According to a recent article in AutoRemarketing, a study by J.D. Power found that customers are overwhelmingly more loyal, and will return for service, to dealerships that communicate with them well and take the lead in the communication process.
The study found both phone contact and texting increased customer loyalty. Among customers who are contacted by phone, 55 percent say they “definitely will” return for paid service. When receiving text message updates, that loyalty factor jumped to 67 percent.
Customers simply want to know what’s going on with their vehicle – not after the fact but during the whole process. And they want the dealer to stay in communication with them throughout the service process. Service advisors are busy people and, unless your dealership employs a full time staff member to continuously attempt to contact customers with status updates over the phone, you’ll probably find it tough to accomplish.
For the most part, dealerships stick to the form of communication that they’re used to – telephone. While telephones certainly play a part in the communication chain, texting and e-mail can also be effective ways to reach customers. In fact, I have found that a combination of communication methods is the most effective.
It’s tough to get a $500 repair order approved via text, as explaining the value of the recommendations to the customer is typically necessary, which is almost impossible via text.
You can, however, relay simple status updates regularly and/or ask simple questions via text.
And, as the J.D. Power study results show, by utilizing all forms of communication, you can improve customer loyalty, which means happier customers and more service revenue.
You want that, right?
Author: Ujj Nath
Ujj Nath is the Founder and CEO of myKaarma (www.mykaarma.com), the cloud-based conversational commerce software that’s revolutionizing the auto service industry. He has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and automotive industry executive. In 1990, prior to myKaarma, Ujj founded Syncata, a major provider of business consulting and systems integration services. In 2004 he successfully negotiated the sale of the company to ProQuest Business Solutions (NYSE: PQE), which was subsequently acquired by Snap-On Tools (NYSE:SNA). At Snap-On, Ujj was Vice President of Global Accounts and headed the Professional Services Organization for Snap-on Business Solutions. He can be reached at email@example.com.