Dream Motor Group uses TextMarks SMS as an internal communications tool to build a solid company culture, enhance the guest experience, and protect property and employees. With 450 employees dispersed across multiple locations and departments, a centralized text messaging system has proven to be a more effective way to reach staff and drive employee satisfaction across all their Mercedes Benz dealerships.
Commitment to Excellence in Customer Experience
Dream Motor Group has built a reputation for excellence in the Mercedes Benz community largely due to their dedication to flawless customer service. “We are obsessed with our culture, which is laser focused on creating an unrivaled customer experience,” says Dream Motor Group owner Joe Agresti. “We are a luxury retailer,” he emphasizes, “not a car dealer.”
With 5 automobile dealerships in 5 southern states, creating a consistent luxury retail experience for customers requires careful cultivation of company culture, staff training, and positive reinforcement for employees who go above and beyond to take care of the dealership’s guests. With TextMarks mass texting service as an employee communications tool, general managers are able to curate and communicate the best parts of the company culture to enhance the guest experience.
An Employee-First Culture
For Dream Motor Group, it is employee satisfaction above all else. Alex Fox is the executive assistant to the CEO and is tasked with bringing his breadth of experience from the hospitality industry to Dream Motor Group car dealerships: “There’s a direct correlation between the ability of management to communicate information to employees and a better work environment. The employee is priority number one, even before the guest, because if we don’t have a happy employee it’s going to quickly go downhill from there.”
To facilitate an employee-first culture, owners Joe and Tom Agresti turned to TextMarks to make internal communications seamless. “TextMarks leads to better work environment, and I think that’s what’s being built [here].”
Email and Social Media Don’t Cut It
Although Dream Motor Group’s commitment to excellence is not new, the ways the management team has leveraged technology to aid in employee communication and satisfaction has come a long way. The time-tested strategy of meetings, bulletin boards, and person-to-person communication had obvious shortcomings.
“A bulletin board wouldn’t cut it because no one would know to look for updates,” describes Christine Sisson, Event Coordinator at Mercedes Benz of Music City, Dream Motor Group’s Nashville dealership. In order to get the word out about a company culture meeting or a new announcement without some sort of communication tool, “it would take me awhile to find everyone and create a lot of unnecessary conversations,” says Christine. “Email would be second option, but not everyone on site has access to a computer.”
” Not everyone on site has access to a computer.”
Christine Sisson, Event Coordinator at Dream Motor Group
With increases in mobile phone adoption, Dream Motor Group began exploring various communication methods in order to reduce the friction of getting the word out to employees. “We tried using Twitter but it’s tough to manage that platform. In addition, there’s no guarantee employees are going to have their Twitter notifications set up correctly and that’s complicated.” The team quickly abandoned the internal Twitter account and began looking for a simpler, more comprehensive solution.
Engaging Employees Through Text Messaging
The effectiveness of the SMS as an internal communication platform became readily apparent. “We moved to TextMarks and it worked so well at Music City, we rolled it out at all other locations. We have team members who don’t have email, and they all use mobile phones. Whenever we have urgent need to communicate with the team, we send a text. TextMarks has been working great for us.”
“[TextMarks] is a great internal communications tool if you’ve got a spread out team. It makes it easy to get communication out quickly, it’s super timely, and convenient. Over the course of the month it saves me at least 4-5 hours..”
Christine Sisson, Event Coordinator at Dream Motor Group
It wasn’t long before nearly all of the employees at the company were using the system. “Almost 98% of all our 450 employees are on the text messaging system. The best part of it is that TextMarks is easy to set up and operate,” says Agresti.
Much of the success has been attributed to carefully integrating TextMarks on-boarding into the training process, so that employees are included in internal communications almost from day one. “The company had us all opt-in to TextMarks as soon as we got hired,” Sisson says. “It’s a great internal communications tool if you’ve got a spread out team. It makes it easy to get communication out quickly, it’s super timely, and convenient. Over the course of the month it saves me at least 4-5 hours. We love it, we use it for any sort of announcements we have to give to the whole store.”
Improved Communication and Employee Satisfaction
The connection between improved communications and a stellar sales experience may not be obvious, but Alex Fox explains: “It’s a lot of training and reinforcement. You can use TextMarks to send reminders about things to focus on and reinforce culture. Every week we look for a great things that another employee did.”
By rewarding outstanding customer service, Fox adds, it’s not long before the customer feels a positive impact. “Before it would have been an email thing, but TextMarks allows us to quickly send a text to the whole team and it makes a major impact on employee retention.”
Handling Emergency Situations
Creating an outstanding customer experience isn’t the only purpose of utilizing a tool like TextMarks. Security during emergency situations across the dealerships has been enhanced by having a centralized form of communication and reaching everyone via mobile device.
“We’ve had situations where cars are parked in unsafe areas. We’ve found sets of keys laying around, and that’s a massive problem because someone could take a car from the lot. We send out a text message via TextMarks and immediately we get a response and it gets taken care of. We even text short-links to files and pictures.”
“It was most effective for the floods in Texas in August. It was a great way to communicate breaking information to everyone as quickly as possible.”
Alex Fox, Executive Assistant to the CEO, Dream Motor Group
Most importantly, TextMarks became an essential tool when Hurricane Harvey emerged off the Texas coast and dropped unprecedented amounts of rain along the southern coastline. “It was most effective for the floods in Texas in August. It was a great way to communicate breaking information like severe weather to everyone as quickly as possible,” says Fox.
The case was the same in Nashville, where storms can gather quickly and present major risks to employee safety on the lot or coming in to work. “It has been a big help, especially when we had bad weather. We were able to tell everyone stay home. In emergency situations it’s been crucial,” added Christine Sisson.
Protecting employees is certainly one of the most crucial roles the service plays at Dream Motor Group. Rapid SMS message delivery, effective engagement, and high reliability makes it a key player in employee protection.
Scratching The Surface
As Fox imagines the future of car dealerships, he sees many ways to continue to use the TextMarks text messaging tool. “The guest is more informed now than ever, so it’s a different style of sales. At Mercedes-Benz, our employees are tour guides and they need to have incredible technology to push out new information about inventory and make a unique guest experience.“
Fox imagines a future where highly customized offers are sent in realtime to staff. “Technology like TextMarks can help guests find what they want and along the way feel amazing about the customer experience. We’re only scratching the surface of how effective it can be.”