As we head into the second quarter of 2022, service departments are starting to see a boost in business. It’s a good time to make sure communication is the best it can be.
While phone calls are still being used, texting is by far the best way to reach customers for information on important service updates and purchases… and it’s not close.
The average email sent from a business gets a 12% average open rate. This also does not mean that those people who open the email are reading it, or even know what’s in it.
In comparison, texts are opened 98% of the time, with 96% of those read within three minutes of getting it. People open texts because their phone is in their hand, or in their pocket, and they see the notification right away. It takes just seconds to respond.
The ease of communication is why many service departments are running their entire operation through texting.
Customers have gotten familiar with limited interactions and the drop in the amount of time they are having to interact with dealerships. They now go from spending hours on the phone in some cases, to just minutes via text.
Data from dealers who use Kenect’s texting platform show a 55% increase in text messaging per dealer year over year. This started even before the pandemic.
We also found that 75% of customers would rather text a dealership with a question than give them a call. Since dealers don’t need to see customers face-to-face, some are now completing entire transactions, lead to payment, via texting.
When service departments use texting, it saves them time and increases revenue. Dealers who use Kenect say they save on average about 45 minutes per person in the service department. This adds up! Each minute saved is more time service bays have to bring in extra customers and more revenue.
This texting trend is not just popular with customers. Staffing shortages and supply issues are forcing businesses to find ways to cut time.
With texts, they can send customers quick messages with updates on parts, or updates on service so the department does not get backlogged, and employees don’t have to spend all day playing phone tag with customers.
The Kenect texting platform also allows service departments to send pictures or do a video chat with customers to show them what they are working on. The platform is added to each workers’ phone, and they can just pull up the app, and start interacting with customers.
In addition to sending pictures, workers can also send links to text-to-pay so the customer can fill out the payment information themselves, complete the transaction, and then pickup their equipment with limited interaction.
Keep in mind, customers want to be texted. The pandemic has changed the way dealerships operate, not just in house, but for customers as well. Make sure you are meeting the customers in the platforms they are getting used to so you can keep communication clear, and your shop operating fully well into 2022.