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How To Text Your Auto Repair Shop Customers

February 29, 2024
Guides & Templates
4 mins read

Adopting text messaging (or SMS) as the primary communication method with your auto shop customers can significantly boost satisfaction, streamline your operations, and propel your shop forward. If you’re hesitant about using texting to communicate with customers, consider the benefits for a moment.

While there’s definitely a time and place for phone calls, they often lead to inefficiencies, such as leaving lengthy voicemails the customer may or may not listen to and playing an endless game of phone tag. In contrast, texting your customers gets your communication in front of them way faster — saving considerable time and enhancing your customer experience strategy.

In today’s digital age, SMS text messaging is the preferred method of communication for most folks. In fact, for most people, it’s the expected method of communication. Businesses, large and small, are using SMS texts to communicate with their customers, and it works.

Why You Should Text Your Customers

Convenience: SMS enables customers to access messages from your shop instantly, which is particularly useful when they’re unable to take calls but can read and respond to texts.

Efficiency: Texting conveys information quickly to a customer and allows them to respond quickly — saving time for both your shop and the customer. Ultimately this leads to to reducing the number of vehicles in your shop that are waiting on approval from the owner to start work. 

Documentation: Texts create a written record of interactions, minimizing misunderstandings and providing a reference for both parties.

Engagement: With open rates for SMS texts exceeding 98%, you’re almost guaranteed that your message will be seen, making it a highly effective strategy for customer communication.

Implementing SMS Text Messaging in Your Auto Repair Shop

Transitioning to a texting-centric communication strategy requires thoughtful planning and execution but is well worth it. Here are some things to consider as you adopt texting in your shop:

Choose the Right Platform: Many shop management systems for auto shops include robust two-way texting features within their end-to-end solutions — we highly recommend you check these out. But if you want to start with just texting, look for a business text messaging platform. A purpose-built SMS platform for texting removes issues around your employees using their personal phones and phone numbers to text customers.

Set Clear Policies: Establish guidelines for SMS customer service, including at what points you proactively send SMS notifications, response times when they text, tone, and the type of information that can be shared via SMS text message.

Train Your Team: Ensure your staff is comfortable with texting etiquette and understands the balance between professionalism and the casual nature of SMS text messaging. Enable them with templates that they can quickly customize.

Inform Your Customers: Tell your customers that texting is an available and preferred communication option, and obtain their consent to receive SMS notifications, ensuring SMS compliance.

Text Templates for Auto Shops

We encourage you to create SMS message templates for all of the key points of communication with your customers when you are servicing their vehicle. Feel free to use these templates:

Appointment Reminder

“Friendly Reminder: Your vehicle appointment with [Name of Your Shop] is on [date of appointment]. Please let us know if you need to reschedule.”

Initial Check-in

“Hi [Customer Name], this is [Your Name] from [Shop Name]. We’ve received your vehicle and are starting the diagnostic process. We’ll update you by [time/date]. If you have any questions, feel free to respond directly to this message!”

Update on Vehicle Status

“Update on your vehicle: we’ve identified the issue as [brief description]. We estimate the repair will cost [amount] and be ready by [time/date]. Please reply to confirm or ask questions.”

Note: The top shop management systems allow you to text an estimate and digital vehicle inspection directly to a customer for their review. They can see exactly what’s going on with their vehicle through the images in the digital inspection, look over the estimate, and approve it from their device.

Completion Notification

“Hello [Customer Name]. Your vehicle is ready for pickup. You can pick it up any time during our business hours [insert your business hours]. I’ve attached your invoice.

Note: Adding a remote payment solution into this process allows customers the option to pay before they arrive – speeding up the pickup process. 

Follow-up for Feedback

“[Customer Name], we hope your vehicle is running smoothly after your visit to [Shop Name]. We’d love to hear about your experience. Please reply to this SMS text message with any feedback. Thank you!”

Asking for a Review

If the customer provides positive feedback, ask them to review your shop on Yelp or Google and send them links for their convenience:

“Thank you for your feedback! If you have a moment to review us on Yelp or Google, we’d greatly appreciate it. <link to Yelp page> <Link to Google Business Profile>”

By incorporating these templates and adapting to a more digital-first approach with texting, your auto repair shop can significantly improve your customer service, impress customers, and boost operational efficiency.

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