The powersports industry has always been a unique use case, and a modern look at the industry hasn’t changed that. With the overall disposable personal income of Americans decreasing and people becoming more aware than ever before on how they are spending these discretionary funds, one would think that the powersports industry would be suffering without viable buyers. The industry, however, is doing well for how dire the economic situation seems. Polaris Industries, one of the leading powersports brands, reported a 14% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, and other brands are seeing similar results.
Just because the industry as a whole is surviving, however, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily on the path to long-term success. Any dealerships operating in a customer-facing industry that relies on disposable income should constantly be looking for new and innovative ways to engage with consumers and create personal relationships. This means understanding what customers want and communicating with them in the right ways. For powersports dealers, this means leveraging text messages as a way to communicate with customers, increase engagement, and drive repeat business. Over 89% of modern consumers would rather text with a vendor than communicate via a phone call.
Text messaging can help powersports dealerships attract more customers by:
1. Engaging one-on-one with customers
For powersports marketers and sales teams, sending direct-to-consumer messages rarely results in a response, and when responses do come through, they are usually requests to unsubscribe. Creating a one-on-one conversation with real customer replies is a huge step towards building brand loyalty, and this personal connection is possible with text messages. Powersports dealers are seven times more likely to receive a text back from a customer than they are to receive a phone call after leaving a voicemail.
2. Cutting through the noise to where customers want to be reached
Modern direct-to-consumer marketing is rife with alerts and messages designed to attract consumers’ attention and garner clicks. This is why so many modern consumers are turned off by the idea of traditional channels like email and phone calls, instead preferring text messages to communicate. For powersports dealers, text messages break through the unwanted noise in the marketplace to target customers how and where they want.
3. Creating a faster, more focused purchase timeline
Powersport purchases aren’t your typical impulse buy, and many times these buying cycles can be pretty lengthy. Customers like to come in and look at merchandise multiple times before making a buying decision. With text message marketing, dealers can alert potential customers of promotions or deals on their preferred inventory in real-time. And, with text content that is designed for action, your team can proactively help speed the buying cycle along towards a purchase.
4. Driving better online reviews
Commercial businesses of all kinds, but especially powersports dealers, are now at the mercy of the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing: online reviews. Consumers have the luxury of researching their purchase online before deciding on where to buy their next motorcycle or ATV, and online reviews largely power this decision. Texting customers a personalized thank you note after purchase along with a link directly to a review site makes it easy for a customer to leave feedback while asking in a personal, time-conscious way, which can help increase customer satisfaction and lead to a better review.
5. Building customer loyalty
Text messaging in the dealership isn’t just for driving new business. Owners of powersports vehicles require regular maintenance and upkeep, which they can find at any dealership or body shop. The key to building long-term customer loyalty is by delivering amazing customer experiences. Texting a customer that their vehicle is ready to pick up, or letting them know that it’s time for maintenance, or even texting to wish them a happy birthday can deliver a personal touch that other dealerships just don’t have.
Direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming increasingly digital and mobile, and for powersports dealerships who want to remain competitive, it’s imperative to meet customers where they spend the most time: their phones. With business texting, a dealer’s team can do more than survive in the modern industry landscape – they can thrive.