THE COMPLETE TEXT COMMUNICATIONS GUIDE FOR YOUR DEALERSHIP'S SERVICE DEPARTMENT
Table of Contents:
- Increase Revenue And Save Time With 17 Automated Text Message Templates
- Drive Revenue Growth With Declined Services Reminders
- Increase Your Repair Order Revenue With Video
- Do Not Let OEM Recommended Service or Maintenance Schedule Changes Affect Your Profits
- This Dealership Made Increased Revenue Significantly By Texting Coupons
- Increase Your Repair Order ROI By Texting
- The Auto Industry’s Best Kept Secret? Safety Recalls
- Why Customer Satisfaction Affects Revenue And Repair Orders
- Important Points From The TEXT2DRIVE Video Communications Webinar
- Pump Up Service Revenue With Less Investment
- Safety Recall Text Alerts Gave Dealers A $282/Repair Order Average
- Dealerships Reduce Parts Obsolescence 54% On Average Using Text Notifications
- Dealerships Dramatically Increased The Customer Return Rates To Their Service Department
- Service Reminders Yield Average $17K Repair Order Revenue In 60 Days
- Suburban Volvo Earned A $4,000 Recommended Repair Approval Using Video
- Dealerships Earned $28,533 Per Month On Average Of Additional Revenue With Service Appointment Reminders
- Declined Service Reminders Generated More Than $6K In Additional Revenue In 1 Month
- Declined Service Reminders Convert 12.65% Of Customers
- Automation Makes A Major Impact On CSI Scores And Service Revenue
- Features That Jumpstart Service Department Revenue
- The Proof Is In The Key Performance Indicators
- Service Department Success Stories
Increase Revenue & Save Time With Automated Text Message Templates
Striking a balance between providing an adequate amount of effective communication to your customers and ensuring your service staff stays on schedule is a delicate balancing act. Achieving both is critical. Effective communication keeps customers happy, which positively impacts your CSI scores. Staying on schedule helps increase revenue in addition to fostering customer satisfaction.
The creators of TEXT2DRIVE™ - a full-featured communications platform designed for dealerships - made the power of texting available for service departments without requiring staff to spend time composing messages through text message templates that are automatically sent to your customers.
They are part of an automated workflow that is dispatched in a way that compels customers to act and keeps the lines of communication open.
Service focused text messages in the workflow begin with a service department intro and cycle all the way through to a vehicle service reminder message, covering all of the bases in between. There are safety recall notice capabilities, a CSI survey request message and so much more.
Drive Revenue Growth With Declined Services Reminders
In order to make money on recommended services, customers need to be aware that the recommendations were made. Unfortunately, all too often, service advisors end up speaking with the wrong person and the customer is left in the dark. Compounding matters is a lack of awareness on the service manager’s part that the oversight occurred.
Backed by decades of experience in the automotive industry, the creators of TEXT2DRIVE™ designed the full-featured communications platform to include declined vehicle service reminders. The automated text messages are sent to customers to let them know the recommended repairs have not been approved yet.
All of your employees - even the least tech-savvy - can easily master the declined services interface. The interface provides details about every customer including the work performed on their vehicle, name of the service advisor, recommended work declined by the customer, RO numbers and the customer’s information.
Increase Your Repair Order Revenue With Video
Dealerships see their customer pay increase by $125 on average per repair order on average when they send customers videos of recommended repairs.
Using the TEXT2DRIVE Mobile App, service technicians can record and send videos to customers in which they point out repairs that need to be made. Being able to see the issues with their own eyes builds often elusive trust between customers and your service department.
Videos are sent to customers via text messages, the preferred form of communication for many people. They can be up to three minutes long and are easy to record and send. Your technicians can access the videos right from the photo library on their mobile device or desktop computer.
Most importantly, recommended repair videos work. Dealerships see an average increase of $125 in RO totals when videos are sent. Sending videos of recommended repairs also fosters goodwill among customers, who will appreciate your transparency.
Do Not Let OEM Recommended Service or Maintenance Schedule Changes Affect Your Profits
Keeping track of the maintenance schedule or recommended service interval on your customers’ car is challenging when manufacturers constantly change the maintenance dates per year make and model and customers constantly book and then cancel service appointments. You end up losing the time your staff spent keeping track of the OEM schedules and you lose money when you miss the opportunity to schedule a service or recommended maintenance appointment because the OEM revised its service schedule.
Recognizing that service revenue is vital to the health of your business, TEXT2DRIVE™ designed its full-featured communications platform with true automation. Utilizing this critical capability, the system works in tandem with OEM service and maintenance schedules to keep your service staff updated with fluctuations instituted by OEMs.
This capability reduces the number of hours your employees need to spend on informing customers of upcoming service & maintenance and helps ensure you get customers in so that you can make money on the work.
Automated alerts in TEXT2DRIVE include the following:
- Vehicle service reminders
- Previously declined service reminders
- HANDS-FREE RECALL NOTICES
You will never again miss out on revenue due to changes in OEM schedules.
This Dealership Made Increased Revenue Significantly By Texting Coupons
Hawkinson Nissan experienced a significant spike in its redemption rate and a substantial revenue increase by using the TEXTcoupons on their website for an oil and filter change.
The innovative sales and marketing solution caters to the needs of dealerships and customers alike with many INTERACT™ suite of features including TEXTcoupons, which give dealerships the ability to send coupons and other offers to customers’ smartphones.
Customers appreciate the convenience of receiving offers on their devices instead of being forced to print them out from a website. Plus, text messaging is the preferred form of communication among consumers today, with 94% of consumers favoring dealers that can text message. Texts have a phenomenal 98% open rate, as well.
Making your customers’ lives easier will leave a lasting impression. Sending them offers on their smartphones not only increases the chances they will review and redeem the offers, it also shows them you want them to save money.
While all of the features enabled by INTERACT™ are designed with pre-existing templates that make texting customers quick and easy, they also allow you to personalize each message with both the customer’s and service advisor’s name. This will show them you care about their individual needs.
The INTERACT™ website features in TEXT2DRIVE include TEXT4appointment, TEXTme, TEXTconnect, LIVEchat, TEXTmarketing and TEXTvehicle.
Increase Your Repair Order ROI By Texting
Service advisors can save as much as 40 hours per month on average when they use the TEXT2DRIVE™ messaging platform to communicate with customers. The solution, designed specifically with dealerships in mind, gives your service staff the ability to keep customers informed of repair completion and service intervals, as well as follow up on recommended repairs, via text message instead of calling and leaving voicemails.
An equally compelling benefit of using TEXT2DRIVE is its proven ability to improve customer satisfaction, which ultimately bolsters your dealership’s ROI. How does it make customers happy? By keeping them updated on the status of their vehicle when they bring it in for service and touching base with them following their appointments - both of which are done through automated text messages.
Additionally, text messaging is the ideal way to get feedback from customers to improve CSI scores and correct any weak areas in your service department.
Text messages increase repair order ROI in the following ways:
- More effective follow-up
- Mitigate customer issues before they get out of hand
- Gain insight into your customer service efforts
- Satisfied customers will return again and again
- Get significant results without exerting great effort
The Auto Industry’s Best Kept Secret? Safety Recalls
Auto dealers are losing out on a significant source of service revenue, with the majority of manufacturer’s safety recalls never getting serviced. It is not for lack of desire on the customer’s part. After all, they do not have to pay a dime. The culprit is lack of awareness that there is a safety recall on their vehicle.
Traditional communication falls short in effective notification. The majority of snail mail gets tossed in the trash without a second glance and emails get overlooked because inboxes are overflowing. Finding a solution to this problem is critical, as serviced recalls not only mean payment from manufacturers, but also opportunities to upsell customers once their vehicle is in the service bay.
When the customer is standing in front of you at the dealership, you have their full attention as you rarely do at other times. This gives your service department a prime opportunity to review previously declined services and perform maintenance or manufacturer’s recommended services on their vehicle.
But first you need to get them into your dealership. With an unsurpassed open rate of 98%, text messaging is the clear winner when it comes to making customers aware of open recalls on their vehicles.
TEXT2DRIVE™ was designed to empower auto dealerships to leverage the power of texting for their service department. Using HANDS-FREE RECALL NOTICES, TEXT2DRIVE does the following to increase the number of recalls your dealership services:
- Conducts a search in your dealership database for open recalls
- Cross references your customer list with open recalls
- Sends you a detailed report containing the number and type of recalls
- You can then specify the recall codes that will receive notifications, as well as the quantity and frequency of sends
Making customers aware of recalls using this method works.
Why Customer Satisfaction Affects Revenue And Repair Orders
Having satisfied customers is not just icing on the cake when it comes to the success of your service department. Customer satisfaction - or lack thereof - can make a major impact on profitability and customer retention.
Service department revenue is driven through repair orders (ROs). Nearly every transaction that occurs is processed through ROs. The more ROs you get, the more revenue you make.
Leveraging the power of text messaging, you can improve processes such as following up with customers, managing the amount of time your employees spend communicating with customers, track inventory and communicate seamlessly with customers. Direct, efficient and non-intrusive communication with customers ultimately leads to opening and completing more ROs.
TEXT2DRIVE™, a full-featured communications platform developed specifically for auto dealerships, empowers your service department to open the lines of communication with customers, delight them and keep them coming back to your dealership to get their vehicle serviced. It capitalizes on consumers’ preference for text messaging as a form of communication.
Important Points From The TEXT2DRIVE Video Communications Webinar
Customers spend $125 more when videos are sent.
This was one of the key takeaways from the TEXT2DRIVE video communications webinar that took place on November 14th, 2019. Service technicians can use the TEXT2DRIVE Mobile App to record and send videos in which they show customers necessary repairs.
Videos build customer trust and rev up profits, as Chris Soloman, Director Of Product Development, demonstrated to attendees. It also offers a slew of other benefits including the following:
- Better retention rates
- Improved engagement
- Strong ROI
- Popular with mobile users
- Conveys messages more clearly and faster
Sending customers videos of proposed repairs supports the recommendations. Videos also help explain complex mechanical issues your customers may not comprehend otherwise. When customers can see that the recommended repairs are valid and are able to understand why they are necessary, it sets them up to realize why they must be done.
Every employee, even those who lack technical prowess, can easily use the video app. The makers of TEXT2DRIVE took this into account when designing the app.
Your service staff can use the TEXT2DRIVE Mobile App to complete a number of different tasks:
- Get and add customer information to the CMS
- Record and send recommended repair videos
- Add videos, photos and other media to customer accounts
- Let service advisors review recommended repair videos
Pump Up Service Revenue With Less Investment
Minimizing the number of repetitive tasks your service staff must complete while increasing the revenue your dealershaip generates is a tricky venture. Issues that service department managers often face include a shortage of service bays, running out of square footage in your repair shop, rising profit margins, a lack of sufficient hours in a day, understaffing and slow moving recommended repair approvals.
Further complicating the matter is the delicate balance you must strike between communicating with customers often enough and becoming invasive. Calling customers on a regular basis is a surefire way to aggravate them.
Most of your customers prefer to communicate with you via text messaging. It is fast, unintrusive and they can respond whenever it is most convenient for them. TEXT2DRIVE sends a series of automated message via text on behalf of your staff including:
- NEW: Lease expiration
- First service notice
- Appointment calendar invitation
- Appointment reminder
- Welcome message
- Status update
- Ready for pickup
- Speed CheckOut™ online pay
- Declined service reminder
- Vehicle service reminder
These automated messages save your staff time because they are deployed by the software. The templates used for the messages are easy and fast for anyone to customize.
Designed to help your service department generate more revenue, the series is profit-driven. As a result, you gain the power to increase service revenue while allocating more time to the core responsibilities of your job.
Safety Recall Text Alerts Gave Dealers A $282/Repair Order Average
The dealership gold mine of safety recall alerts has gone largely untapped - until now. The makers of TEXT2DRIVE created HANDS-FREE RECALL NOTICES for inclusion in the full-featured communications platform. Your service staff can utilize pre-existing templates to personalize and send the alerts.
The process of using the alerts is simple:
- TEXT2DRIVE reviews all of the contacts in your customer database and cross references it with available open safety recalls from the manufacturer
- The software generates a detailed report outlining the types and number of open recalls
- You can filter campaigns according to your preference, with options including the quantity and frequency of sends, as well as the types of recall codes
You barely have to lift a finger, as TEXT2DRIVE extracts the necessary data from your database. Best of all, HANDS-FREE RECALL NOTICES work.
Dealerships that used them earned an average total pay of $282.20 per repair order.
Dealerships Reduce Parts Obsolescence 54% On Average Using Text Notifications
Unused parts can cause your dealership to lose a significant amount of revenue. The seemingly small cost of one unused part here and another unused part over there can add up quickly.
Managing parts that have been special-ordered is probably the last thing you want to do in addition to all of your other responsibilities. The makers of TEXT2DRIVE took this into account and created a parts interface that empowers your staff to easily manage your parts inventory.
The interface pulls data in real-time from your DMS that informs your staff about parts that have been ordered and received. It uses text messages to alert customers when their parts arrive and remind them that their vehicle is due for service.
The software also records parts your staff has booked into the DMS as having been received so that you always know exactly what your inventory consists of. It keeps an updated, live log of every single parts order placed and received by your employees.
Dealerships have enjoyed 54% average decrease in parts obsolescence thanks to the parts notifications.
Service Reminders Yield Average $17K Repair Order Revenue In 60 Days
Staying on top of OEM schedules for all of your customers’ vehicles is challenging, to say the least. However, recommended maintenance is a significant source of potential revenue for dealerships - which makes taking advantage of it a priority.
Between OEMs altering schedules for new vehicles and technology and customers changing their appointments, it is easy to miss work that should be done.
Automated service reminders from TEXT2DRIVE solve this problem by sending a service reminder to your dealership when a service date is approaching for a customer’s vehicle. Using service reminders, you can keep track of service dates even when OEMs change them because the software integrates with your business development center and manufacturer databases.
On average 15.37% of customers who were sent service reminders had service performed on their vehicle less than 30 days later.
Suburban Volvo Earned A $4,000 Recommended Repair Approval Using Video
Getting customers to approve recommended repairs is tricky. Customers lack an understanding of vehicle mechanics and this makes them struggle to comprehend the recommendations your staff makes.
Additionally, when customers cannot visualize the repairs that need to be made, parting with their hard-earned cash can sound painful. How can you solve these problems?
By showing customers recommended repairs via video. Using the TEXT2DRIVE Mobile App, service technicians can record and send short videos via text message in which they point out exactly what needs to be repaired and explain why. These videos also build trust because the customer can see the issues with their own eyes.
Suburban Volvo capitalized on the video feature to transform a potential decline into an approval. While examining a vehicle a customer brought in for an oil leak, the service technician encountered low tire volume, a loose tire rod and a brake bleeder that had broken off.
Since the customer had opted out of receiving text messages, the technician showed her the video he recorded of the issues on his own phone. When the customer saw the video, she recognized the necessity of the repairs. She made an informed decision to approve the work.
By utilizing video, Suburban Volvo obtained approval on $4,000 in recommended repairs.
Dealerships Earned $28,533 Per Month On Average Of Additional Revenue With Service Appointment Reminders
Getting customers to schedule a service appointment is just half of the battle. The other half is getting them to keep it. Reminding them that they have an appointment coming up the next day is highly effective for achieving this goal.
For this reason, TEXT2DRIVE built automated appointment reminders into its full-featured communications platform. The text messages are sent the day before a customer’s appointment and let them know it is approaching.
The pre-existing templates provided by TEXT2DRIVE reduce the time your staff must spend on communicating with customers. They can easily be personalized with the date and time of the appointment as well as the customer’s name and vehicle information.
Dealerships that use auatomated appointment reminders from TEXT2DRIVE increased their show rate by 6.5% on average, earning an additional monthly revenue of $28,533 on average.
Declined Service Reminders Generated More Than $6K In Additional Revenue In 1 Month
Sometimes the person who declines recommended repairs is not the owner of the vehicle. This can happen if they send someone else to pick up the car. When this situation occurs, the customer is unaware that work was recommended in the first place.
Resolving this issue is critical because recommended repairs are a potential major source of revenue for your dealership. Fortunately, TEXT2DRIVE was designed with the capability to do just that. The process starts with notes made by service advisors in a customer’s account indicating whether or not the customer approved the work.
At this point, you can target the customers who declined recommended repairs to change their minds or make them aware of the recommendations if they were not previously. A declined service reminder is then automatically sent to the customer via text message.
Declined service reminders yielded $6,643 of additional revenue on average in March of 2019.
Declined Service Reminders Convert 12.65% Of Customers
There is a surefire way to make customers aware of recommended repairs every time. Declined service reminders from TEXT2DRIVE inform vehicle owners directly, via text message.
The cherry on the Sunday is, people like to text message. It is a form of communication that does not disrupt their busy lives nor inconvenience them, and they can send a response anywhere and anytime.
Declined service reminders are also easy for your employees to master, with pre-existing templates and a simple process. Since the platform deploys the texts automatically, your staff saves time they can dedicate to other tasks.
The interface provides all of the necessary information including associated repair order numbers, the declined work, the work that was done, the date range of the declined services, the service advisor’s name and any notifications that were sent previously.
From January 2019 to February 2019, dealerships saw 12.65% of customers contacted via automated declined service reminders opened a repair order within 30 days.
Automation Makes A Major Impact On CSI Scores And Service Revenue
Keeping customers happy and getting approval for more recommended repairs is contingent on communicating with the right customers at the right time. The automation TEXT2DRIVE utilizes allows your dealership staff to do just that - without requiring extra time of your employees. In fact, it saves them time.
This impressive technology allowed dealerships to send customers 4.7 million text messages - 76.4% of those messages automated - in March of 2019.
Intelligent automation controls processes through highly automatic means and is typically carried out by electronic devices. AI allows intelligent automation to complete tasks that usually depend on human intelligence, relieving your staff of the burden.
The powerful automation in TEXT2DRIVE powers features including the following:
- Service reminders
- Declined service reminders
- Appointment reminders
- Appointment calendar invites
- Vehicle health alerts
These advanced communication capabilities are not a fantasy! They are available to any dealership who uses TEXT2DRIVE.
Features That Jumpstart Service Department Revenue
Recognizing that the service department is the lifeblood of any auto dealership, the makers of TEXT2DRIVE incorporated features into the solution that boost customer satisfaction and drive revenue.
Starting from the time the customer purchases a vehicle at your dealership and cycling through the entire service process and associated follow-ups, the dual purpose of the automation workflow is to land service appointments and foster customer loyalty and retention. Automated texts are deployed to each customer depending on where they are in the lifecycle. Messages include vehicle first service reminder, appointment reminder, vehicle status updates, customer satisfaction index survey request, declined vehicle service reminder and safety recall alert.
HANDS-FREE RECALL NOTICES
Customers cannot bring their vehicles in for recall servicing unless they know there is a recall on their vehicle in the first place. Using information from your database, TEXT2DRIVE cross references your customer list with open recalls and notify them via automated text message. With a 98% open rate, informing customers via text message of the recall is an ideal way to ensure they receive and read the message. All you need to do is set your recall preferences and frequency. TEXT2DRIVE takes care of the rest.
In order to get the most bang for your buck from your website, it must incorporate interactive features. TEXT2DRIVE does just this, with interactive features that engage visitors and compel them to take action. These features include TEXTconnect, TEXTcoupons, TEXTvehicle, LIVEchat, TEXT4appointment, TEXTmarketing and TEXTme. Dealers are notified in real-time whenever one of these features is engaged and all interactions are saved in the TEXT2DRIVE platform for quick and easy retrieval at any time.
In this day and age, consumers have come to expect the option to pay their bill online, regardless of industry. The makers of TEXT2DRIVE designed Speed CheckOut to meet this demand. The technology automatically sends customers their invoice via text message, customers are given the option to pay online and they complete the transaction using the e-sign feature. Since customers receive their invoice prior to picking up their vehicle, they are able to direct any questions they may have at the service advisor who supervised the work. Speed CheckOut also provides cutting edge technology to mitigate fraud risks. Security features include point-to-point encryption, tokenization and PCI compliance through Trustwave.
TEXT2DRIVE Mobile App
The makers of TEXT2DRIVE took into account ease of use when they redesigned the mobile app. The interface has been improved, the design is clean and the graphics resemble text messaging apps on personal devices. Your service staff can efficiently interact with customers through text messages in a legally compliant manner. They will no longer be chained to a desk! Features available on the mobile app include video, employee chat and access to customer accounts.
Customers are much more likely to approve recommended repairs when they can see the issue with their own eyes. Video communications makes this possible by giving service technicians the ability to send customers videos in which they point out the work that needs to be done. These videos build trust with customers and demonstrate that your staff is transparent.
Vehicle Health Report
Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealerships will stay in-the-know when a service light comes on in a customer’s vehicles. TEXT2DRIVE automatically sends vehicle health report notifications to the customer’s cell phone when a service light is triggered. The customer is offered help from your dealership, and if they accept, they can communicate directly with your service department via text message.
The group chat feature allows employees to chat one-on-one, with a department, several departments or the entire dealership. Facilitating clear communication among staff members improves productivity and customer service. Creating a group chat room is quick and easy, as is starting a one-on-one chat. The names of employees who are online appear at the top so that you know exactly who is available to chat at any given time.
The Proof Is In The Key Performance Indicators
If you want definitive proof that TEXT2DRIVE will deliver results for your service department, the following key performance indicators fit the bill.
- Dealerships that used automated CSI survey requests experienced an average increase of 141% in the number of surveys completed over the course of one year.
- Dealerships that use TEXT2DRIVE saw their CSI scores increase 35% on average over a one-year period.
- In March of 2019, 12.65% of customers sent automated declined service reminders by dealerships who use TEXT2DRIVE opened an RO within 30 days.
- Dealerships generated on average $6,643 of additional revenue in March, from sending declined service reminders January 2019 to February 2019.
- In March of 2019, dealerships enjoyed an improvement of 6.5% in their show rates on average because of automated service reminders - generating $28,533 in additional revenue per month on average.
- Of the customers who received automated text service reminders, 15.37% of them had a service performed within less than 30 days. As a result, In March, these dealerships generated $17,079 in revenue on average from January 2019 to February 2019 service reminders.
- Parts department automated alerts resulted in an average 54% decrease in parts obsolescence for dealerships that use TEXT2DRIVE.
- Dealerships that sent video MPIs from TEXT2DRIVE experienced an average $125 increase per RO.
- In March, safety recall alerts helped dealerships earn an average total pay of $282.20 per RO.
- An overwhelming 78% of customers sent SPEED CHECKOUT™ requests by dealerships in March 2019 opted to pay their bill online.
Service Department Success Stories
The dealerships that have gone before you with TEXT2DRIVE have paved the way. Thanks to them, you can see exactly how beneficial it is for the service department.
Hebert’s Town & Country increased its CSI scores by using TEXT2DRIVE
- Service advocacy - 32% increase
- Overall service advisor - 27% increase
- Fixed first visit - 10% increase
- Surveys completed - 208% increase
- CSI score rose from 71% to 96% in a few months
- Captured the number one spot for dealership CSI within its market
- Decreased call volume in half by replacing it with text messages
- Decreased response time from an average of 4 hours for voice mails to 90 seconds for text messages
- Increased open rates from 20% for email to 98% for text messages
- $125 increase on average in RO totals when video was sent
- Sending video increased average customer pay by $125 - an improvement of 82%
- 2,399 coupons requested
- 998 coupons redeemed
- 60% increase in RO redemptions
Sending safety recall notices increases service department revenue and decreases the time between repair orders. Dealerships that used safety recall text messages earned an average total pay per RO of $282*.