We communicate differently now than we did 10 or 20-plus years ago. In the past, service writers had to record a customer’s home and work phone numbers on a large invoice in a duplicate book. Then, when the estimate was ready, you would have to call, and often, leave a message for them to call you back. If you hadn’t heard from the customer after a reasonable amount of time, you would have to try again (and again, and again) later in the hopes of catching them.
Once they approved the work and it was done, the same process took place. Playing phone tag with customers could have been an Olympic sport 20 years ago.
Nowadays, most of your customers don’t even have landline phones, relying instead on cell phones for communication. Those that do have landlines don’t answer them very often as the calls typically come from telemarketers. The vast majority of the people who walk in your shop will have a phone in their pocket or purse. Many of them have smartphones, enabling them to view web pages, check their emails, receive text messages and look at photos while waiting at your shop.
However, simply having easily accessible phones doesn’t necessarily make your customers any more likely to answer a call. If anything, the advent of smartphones has made people talk to each other even less. If the phone rings and the person doesn’t recognize the number, they’ll typically ignore it, waiting for the ensuing voicemail or text message.
This happens all the time when you call a customer to tell them that their vehicle is ready. If they don’t have your number saved, they’ll likely ignore the call. As great as smartphones are at keeping us connected while on the go, they still have not made it easier to get people to answer the phone.
To ensure that your customers receive your messaging, it is crucial that you clearly explain to them how you will communicate with them. For example, when a customer drops off their car with you, you could tell them that you’ll email a copy of the estimate for their approval. This way, they’ll know to expect an email from you. It is a good idea to give them an estimated time frame as well so they aren’t constantly checking their email for the estimate when you haven’t even started it yet.
Similarly, you could tell a customer that you’ll text them when their car is ready for pickup. Although many customers prefer text and email messages to actual phone calls, there are still those who prefer to speak to someone. Ask your customers about their preferred communication methods so that you can accommodate their communication styles. The goal is to deliver your messages to your customers in their preferred manner to maximize the likelihood that they will receive the message promptly.
With the ProfitBoost system, you can easily send text messages to your clients within the platform, telling them when the estimate is ready and when the car is ready for pick-up. You can also send images taken with an iPad or tablet. This built-in messaging system helps you keep car owners in the loop without having to play phone tag. Fast, efficient and secure.
This capability is included in all our packages. You can also email vehicle inspection reports, repair orders and price estimates. The ability to communicate quickly and effectively is essential in today’s business climate, and your customers will expect this from you. ProfitBoost makes it easy to stay in touch with your clients while also keeping accurate records of all communications in case there is ever an issue.
We welcome you to get in touch with us today to learn more about the communication capabilities of ProfitBoost and how they can help your auto shop. Call now at (888) 274-3776 to get started.