Technology has become so advanced. Most technology is designed to improve communication and make us more efficient, but technology is really just a means to an end. In the end, we want to take care of customers and sell more cars, service and parts.
Text messaging is a simple technology that has been around since the 1990’s. It is old technology, but it is still a very effective means of communicating with customers. Anecdotal evidence even suggests that the majority of the population, especially younger generations, prefer a text over a phone call in almost every situation.
Text is non-invasive, takes up less time, and is easier to respond to than a phone call. According to a recent survey, 95% of texts are read immediately after the receipt. From a marketing perspective, texting is extremely effective and personal. With all of these advantages, it is clear that texting is here to stay. The only question is why aren’t you texting customers in your service department?
There are several software programs designed to streamline the texting process and keep you in line with TCPA compliance guidelines for contacting customers. A quality texting service will allow you to send automated reminders, sent automated replies, allow for manual texts, and keep track of all communication in a central location.
Texting software allows for customers to opt-in for communications and opt-out, should preferences change. Texting software is a superior solution to using personal cell phones, as this practice could open the door to many problems including scenarios where an employee leaves, a communication issue arises, or compliance issues come into question.
With customer consent (opt-in), texts can be automatically generated to remind service customers of upcoming maintenance, or scheduled appointments. Texting also makes it easy for a customer to set an appointment, or reschedule an appointment. Automated texting is all about convenience for the customer and efficiency for the dealership.
Direct mail is expensive. Email works, but open rates are low. Text messaging, however is a quick and effective way to spread the word about service specials and coupons. Response rates are much higher with text than email, direct mail, or any other method of delivery.
Send Updates and Respond to Questions
Text messaging is also the most effective way to keep service customers updated throughout the repair process. You can set up automated messages to go out when their vehicle is pulled into a stall, when parts arrive, or when the vehicle is completed. You can even send a link to their invoice so they know the total before they walk in.
Text messaging is also a great way for customers to ask questions. Service advisers are busy. Sometimes just getting the adviser on the phone can be very frustrating for a customer. With text, the adviser, or a customer service agent, can respond in a timely manner. This type of communication will improve overall customer satisfaction and save time for advisers as well.
Text messaging has so many advantages, it is surprising that not all dealerships are using it. While nothing replaces direct conversation with customers, texting is the next best thing, and it is so much more efficient.