With the growth everyday of texting among the general public for friends, family and business associates it is now accepted to text for everyday communication. Using this medium leads in to opportunities for retail dealerships to market – both the sale of new vehicles and of course the service department to the existing client base. Today we look at ways to build the relationship and in turn grow business for the service department.
Confirmation of Appointments (permission based)
Service Department time is very valuable, which is why you keep to a strict appointment process — any minute that you spend that isn’t with a customer is a dollar you do not earn. Unfortunately, sometimes customers — who also lead very busy lives — forget about their appointments, which costs you revenue, causes disruptions in your schedule, and hurts your professional relationship. Dealers do need to ensure permission is granted to send texts to the customer, getting written authorization to ensure the customer is allowing texts sent to their phone.
Research shows that less than 5% of appointments are canceled or result in a no-show after the client receives a reminder. A quick text to a customer after they call and set the appointment with “Thanks for the call we look forward to seeing you next Wednesday at 9:10 AM” can go a long way to build rapport.
Then a reminder 24 hours before the appointment simply stating “This is just a reminder that we have you scheduled for tomorrow at 9:10 AM at ABC Dealership, please call me with questions” can ensure they are aware of the time and the dealership.
Texting of Status Updates
As we all know keeping the customer informed on the status of their vehicle is a key driver in the service process. Since we know customers have a cell phone with them most of the time, it is now easy to send them a friendly reminder on the status of their vehicle. Simply stating that the car is in the shop, being washed or any other detail can go a long way with the customer rapport. Sending these can ensure that they don’t need to call you for status of their vehicle.
Please Note: We don’t recommend attempting to sell additional work via text message. Any required work to the vehicle is best explained over the phone (so they can ask questions freely) or in person at the dealership.
Another benefit of texting is that if you are discussing needed repair on a vehicle, such as brakes, it is quick and easy for the Service Advisor to take a picture of the current brakes and send a picture to the customer via text to review – should they request the ability to have a look.
Declined Services Offer Coupons
A time-sensitive “declined services” offer or coupon, after delivery of the vehicle! This is very important and has a high success rate!
Sending coupons by text pulls 10 times more response than coupons delivered in the mail or newspapers. It’s easier, less expensive, and more effective than any other medium — that’s why text coupons are growing faster than any other segment of the marketing/advertising industry.
Example of another industry coupon: