What Your Dealership Salespeople Need to Know About New Texting Regulations

Know Who & What You Text

#1: Do you use SMS Short­Code pro­grams for blast­ing text mes­sages out to a long list of mobile phone num­bers (used for mass mar­ket­ing spe­cials, con­tests, etc.)?
While they can be effec­tive, they’re prob­a­bly the most heav­i­ly reg­u­lat­ed type of tex­ting. It’s also the type that got the Lithia group in big trou­ble a few years back, result­ing in a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar set­tle­ment. You may want to hit pause until check­ing with your ven­dor and attor­ney.

#2: Do you (or oth­ers at your deal­er­ship) text with cus­tomers?
If your employ­ees text on behalf of the deal­er­ship from their per­son­al cell num­bers, you have a prob­lem. You like­ly have no idea how employ­ees got cus­tomers’ num­bers and no record of their writ­ten con­sent to be texted. You also prob­a­bly have no tran­scripts of the con­ver­sa­tions and no con­trol over opt-out mes­sages. So while your deal­er­ship need­ed a sys­tem to man­age and con­trol one-to-one text mes­sag­ing before the new TCPA reg­u­la­tions the need is tru­ly urgent now.

#3: Do you have a process for gain­ing a customer’s express writ­ten con­sent to text?
It’s one of the new reg­u­la­tions as regards SMS text mar­ket­ing, but it’s smart to apply it to any tex­ting. So make it part of the process when cap­tur­ing lead infor­ma­tion. Keep a record of that writ­ten per­mis­sion too, in case the cus­tomer chal­lenges your deal­er­ship some­where down the road.

#4: Do you tell cus­tomers that “mes­sage & data rates may apply” when they text with you?
Even if they aren’t sign­ing up for text mar­ket­ing, this is a best prac­tice.

#5: Do you offer clear ways to opt out?
If mar­ket­ing, you should include it in every mes­sage. If tex­ting back and forth with cus­tomers (like about set­ting appoint­ments), you should send it in the very first con­fir­ma­tion text mes­sage

#6: Do you have a process for those who opt out?
Ensure that no one at your deal­er­ship texts them again by mis­take.

#7: Do you already use a ven­dor to help man­age your dealership’s one-to-one text mes­sag­ing?
See if your ven­dor is up to date on the lat­est TCPA details. Then, make sure their sys­tem inte­grates mobile leads into your CRM, includes opt-out pro­ce­dures, and lets you mon­i­tor and track the con­ver­sa­tions so you can ensure these texts are used the right way…to pro­vide infor­ma­tion and cus­tomer ser­vice, not unre­lat­ed mar­ket­ing.

Keep on Tex­ting!

Think that tex­ting just isn’t worth this extra effort? Think again. Texts sent to your cus­tomers bypass clut­ter and get read—Adtruth says that peo­ple check their smart­phones 150 times a day. And it’s in our inter­est to keep it that way. So while any rules change can be annoy­ing, these TCPA changes can help pre­vent spam­mers from dilut­ing a pow­er­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel.

Vis­it Con­tac­tA­tOnce! to learn more about ensur­ing com­pli­ance!

 

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