Twitter As (Car Shopping) Service

Writing this post got away from me a bit with the birth of our son Jonah, but I feel like it’s still worth sharing with you. Towards the end of August, my wife and I were getting ready to purchase a pre owned car before the baby arrived. As we were test-driving cars, I took a picture of Kristin, uploaded it to Instagram and shared it on Twitter.

As you can probably tell by the enthusiastic look on her face, I made her stand in front of the Dukes of Hazzard-looking ride for my enjoyment with the hopes of a few laughs from followers. A few Likes and ten minutes later, I received an unexpected response from @edmundslive on my iPhone offering their services as we continue our car-buying journey.

I was impressed. Real-time customer service helping people get fair prices for pre owned cars. Its usefulness took away from what could have been an annoyance due to the unsolicited nature of communication. The author’s initials also added some personalization that made me feel like it didn’t just come from an automated response.

I didn’t respond immediately, but it stuck in my head as we continued looking for cars the next weekend. By that point, we had focused our search to two specific models at two different dealerships. One dealership left room for negotiation; the other offered a fixed take-it-or-leave-it price. At the dealership where we could negotiate, I decided to take advantage of the @edmundslive service.

I received the response you see above in five minutes. Quick enough for me to use it as leverage to negotiate a cheaper price than the dealership was offering. As we were waiting for a quote from the sales person, my wife also checked Kelly Blue Book on her iPhone to get one more point of comparison. At this point, we had all the leverage we needed to successfully get a fair quote on a car we felt was initially priced high.

While we did get a fair asking price on the Nissan Maxima, we ended up purchasing a Nissan Altima from the other dealership. But that’s not the point. Throughout my experience, Edmund’s did a fantastic job of leveraging Twitter the way it should be. With value that helps move people forward. One of the most stressful parts of buying a car is the lack of transparency around pricing. Edmund’s service relieves this stress. And their Twitter strategy aligns perfectly with their overall purpose of “empowering, engaging and educating automotive consumers.” Props to Edmunds for using Twitter to move both people and their brand forward towards achieving their goals.