If you want to send targeted messages to your customers, you need to know when and where to reach them most effectively. In the past, many auto repair shops turned to email but there might be a better way: text appointment reminders. Text message marketing is far more effective with a 97% open rate and most texts being read within 15 minutes of delivery, it nearly guarantees that your customers will see it.
With that said, there are best practices to follow to ensure your customers utilize this form of communication and allow you to send other messages, like promotional announcements.
Here’s what auto repair shops should know before sending text appointment reminders.
Text messages are incredibly easy to send, but you don’t want to abuse the privilege. Especially in the beginning, it is crucial to come up with a standard frequency that won’t annoy customers and lead them to opt-out of your messages.
Send the reminder too early and customers may forget about their appointment. Send it too late, and they may need to reschedule because they won’t be able to work it into their busy schedule. It is a fine line between sending too many messages and sending just enough to help them keep their appointments. A good benchmark for text appointment reminders would be to send them at the one-week, three-day, and 24-hour marks.
Auto repair shops that were early to adopt a text message strategy might have found that their texts sounded impersonal or robotic. Now, there are tons of ways to customize messages sent to your customers like adding their name, appointment date and time, important reminders for their appointment, and more.
While you need to customize your messages, you also need to be mindful of staying concise. You want to avoid sending lengthy text messages with unimportant information. Give customers all of the information they need without overwhelming them, for example,
This is an appointment reminder from Fred’s Auto. You’re scheduled for an oil change on Monday, July 14 at 1 pm. Click to reschedule.
Text appointment reminders are meant to make things easier for customers, and this sometimes means that they will need to reschedule their appointment. Creating a click-to-call option allows them to move their appointment directly from their text alleviating the need to look up your number or send an email.
While text appointment reminders are certainly helpful for most customers, some people will still want to opt out. Give them the freedom to choose when and how they hear from you by including an opt-out option at the bottom of your appointment reminders.
This simple statement makes it clear to your customers that they control your communication with them. If you find that too many of your customers are opting out, it might be time to take a survey to find out the reason. It could be because you are sending messages too frequently.
One of the best things about text appointment reminders is that they can be automated, taking another responsibility off your plate and cutting back on the work your front office staff has to do to keep up with a steady stream of appointments.
With the right software, the process of sending text appointment reminders can be simplified. AutoVitals can help.
AutoVitals is a comprehensive software solution that makes marketing easy for you and more convenient for customers. In addition to automating your SMS text messages, we can improve your web presence, and online booking options, and even help to streamline your workflow increasing your car count and ARO.
Our goal is to make your auto repair shop runs smoothly so that you can put your focus on more important things like tending to the repairs your customers need most. Call us today to schedule your demo of how we can help you automate your marketing efforts and increase your visibility online.