When it comes to communicating with dealerships, these days customers want a hands-on digital customer service experience - but not necessarily in the sense you may think.
Gone are the days when the majority of customers relied on phone calls to conduct their business with companies. They want their interactions to happen through text messaging.
The 2019 annual Customer Service Index (CSI) study released by J.D. Power & Associates revealed that 34% of customers prefer to communicate via text message. And they prefer to schedule appointments via the Internet 28% (up 40% from 2015) of the time versus 59% by phone (down -8% from 2015).
Why the trend away from phone calls? It boils down to convenience. With schedules that keep getting busier and a growing set of obligations, people want to check off their to-do lists quickly. A rich digital customer experience allows them to do it.
Text messaging is arguably the most convenient way to communicate. Texts arrive even when phones are in silent mode and people can read and send them whenever is best for them. Plus, it takes under a minute to send the average text and it does not require exchanging lengthy niceties. This makes text messaging an ideal form of interaction for a digital communication platform.
Taking Advantage Of Texting In Your Service Department
J.D. Power & Associates obtained responses from 57,286 owners and lessees of 2016-to-2018 model-year vehicles for the study. Scores reflect the service advisor’s performance, service initiation, service facility, vehicle pickup and overall quality of service.
According to the results, customers think more highly of a dealership that knows their vehicle’s service history and keeps customers informed about the work being performed, status updates on the repair and when their vehicle will be ready to pick up. Vehicle walkarounds also left a positive impression on customers.
Seemingly minor actions on the part of dealerships matter a great deal to customers, as well. Survey results indicate that customers appreciate and remember when service staff complete repairs correctly the first time, restore settings to the condition they were in when the customer dropped off their vehicle and wash their car.
Doing all of the above during a service visit may sound time-consuming, but a well-designed text messaging platform can accomplish all of these tasks with minimal effort required on the part of your staff.
- Vehicle first service reminder to ensure the customer’s car gets the work it needs to continue running well
- Appointment calendar invite that gives the customer the option to add the appointment to the calendar app on their phone
- Service department appointment reminder to help busy customers stay on top of their schedule
- Service advisor welcome message letting the customer know the advisor is available for anything they need
- Vehicle status updates filling the customer in on the progress of their repair and assuring them everything is going smoothly
- Vehicle ready for pick-up letting the customer know exactly when they can pick up their car
- Speed CheckOut™ mobile bill pay sends each customer their invoice via a text message, giving them the option to review and pay it online, from any device
- Service follow-up and thank you expressing appreciation for the customer’s business and encouraging them to call with any questions
- Customer satisfaction index survey request to improve the chances the customer will complete the survey and rate your dealership highly
Reaping The Rewards Of A Digital Customer Experience
Staying up to date on customers’ vehicle history and keeping them informed throughout each service visit through TEXT2DRIVE™ pays off for dealerships.
Sandberg Volvo Cars saw a 35.2% increase in its overall CSI score - from 71% to 96% when it utilized automated pre-built text messages to communicate with customers. This improvement placed Sandberg in the top spot for dealership CSI within its market.
Additionally, the dealership was able to decrease the average customer response time from 4 hours for voice mails to 90 seconds for text messages. Sandberg also cut its call volume in half. This saved the dealership labor, manpower and time it could put toward generating revenue in other areas.
Give customers the convenience and freedom of communicating with your employees through text messaging and your dealership can enjoy higher CSI scores, as well. They will appreciate the digital customer service experience you provide.
Schedule a live demo of TEXT2DRIVE™ to find out what it can do for your CSI scores and revenue.