Hold the Phone: It’s Time to Offer Better Ways to Communicate with Customers

Texting for automotive service

Today’s consumers want to text, not call. It’s time for automotive service businesses to adapt.

When faced with having to call customer service, it’s a safe bet that most people dread the prospect, or avoid it altogether.

Companies have sought ways to better meet the demands of their customers in this regard, making their service readily and instantly available, boosting personnel in their call centers and implementing 24/7 access hotlines. Even so, research shows that consumers are largely putting off calling as long as possible, even completely abandoning legacy customer service channels like email and phone.

Traditional customer service methods are undeniably shifting, so what do companies need to do to increase and maintain service quality and customer retention in this new era?

One thing is for sure: as an automotive service business – it’s time to pay attention to the moving needle and offer better ways to communicate with your customers. Tapping into what customers want, need, and expect from you is critical to how successful your business can be. 

Defining Expectations

Let’s take a look at what’s shaping consumer expectations. Customers like to have options when it comes to contacting businesses, and the communication channels they’re opting for speaks volumes.

Recent data from American Express revealed that for simple inquiries, more than six in ten U.S. consumers prefer using a digital tool such as online messaging or texting. On top of that, in terms of customer service, 64% of people prefer text messaging to phone calls, and 44% of folks would rather send a text message than be kept on hold, according to CIO Today.

Messaging has indeed become the preferred method to connect, whether it’s with each other humans or with businesses. By 2020, Gartner predicts that 85% of consumers will engage with a business without interacting with another human being. However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

The Generationational Impact

Playing a large part in this shift in communication preferences are Millennials and Gen Z-ers. 2019 is the first year in U.S. history that the number of millennials surpassed the number of baby boomers, according to the Pew Research Center. Hot on their heels is Generation Z, the first and only generation born after the advent of the internet. In other words, these guys are used to everything digitized.

Why does this matter for your auto business? Look at it this way – Y and Z are your future customers. Given that both of these groups prefer texting over calling, these digital natives are already driving the narrative, and the direction communication is headed.

Millennials are mobile pioneers, while Gen Zers are mobile natives. Already, 60% of Millennials currently interact with businesses using virtual messaging platforms, with 70% reporting positive experiences. Digital natives demand a world as mobile as they are, but with minimal wait time, minimal interaction, and minimal thinking involved.

To provide the best customer experience and level of satisfaction for this mobile-savvy generation of consumers, automotive service businesses must keep their fingers on the pulse of digital trends, and stay on the cutting edge of these communication methods.


Adapt and Modernize your Automotive Service Business

The automotive service industry must now adapt and modernize their communication methods for optimum customer engagement. The issue of customers unwilling to use the phone, but still wanting to contact your support center, isn’t as big a hurdle as it might seem with all the customer communication channels available today.

Emerging channels for customer service, such as messaging platforms, text-based intelligent assistants, and home-based smart speakers with voice assistants are reportedly hitting the digital nail on the head with consumers. These types of experiences using these channels will only continue to grow and evolve. 

Whether you’re looking to up your customer service game, or give folks a better way to get in touch, it’s all systems go for messaging. Given consumer expectations and the factors driving them, this is the best way to give your customers a voice. 

Customer Engagement for Automotive Service Businesses

Businesses can’t afford the cost of ignoring (COI). Auto repair shops are always looking to provide practical resources to grow their business and turn new customers into repeat customers, and this window into customer expectations can do just that.

For auto repair businesses looking for a solution to customer engagement, Openbay Otis is the answer. Through artificial intelligence, Otis delivers real-time information to your online visitors in a familiar messaging platform, automatically. Whether it’s providing personalized service quotes, booking appointments, or answering basic questions about the business, Otis handles it all.

Harness the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing by installing Openbay Otis.


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