Is anyone using a texting solution for service successfully and if so which vendor do you recommend?

Tracy Gell

We've got some funds to use for service and they can only be used in a couple of ways. One of which is a texting solution for service. Has anyone had good luck with this and do you have a particular vendor you would recommend using? Have you found any issues or pitfalls with the system you're using for texting? I appreciate any help I can get with this one as I've not tried this before.

Ujj Nath

Tracy,
I would suggest you at least get a demo from us.  We are a company that is the clear leader when it comes to Fixed-Ops for communications (and yes we do support bi-directional Texting which is fully TCPA compliant) too, but we have very unique approach that you should look at. I am asking for 45 minutes of your time and you will see why our customers see a lift of 37% on CP$. Please go to our website https://mykaarma.com/demo-2/ or you can call or text me at (310) 879-5005

Phil Vogel

Hi Tracy. There is no better product in the market than www.singlethread.com. They have a fully compliant and integrated solution that provides bi-directional communications that in NOT dependent on having a current scheduling tool, however provides integration as necessary. I've reviewed most all of the solutions out there and this is hands down the leader in the space. Privacy compliance, increased hrs/RO, payment portal and inspection tools that are non exsitant in others. Plus the founders are car people. 

Rich Hesse

 Hi Tracy, We use Kaarma for almost all of our customer communication at our dealership. It's so easy for the dealership employees to use.......I actually just had a new employee comment on how great and how easy Kaarma is to use. Your customers will love the convenience of texting vs email/phone. The support is also amazing if you ever have questions and/or suggestions. I highly recommend Kaarma. Good Luck! Rich

David Yasnoff

Regardless of what SMS provider you use I'd suggest the following to optimize your response rates and shield you from legal risk...

1.  Send messages from a real 10 digit number in your local area code.  Short codes get a response rate of 1% or less.  10 digit numbers routinely provide 30-60% response rates.  That's a no brainer.  

2.  Target your messages carefully to those that will likely appreciate them (aka send service reminders only to folks who haven't been in for a long time).  This sounds obvious but sorting your data can be challenging... make sure your vendor handles this problem for you.

3.  Include the recipients name in the message, as well as your name and the dealership name.  This not only increases response rates but it provides a host of legal protections as well.  

3.  Include their model of vehicle or other specific details (to help them realize this is highly personalized).  Find a vendor that drops in these details for you so you don't have to send messages one at a time.  

4.  Make sure your texting is two way, and be very responsive to replies.  Also be sure if they call in response that those calls are forwarded where you want them (many people will just call back).  

5.  Send at thoughtful times of day (in our experience Monday and Tuesday mornings work best for service reminders).  

6.  Make sure your vendor indemnifies you from the legal risk of SMS.  If their solution is within TCPA (many are not) they should be willing to guarantee that liability from sending SMS is their responsibility... not yours.  

7.  Record everything forever.  Never discard or delete any customer communications since you may need them in the event their is ever a dispute over what was said.  (aka don't use personal phones or free/cheap consumer services).  

8.  Make sure your provider allows 2 way MMS so you can see pictures your customers send you and view pictures they send back.  This can be especially helpful in the event they'd like to see more details regarding a suggested repair.  

9.  Whatever process you have for managing opt outs needs to work perfectly.  If someone opts out and you message them again you are exposing yourself and your store to millions of dollars in liability.  

10.  So here is a template for an effective message...

"Hi <customer name>, it's <your name> from <dealer name>.  I see your <make> of vehicle may be due for service.  Can I help you make an appointment? :)"

ps.  The smile at the end actually increases response rate.  

I hope that's helpful regardless of what vendor you choose, there are many good ones but also many sketchy ones.  Choose wisely.  If you'd like to learn more about our offering for service or for sales we're at www.sendsmart.com, if you fill out our contact form we'll be in touch with you within minutes.  

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ujj Nath

Dave,
Your answer is very thoughtful and analytical.  I did not have such a good framework to evaluate our product against.  Other than your point #6 (we do limited indemnification, because we cannot indemnify against misuse - our solutions are used not only for retention between service visits,  but also during the repair), we either comply or practice what you are recommending. 

Thanks,

Ujj

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