How Trailer Dealers are Using Text-to-Pay: An Interview with Kenect’s VP of Marketing, McKay Allen

Posted By: Daria Tabota (deleted) Dealer Education,

Convenience is king, and what better way to provide a convenient experience for your customers than allowing them to pay via a text message?  To get a better understanding of how dealerships can utilize the option, NATDA’s Marketing Coordinator, Daria Tabota, spoke with Kenect’s Vice President of Marketing, McKay Allen, to discuss. 

The company, ranked #216 on the Inc. 5000 List, is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry — and for good reason. 

NATDA: Kenect launched in March of 2020, right in the beginning stages of COVID-19.  As dealerships were forced to limit physical interaction, did Kenect see an uptick in early adoption? 

Allen: Immediately.  Dealers loved it.  A few dealers here and there started using it in their service and parts departments.  They’d ask the customer if they wanted to pay via text.  And a few said yes.  Then, more said yes.  Then, more and more and more. 

NATDA:  Now that there’s been almost two years of usage, what has the service done for the dealers you’ve spoken with? 

Allen: That first month, the average dealer was doing about $4000/month through text-to-pay, mostly in their service department. 

Now, 19 months later, the average dealer is doing $20,000/month through text-to-pay.  That’s 5x growth in just 19 months.  Some dealers say they’re now capturing 80% of their monthly service revenue through text-to-pay.  They haven’t removed their card terminals or anything, but they are doing most of their service transactions via text-to-pay.  That’s how popular this gets. 

The bottom line is customers love it.  If you provide the option, they’ll take advantage of it. 

NATDA: For you, what’s the leading reason for dealerships introducing this as a payment option more and more? 

Allen: The answer is simple: it’s convenient. 

Deloitte published a report recently that found consumers will pay MORE for something if it’s convenient.  If pick-up or delivery is convenient, if payment method is convenient, they’ll pay more for it.  To quote from the report: 

“Consumers say they would prefer to shop online or on smartphones for home delivery.  This behavior is transforming how payments can be made.  Nearly 70% of consumers say they would pay MORE for a product if the buying process (and the payment process) was convenient.” 

Service departments at dealerships are uniquely positioned to provide this convenience.  Imagine never having to stand at a counter as customers swipe cards, or never having to send out email or print invoices.  Instead, replace or reduce that by to using text-to-pay in your service department. 

One dealer told us recently that his, “customers are addicted to text-to-pay.  They love the convenience.”   

It saves his team time and now they’re collecting payments faster than ever. 

So, the idea behind text-to-pay is simple: customers would prefer to pay with a text message, so let them. 

NATDA: Specifically regarding Kenect, how simple is it for a dealership to utilize in the moment of a sale? 

Allen: While you’re logged into Kenect and texting a customer, you can simply click on the ‘Payment’ button.  You’ll then be asked to put in the details for the transaction (amount, invoice number, and a description of what the payment is for).  Then, you send the text. 

The customer gets it, puts their payment information and…that’s it.  That’s it.  You get your money within 24 hours. 

NATDA: I’d imagine the convenience of that eliminates some administrative burden as well, right? 

Allen: It saves your employees time, your finance manager gets your money quicker and with lower fees, and it’s more secure than normal payment processing. 

Your customers will LOVE it. 

NATDA members can get up to 30% off Kenect, as well as participating in an exclusive rebate program.  To learn more about this and other member benefits, click the button below. 

Membership Benefits - North American Trailer Dealers Association