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Whites Group uses text messaging to provide rapid sales leads to dealerships

Dealers are being offered'up-to-the-second' notification via the phone of when a potential customer is interested in buying a car advertised on their website.

The new product, called On-Market, has been launched by industry multi-award winner Lindsay Levin, chief executive of the Whites Group.

On-Market matches a client's database of cars with their customers' used car requirements and sends automated text messages to either the customer or the salesperson's mobile phone to inform them of the match.

Mrs Levin said: "We are able to let dealers know the second a customer is interested in a car on their website by sending a text message to the relevant showroom asking them to call the customer. "It means we can ensure an immediate response to a customer from a qualified salesperson with detailed knowledge of the car the customer is looking at. The lead is very hot and it addresses the widespread motor industry problem of poor response to customer email inquires."

On-Market is also being asked by some dealer groups (names have not been publicised yet) to provide text messages to service customers, for example to tell them when their car is ready for collection. On-Market operates 24 hours and day seven days a week and so, Mrs Levin said, is ideally suited to passing on our of hours inquiries to sales staff.

On-Market is now implementing services for dealer groups, manufacturer networks, used car publications and business to business operators in the ex-leasing market.

How On-Market works:

  • Someone is viewing the dealers used car stock on its website and finds a vehicle they are interested in buying.

  • They click on a 'call me' option and enter their name and phone number.

  • A message is sent to an assigned salesperson with the name of the caller and the vehicle they are interested in.

  • The salesperson is then able to call the potential customer.
  • Mrs Levin said: "The benefit of this system is that the customer's query goes straight to the salesperson, not a call centre.

    "We can also configure On-Market for aftersales and servicing requirements. For example a workshop could contact an owner via the phone when their car is ready to be collected."

    Mrs Levin was winner of the Gold QSI Awards for both Training and Dealer Group of the Year in 1998 and an Ernst & Young Entrepeneur of the Year in 1999.

    The On-Market website is at www.on-market.net

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