Building lasting relationships with customers is necessary to running an exceptional auto repair shop. As customers use their desktops less and their phones more, a text or messaging service provides a personal touch that can be convenient for both the front office of your shop and the customer. Messaging apps have skyrocketed in popularity in the last couple of years and there have been signs pointing to its success and continued adoption by businesses to communicate with their customers.
Messaging Popularity Continues to Grow
Mobile use has proven to be more than a trend and has showed consistent growth over desktop use for the past few years. It is now a global phenomenon with over 2.6 billion smartphone users worldwide. By 2020, that number is expected to be up to 6.1 billion users. The social landscape is also beginning to evolve; the top four messaging apps have more monthly active users than the top four social media platforms which suggests a shift in how users are communicating.
Messaging has clear benefits for your auto repair shop, although it’s always best to give customers the option of how they prefer to be contacted, whether by call, email or text. Text messaging can help keep misunderstands at bay. When a customer calls and they are placed on hold, there is a chance that they (a) may feel that their time is being wasted and/or (b) may hang up if the wait is too long. In addition, it creates a record for your shop and the customer to refer back to. Although an email could be typed up and sent as a record, wouldn’t it be much easier to have the record as it happened?
Other Benefits of Messaging Customers
- Can help reduce no-shows
- Subtle reminder to customer
- 99% of text messages are opened
- Phone calls are time consuming for employees
- Avoids leaving voicemails
One of the features of CarCareConnect is the ability to integrate with DemandForce, a marketing automation and reputation management solution. With the future in mind, DemandForce was founded with the belief that small business is the lifeblood of the economy, and has created business solutions for several industries including automotive. It has crafted an impressive set of tools that allow your shop to take advantage of messaging services to improves both your shop’s and customer’s experience.
mWhen it comes to messaging, DemandForce has a robust system. Before the appointment, customers are sent a reminder by text. The feature includes a “reply to confirm” option so that the front office manager receives confirmation that the customer will show up. In addition to reminders, customers can text the shop as a form of communication. The messages are consolidated in the DemandForce interface so it is easy for the shop to manage and track the conversations.
Take it to the Next Level
There are other unique ways that your auto repair shop can use messaging. Since customers naturally have different needs, a great idea would be to segment customers based on what make and model of vehicle they own. You can then send them specific messages that cater to the needs of that car model's maintenance.
By adding messaging to your shop’s current communications methods, customers may benefit from communicating in the way they prefer. This emphasis on greater flexibility lowers customer’s barriers to contacting your shop, booking an appointment and ultimately showing up. Messaging saves time for both you and your customers and gives you more time to continue creating value for your shop’s customers.
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