For some time now I have dabbled with texting customers who requested information online and although the response has always been great I have had my concerns about having my cell phone number and the numbers of my staff being so available and some what unprotected. I avidly follow the work of awesome car folks like Elise Kephart, Robert Weisman and BDC trainer Sean Bradley and I agree with the value of texting in addition to phone calls and emails because it does allow our customer to choose the method of contact that THEY feel comfortable with and I know many folks don’t mind freely giving out their cell numbers but all that still couldn’t overcome my privacy concerns. Two weeks ago my fears were realized when a customer who had engaged in a lengthy text conversation with one of my BDC staff actually asked her what she looked like and what she was wearing as she was texting him! I went ballistic and all texting came to a grinding halt! I know many CRM platforms have a texting feature within them as does the one we use however the additional cost has not been something our GM has allowed me to incur so for a short time it looked like the great results we were seeing from texts were going to vanish. As a long time Google+ user I had seen a few references to Google Voice over the past couple of years and it occurred to me to look deeper into it as a solution to the texting concerns. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to set it up and kind of mentally kicked myself for not looking into it sooner. In no time at all I had set up numbers for the whole staff and we are back in action! Phone call, email and follow up with a text; the results are simply incredible and more importantly my staff can rest easy knowing that if another creeper decides to act stupid at least he, or she, wont have anyone’s actual number and when we put an end to the conversation it will be an end!
I may be late coming to the party with this but I wanted to share it with everyone because I know I am not the only one who values the privacy of his staff even in the efforts of trying to make every deal possible! If you aren’t texting already you should be, and I highly recommend using a Google Voice number to do it! Have an awesome day, Sell Something!