Keep Customers Coming Back for Service

These Are Ways That A Dealership Can Keep Customers Coming Back for Service

Filling the service bays is a goal for every dealership. However, finding the most effective way to do this has been difficult. Many dealerships have dedicated personnel calling, emailing, and sending out reminders to customers to come in for routine service, but the response rate is less than desired.

Many customers do not have routine vehicle maintenance on their minds. Many do not think about it until they get a reminder, and even then, they are not quick to respond. Too many customers wait until something is seriously wrong with their vehicles to make an appointment for service.

You can’t force a person to respond to an email or a notice in their mailbox, and most people who do not recognize a phone number let the call go to voice mail, so talking to them is not often an option.  So how do you get your clients to respond to reminders without seeming pushy or salesy?

Crafted Text Messaging

Text messaging has become the ultimate tool for bringing in customers.

The Reason That Text Messages Work

People like text messages. They are short, and can be answered quickly. You don’t have to wait for return emails, you don’t have to sift through the mail, and you don’t have to be put on the spot by a person on the phone.

Dealerships have found that by using a text messaging service designed to help car dealerships increase service sales, they see significant increases in their service profits.  An example of one of these services is Bitesize.

Dealers work with services like Bitesize so they can schedule clients efficiently. In this example, dealerships provide times when their business is slowest, such as mid-week, and Bitesize sends out texts to encourage a person to schedule for service, and when they respond, they schedule them on the slow days.

Amazing Response Time

Bitesize has developed a great method of creating texts that get results. They are short and personal, making the client feel important. The response rate is amazing, with many people responding to the text within a minute or two to schedule service.

Service shops are also seeing a significant increase in recall repairs when they use the Bitesize contact method. So many recalls go unrepaired because people do not pay attention to the mail notices they receive for the recall. With Bitesize, they respond almost immediately, and dealerships see a huge increase in repair work.

Timing And Quantity Of Messages Is Key

People receive many text messages each day. You must not overburden your clients with multiple text messages in a single day unless you are having a conversation. It is also important that you do not send too many texts during the week. People become annoyed if you overcommunicate unnecessarily.

Sending a reminder text and then following up on it a week or two later is a great way to keep your dealership on the mind of the clients without appearing pushy. It is also important to personalize the text when possible.  Text messaging is a very personal way of communicating; people will respond better when you keep the messages personal instead of sending a blanket text.

Keep Customers Coming Back for Service

Return On Investment (ROI) Is Very High

Every dealership has a limited advertising budget.  Every business is also looking for the most ROI from their advertising dollars. It will be very beneficial to compare your different advertising forms to see what is drawing in the most customers for your service center.

Text messaging services have historically has high ROIs compared with other advertising efforts.

Setting Up The System Is Simple

When you start your texting campaign, designate a time to send out the texts and have people available to respond to your clients. By setting a specific time each day, and assigning staff to respond to these messages you will have the highest response rate because you will have people interacting with clients right away.

You may want to consider dedicating some of the time employees use to call to call clients or engage in other forms of advertising to manage this task during your texting time slot. You will be very surprised at how quickly clients will reply to texts, so it is necessary to have your employees ready when the initial texts are sent.

If you are ready to increase your service center profits and get the most from your advertising budget, consider using a dealership-focused text messaging service for your dealership. You may begin to see the increases in service class.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are purchasing a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you make a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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