Building better conversations: How Carsforsale.com empowers customers and dealerships nationwide
Time to read: 3 minutes
More than 22,000 dealerships across the United States, and about 100 million annual car shoppers, use Carsforsale.com to navigate the car buying and selling process.
Customers enter the site to seek out the car of their dreams, and use Carsforsale.com’s interactive shopping platform to converse directly with dealers via their preferred channels—a capability that puts dealerships ahead by allowing them to engage potential shoppers more quickly and efficiently.
The company creates a delightful, seamless, and efficient experience for dealers and shoppers alike by facilitating better conversations and fostering ongoing relationships, to make the car buying and selling process engaging and enjoyable—and Twilio is the partner that helps support it.
“We’re helping change the way dealerships do business,” explained Carsforsale.com Director of Marketing Kristen Stengel. “Their job is hard; there’s a lot to juggle and it’s a competitive market. So efficient, effective communication with car buyers is a must. Our job is to make that easier, and integrations like this make that possible.”
Carsforsale.com looked to Twilio as a partner in helping customers and dealerships cultivate even better conversations, having already used Twilio for short codes and Twilio’s Programmable Messaging API and Programmable Voice API for lead tracking—which took just two weeks from proof of concept to implementation, and provided accurate attribution for leads via phone calls.
Growing to provide a holistic solution
When a customer finds a vehicle they are interested in, they can call the dealership using a Twilio-generated number. Or, they can reach out via email or text. The dealership, through the Carsforsale.com platform, can field all these potential incoming inquiries at once, seamlessly, and get back to potential customers much faster than if they were limited to one channel.
“Twilio helped lead us through building a prototype of their software so we could easily understand the value of the solution. That, in turn, reduced our time investment and allowed us to concentrate on building solutions in our core areas of expertise,” said Carsforsale.com Director of Engineering Joel Addink. “Twilio stood out because of the breadth of services and APIs. They had a service for every one of our needs, provided great support, and actively reached out to us to see what we might need. With Twilio, it’s been a direct, professional, transparent partnership.”
“Twilio stood out because of the breadth of services and APIs. They had a service for every one of our needs, provided great support, and actively reached out to us to see what we might need. With Twilio, it’s been a direct, professional, transparent partnership.”
Carsforsale.com’s communication solutions were working well, but there’s always room to do more; after attending SIGNAL, Twilio’s annual user conference where they discovered the Twilio Conversation API, Carsforsale.com wanted to expand their communication options to make connecting even more accessible.
Twilio’s new Conversations API, now in beta, is an out-of-the-box solution for a faster time-to-market that automatically takes care of an SMS integration with Carsforsale.com’s existing CRM-based capabilities.
“We’re empowering the dealer to communicate to the customer with a few clicks of a button, which allows them to work in real-time the way customers demand,” Stengel said. ”By having integrations for email, phone, and text, we’re giving dealerships and their customers more options to engage in the ways they want.”
Dealerships also have access to deep analytical insights about how various channels are working for them, allowing them to improve their responses and serve customers better.
“Visibility and transparency are foundational keys to success,” she added. “The system we built allows dealers to meet customer demands and allows us—Carsforsale.com—to provide analytics and insights that dealers can use to create more personal interactions and plan their business.”
A better experience end-to-end
Partnering with Twilio to better serve dealerships and customers has proven a smart choice for the organization, said Carsforsale.com Software Architect Harshith Keni.
“With Twilio, we’re spending less time building a communications platform and more time focusing on tying the experience together,” he explained. “The support staff at Twilio are awesome. Despite Conversations being in beta, they were very responsive to our needs, always able to connect us to the right people at the right time.”
With Twilio Conversations, Carsforsale.com empowers dealers to grow their business by proactively managing the conversations they’re having with customers—all while expediting the company’s roadmap and moving faster than ever. In fact, with Twilio’s voice solution alone, Carsforsale.com has been able to attribute nearly 1.5 million (voice) calls since launch.
“Our goal is to build a system that is intuitive to use, improves response time, and increases engagement between consumers and dealers,” Addink said. “Joining forces with Twilio allows us to deliver just that.”