A report in Automotive News says dealer service departments are increasingly using text messages to communicate with customers and the technology is paying off for everyone, especially dealers. The most powerful trend appears to be the increase in service appointments that people show up for when they're sent a text reminder in advance; according to one company that sells the texting service, "show percentage" averages 81 percent, some dealerships getting as high as the mid-nineties. A Toyota dealer in San Diego, California said its show percent rose to 80 percent, an increase of up to 20 percent, before they used texting.

It looks like customers are fans, too, with another dealer in Irvine, CA saying its customer service surveys showed a three-percent improvement. A third dealer said his service business moves faster and customers are happier. Yet not every interaction is suitable for texts. Customers opt in to receive messages – or they can alternatively stick to phone calls – but some service department heads said they prefer to discuss additional repairs over the phone or in person to avoid misunderstandings.

Getting updates on service status, however, is seen as another positive – the customers who opt for texts like knowing where their cars are in the process and when they're ready to be picked up. This writer prefers text messages over phone calls 99 percent of the time, but what about you? Take the poll below and let us know if you'd want text updates while your car's in the shop.


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