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"Why You Should Text Service Customers"

5 Reasons Your Service Department Should Send Texts to Build Loyalty

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Over the past few years, there have been many discussions about service departments turning to text messaging. It is suggested that customers who made an appointment and received a text about it were more likely to show up. Now, texting doesn’t simply apply to service appointments, but also for job approval and repair order completion.

Customers prefer to communicate via text, and this preference is growing. Your customers are no longer asking for a modern experience - they’re expecting it. The question is: does your dealership offer it?

Here are five reasons why you should be using text messaging in service:

1. People Read Text Messages More Frequently

95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent (Text Request, 2016) compared to the average open rate of emails is about 20% (Mail Chimp, 2017). Well, consider your own habits: how many unread texts do you currently have? Probably none, right? A crucial part of our modern communication methods is the ability to exchange information quickly, and text messages are leading the way.

2. Speed Up Service Processes

The average response time for a text is 90 seconds (Text Request, 2016). Communicating job approval or pick-up availability with a customer through text allows for a more immediate response versus an email. For instance, when a customer drops off their vehicle and leaves to run errands, and you must advise of a simple oil filter replacement, a text message is typically the fastest way of gaining approval.

3. Text Messaging Isn't Only for Young People

Adults 25-34 send and receive over 75 texts a day; adults 35-44 send and receive about 52 texts a day; and adults 45-54 send and receive 33 texts a day (Text Request, 2016). These customers most likely want to receive texts from your dealership - you may simply need to let them know it’s available so ensure your service advisors mention it. Customers will appreciate your modern capabilities in service, and it can help boost CSI.

4. Enhance Your Brand Loyalty

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Customers who communicate with you more frequently develop stronger loyalty to your brand. Sending communications via a variety of methods also helps to improve brand recognition. We recommend a blend of email and text to get in touch with customers. Email can reinforce a dealership brand’s look and feel, while also communicating things too complicated for a simple text. Consider the appropriate time to send emails and texts for an enhanced customer experience.

5. Give Your Service Department Attention

The recent trend of declining profit margins means your service department needs to pick up absorption to cover front end shortfalls. Text messaging can increase the attention your service department is getting. Make sure the service appointments section on your website mentions you offer texting as a convenience. Word of mouth can also be a powerful force: if word spreads about how your dealership is modernising and streamlining service processes by implementing text messaging - think of what that could do for your service business (and front end sales).
In the end, text messaging is something all intelligent retailers are adopting. When you submit an online order for tickets to an event, often the most preferred option is to receive a digital version of the ticket via text message. This same concept is what your dealership can begin to do in service.
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We advise dealers to make sure your text messaging solution is built to work with your DMS, so you can retain, track, and verify messages sent and received. This will ensure you don’t have a gap in communication with an important service customer.

Consider this scenario: you send a customer a text with an approval request or a hyperlink to their invoice - seconds later the job is approved, and your dealership is boosting efficiency and driving profitable retention. Does this sound good for your business? Well, what are you waiting for? Opt-in!
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