Boosting Shop Business with Two-Way Texting
Roughly 97 percent of adults text weekly. Thirty-six percent of customers want to connect with businesses post-business hours and do so over the phone. And, 89 percent of customers want to use text messaging to communicate with businesses like body shops, according to the company Podium.
What does this mean for the modern body shop business? That your customers want to text you.
Offering two-way texting is likely to be beneficial for a shop and increase its positive customer experience. For example, maybe a customer is at work during the shop’s business hours and needs an alternative option or, for whatever reason, the customer can’t make a call and can only text wherever they're at.
Forty-eight percent of customers prefer to use SMS text messaging, according to Podium.
“We kind of see this as a larger ecosystem,” says Brett Steele, regional sales director for Podium, an interaction platform that gives customers options on messaging and customer interaction.
Below, Steele shares how a two-way texting platform can be implemented and used to better engage with customers.
Once a business signs up for the SMS messaging software, an icon will pop up on its website. This icon will ask a customer to call or text the shop. Once the customer sends a message to the shop, Podium, for instance, will send an automated message back to the customer. Podium messages have no expiration date and are automatically saved in the site’s log of messages.
Steele also recommends that shops try to have a more informal one-on-one conversation with the customer and not just leave it at answering the customer’s question. He says that most text messaging that shops use is for informational purposes and to pass on facts like the business hours, connecting on a more personal level can be beneficial.
Some key benefits to SMS text messaging, Steele says, are options include answering a customer’s repair questions, and sending a quick message asking the customer to give feedback on his or her experience. Customers using Podium have seen a 26 percent increase in NPS scores, the company says.
Staying in Touch
Right now, Podium has some businesses on a trial using the program as a way to communicate within the team.
If the system is used correctly with the customer, customers will open the text message within the first three minutes about 90 percent of the time. On average, shops on Steele’s system report saving five hours communicating with customers each week.
Businesses are also able to set up a Google Click-to-Message option. This is where a shop can add its number to its Google My Business page and allow customers to text them through Google.