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In today’s fast-paced world, new technology is constantly being developed that provides auto dealers with new and innovative ways to connect with customers. The days of index cards and Outlook as a CRM are long gone. Now we have robust technology that makes it a simple process to connect with customers on many levels, including e-mail, text, chat, video and social media.
And beyond these options consider the massive popularity of Facetime, the Apple software that allows users with iPhones, Macs or iPads to videoconference with each other. This has proven invaluable to anyone wishing to connect with their loved ones while away. It brings a greater sense of connection with the ability to see the person live. In fact, there are some dealerships that allow customers to Facetime with them. It enables them to do a live video walkaround in real-time. The only catch is that both users have to be using an Apple device.
So what’s next?
Periscope, the video app recently acquired by Twitter, allows users to live-stream directly from their phones. It’s turned out to be quite popular -- Periscope just announced that it has added a million users in the 10 days since it launched. Early adopters are using it for many things – live streaming training, concerts, or sporting events. In fact, it’s become quite a thorn in the side of entertainment and sporting event companies – promoters and venues are quickly banning the use of the app. One reporter was actually kicked out of the PGA Tour and had her media credentials revoked.
Periscope has expanded its service to Android phones and can now be used by almost every smartphone in the world. Users simply need to create a free account to access and start live streaming content.
How could this help your dealership?
It’s possible that consumers will be open to communicating via Periscope as there is no personal information exchanged. If a customer is on the phone and they want more information about a vehicle it’s actually very simple to ask them to open up Periscope and watch you live stream a walkaround of the vehicle. It’s certainly very personal. And the fact that it’s live allows you to answer questions immediately, show the customer exactly what they want to see, and begin to build rapport, just as if they were standing in front of you.
While it’s too early to know how many consumers will adopt and use this application, Twitter is a force to be reckoned with and could well leverage this new technology. Whether the number of Periscope users gets to the level of Twitter itself is up in the air. However, Periscope is a new social media platform that salespeople may want to consider adding to their tool box to connect and engage with customers that want more information; or a customer that perhaps wants to see that fresh unit you just got in, that you don’t have pictures for up online yet.