How Many Texts Are Too Much?
Yes. Reporting and metrics show that text updates have a positive impact on shop staff and their clients, yet a common concern from the front counter remains the apprehension that they may be sending too many texts.
It’s a genuine concern worth addressing.
Even though I often joke about this with the question “When was the last time a customer complained that you communicated too much?” A decent joke, even from this dad, has to have some element of truth in it, and the truth is auto repair clients have consistently expressed a lack of communication (or ineffective communication) as a problem.
- Firstly – saying “our shop is different.” doesn’t change reality. Usually, when I hear this it’s in the context of avoiding a perceived challenge to a shop’s current methods and attempts to end a conversation or ignore new information. You can choose to disagree, but let’s keep the conversation alive!
- Secondly – While you know your clients best… you only know your clients. The sample group in a shop is simply smaller than the full representation of the motoring public. What about the people NOT coming into the shop? For this, we must look for more data.
- Thirdly – What is really driving the apprehension? Our brains fixate on negative information more heavily than on positive. People who complain, complain. People who are happy, are silent. Ask yourself if your communication policy is set for the correct majority.
In this figure, you can measurably verify that clients are most satisfied when receiving text updates.
If we can then agree that, overall, people today are most satisfied when they get text message updates, let’s look at a few KPIs that can guide you in answering the question of How Many Texts Are Too Much?
Let’s rephrase this to ask another question. What does a healthy text relationship with clients look like?
A texting relationship – by the way – is not exclusive to texting. Text strategies in shops are successful because they neatly prime the most important verbal conversations and set up successful calls. The two most important calls your shop gets are calls to set appointments and calls to sell service.
In applications like Autoflow, we measure texting relationships in the following terms. Reports are customizable. (See figure 2)
- Texts Sent from the shop
- Texts Received from the client
A “healthy” ratio of sent/received depends on the types of sent messages and if there is a call to action. Generally, 1 message in reply from a client for every 4 sent from the shop is good, particularly when you consider a call to action in a text from the shop invites the client to, well, call the shop!
- Positive inbound texts
- Negative inbound texts
- Neutral inbound texts
Sentiment analysis is already a component in Autoflow. This allows shops to measure the satisfaction level or mood of the clientele very simply across multiple date ranges. When an advisor makes a fuss over a client that said they don’t want texts, measure this against the number of positives. The number of thank yous and smiley faces is probably a lot higher than your one complainer.
- The number of opt-outs across a date range.
The ability to opt out is a legal requirement for business texting. (and a good reason you should avoid using your personal number for official business.) The instructions must accompany the first message from your shop and any marketing message.
Texting as an offering is ultimately just that. An offering. Anyone that wishes to avoid receiving texts always has the power to manage their own preferences. You can track and watch your opt-outs and gauge very accurately how your demographic really feels. More so, you can judge fairly on your advisor’s ability to convey the benefits of texting and convincing clients to NOT opt out in the first place.
In conclusion: Consider the benefits of texting in your shop.
- Fewer phone calls mean better focus and less interruption.
- Documentation of the conversation exists in perpetuity.
- Most quick items can be a text, saving the dialing process and reducing voice mails.
- Speed of approvals. Most texts are read in less than 3 mins.
- Advisors that talk a lot save hours of time each week when texting is an option.
- Images can be shared quickly, and inspection result links become simple for clients to share and forward to their friends and family. Free marketing!
Now then, how many texts are too much? With real data, your shop should have no difficulty dialing in that answer very neatly.
Averages in shops typically wind up between 4 to 8 texts, while some do as little as 2 or as many as 10. Where does your shop stand?