year. This started even before the pandemic.

Leads are also driving this text-to-pay trend. With more people opting to do business out of the comfort of their homes, more people are also using texting to get ahold of dealerships. Dealers need to make sure they are giving customers more opportunities to ask about services and sales. Make the experience easy, like adding a button on your website so they can text you right away to get more information.

The data we collected shows that 75% of customers would rather text a dealership about a lead than give it a call. Since dealers don’t need to see customers face-to-face, some are now completing entire transactions — lead to payment — via texting.

Keep in mind: Customers want to be texted. The pandemic has changed the way service departments operate — not just in house but for customers as well. Make sure you are meeting the customers in the platforms they are getting used to so you can keep communication clear and service departments operating fully well into 2022.

Ben Leighton is a content marketing specialist with Kenect. He previously worked in the journalism industry for over a decade, creating multimedia content on various platforms. You can find Ben on Linkedin and Twitter.

Kenect helps businesses connect with their customers. We build simple texting tools that are elegant and easy-to-use. Thousands of companies across North America use our platform to text their customers, generate online reviews, gather leads from their websites, video chat and collect payments. Based in the Silicon Slopes of Utah, our team is committed helping businesses improve their customer experience and customer communication. To learn more about Kenect, visit www.kenect.com or text us at (888) 972-7422.

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