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How to Simplify Service Reminders for Your Shop

Service reminders are nothing new in the auto repair industry — or anywhere else, for that matter. Sometimes clients forget about their upcoming appointments, and a reminder is all it takes to win their business. 

But it’s not enough for service reminders to simply exist – they need to be convenient for your customer, too. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have found that customer service is more important than ever in maintaining loyalty. About 97% of people shopping for products online have bailed on a planned purchase over a lack of convenience. 

Service reminders are an easy way to reduce appointment no-shows while enhancing your customer experience. Keep reading to learn four effective ways to simplify your shop’s service reminders.

Utilize Technology

Convenience is crucial in today’s auto repair market, and the best way to make life simple for your clientele is to embrace the technology they prefer. Before choosing a service reminder method for your auto shop, make sure you’re meeting customers where they are – in other words, adapting to their communication method of choice. 

In the past, your shop may have relied on “traditional” reminder methods, like sending notices in the mail or making phone calls to remind people of upcoming appointments. However, these days, people use computers and smart devices constantly. Sending reminders to these devices is often the best way to reach them.

Technology can simplify the process for you, too! With the right service reminder software, you can automate most of the process instead of sending out reminders manually.

SMS Text Messaging

Once you’ve decided to use technology-based reminders for upcoming auto shop appointments, the next question is obvious: What form should your reminders take? 

SMS text messages are one of today’s most popular appointment reminder methods, and there’s no shortage of reasons why that’s the case. 

When you choose text reminders for auto shop appointments, you’ll benefit from:

  • High customer engagement levels. Text messages have an incredible open rate of 98% — even marketing messages. In comparison, email has an open rate of 21%.
  • Quick response times. Customers don’t let text messages sit unopened for too long, either. The average response time for texts is just 90 seconds.
  • Customer satisfaction. Research suggests that most auto shop customers appreciate getting text reminders before their appointments arrive. Meanwhile, 64% of your clientele prefers text over phone calls for customer service purposes.
  • Reduced no-shows. Everyone in the auto repair industry understands just how painful no-shows can be — and how much of a negative impact they can have on your bottom line. Luckily, text reminders can reduce no-show rates by almost 40%.

Email Reminders

Considering the data listed above, it may seem like text messages are the clear answer for sending out appointment reminders for your auto shop. That said, you might also want to think about adding email reminders to your workflow. 

When done right, email appointment reminders can:

  • Reach different demographics. When you hear that 55% of customers prefer text over email for appointment reminders, your first instinct may be to ignore emails entirely. But that also means almost half of customers prefer email instead, so it’s in your best interest to offer both options. 
  • Provide many of the same benefits as texting. Admittedly, email reminders aren’t as flashy as SMS text reminders. However, they’re still much more effective than relying on “snail mail” or phone calls for appointment reminders.
  • Bolster your customer outreach strategy. An appointment reminder strategy that works for one customer might not reach another person. By offering multiple reminder methods, you’ll have something that works for everyone.

Implement Automation

Whether you choose texting, email, or a combination of both for your auto shop appointment reminders, it can be challenging to implement without a reliable system in place.

You shouldn’t try to handle the job of reminding customers on your own. When you’re already busy running an independent auto shop, manually staying up-to-date on every scheduled appointment would be nearly impossible.

Instead, it’s best to automate your appointment reminders. By choosing an automated appointment reminder system for your shop, you’ll:

  • Avoid the risk of forgetting to send appointment reminders 
  • Offer whatever reminder methods you or your customers prefer
  • Save time and money by not handling this job on your own
  • Benefit from related capabilities, such as automatic follow-ups and review requests

No matter what kind of automated service reminders your shop needs, AutoVitals can handle the job. AutoVitals is proud to offer automated customer communication and many other auto shop solutions, including workflow management, digital vehicle inspections, web design, and more. 

Take the first step towards keeping customers in the loop about their upcoming appointments. Set up an AutoVitals demo today!

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