Overlooking a Simple Retention Tactic
Sending out service reminders via e-mail or text, making follow-up calls, mailing postcards, scheduling next visits at the time of car delivery — there are many tactics automotive service-repair businesses can use to retain customers. But one simple tactic is often overlooked: empowerment.
The customers of today, and tomorrow, live in a digital world where they’re empowered by fast access to information. And they make quick buying decisions based on that information. For example, think about the last time you searched for a product or service on a major retailer’s website and made a buying decision quickly based on the information that was presented to you.
The New Digital Shopping Experience
This shopping experience has become the new normal as the pandemic has drastically expanded the range of digital consumers far beyond millennials and Gen Z. All generations are now confirmed online shoppers.
So, what does this mean for automotive service-repair businesses?
In order to retain the customers of today and tomorrow, automotive service-repair facilities should be offering them the online shopping experience they’ve come to expect. For starters, that means communicating with customers in the ways they’re most comfortable with on their own timetable.
Text messaging has become universally popular because it’s quick and convenient, providing consumers added control over their time. It’s also, in part, what makes digital engagement tools like Openbay Otis so uniquely powerful.
Otis serves as a virtual service advisor that appears on a shop’s website as a smiling icon that says, “Hi. Need help? We’re online now if you have questions.” Visitors type in a question or select from a menu of options. Otis — which is powered by artificial intelligence, or AI — then engages visitors in a text-style conversation.
It’s similar to the way Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Google Assistant provide quick answers to commonly asked questions.
Otis can deliver price estimates for mechanical service and repair nearly instantly and book an appointment, too. Otis also has a full tire catalog that will generate tire options, pricing and installation fees based on vehicle year, make and model (and tire size too).
Roughly 35% of Otis conversations take place outside normal business hours. Otis gathers and records all information from each conversation. If necessary, service advisors can then follow up using the visitor’s preferred method of communication — a phone call, text or e-mail.
Otis eliminates the need for site visitors to navigate a shop’s website, search through menus or fill out forms as they look for answers to their questions. Instead, they’re able to get the information they want when they want it and how they want it. In other words, putting them in the driver’s seat.
Have Otis Greet and Start a Conversation with your Website visitors
Otis installs on your website in minutes and it’s easy to use.
Retaining customers starts with time-honored essentials: solid mechanical service using quality parts, good value, a comfortable experience, great communication and a personal touch. And businesses that are able to level up by allowing customers to drive their own experience — using automated digital engagement tools like Otis, for example — are poised to earn more customer loyalty now and into the future.