Tips and Guidelines for Writing a Good Text Message to Your Customer
One of the biggest benefits the twentieth century has brought us is telecommunications technology. Text messaging can be considered a revolution in the customer-service provider relationship with all the benefits it offers to a business and its clientele.
Texting is beneficial for car dealerships because it offers a written record of communications, it is faster than phone calls, there is less worry about misunderstanding or forgetting information, or, God Forbid, miscommunication about the delivery time of a vehicle. Every day we see posts to social media by clients and higher CSI scores for dealerships through the use of texting.
However, there are rules you need to abide by when texting. A good business texting solution will acquire written authorization and automated opt-out functionality. Make sure your vendor provides these and knows Texting TCPA & FCC rules. Below are some common sense guidelines to help businesses write good texts.
1. Be informative
The point of communication is transmitting information. When texting, be clear with yourself on what you want to communicate. After typing the message, read it to yourself a few times and make sure you would understand it if you were on the other end of the text. Avoid acronyms or technical words that a customer might not understand.
A twenty-first-century customer does not want to read unnecessary words – thus, you can keep the message as simple and short as possible. Keep the customer informed about relevant things such as the status of their vehicle. The result will be great communication.
2. Be clear and concise
Another characteristic of a twenty-first-century customer is the lack of attention. If your customer has to read ten lines without getting to the point of your text, the situation will result in confusion and frustration. Being short and concise is the beauty of texting.
Make a short list of the items that must be done, leave out all unnecessary ones, and go straight to the point. The biggest advantage of texting is that the number of characters is limited (or, at least, it used to be), so it demands being concise in providing information or asking for repair approval.
3. Be respectful
Respect is at the basis of every human communication, especially when it comes to business and providing services. Your customers have to see that you respect their time and obligations, so you have to understand that if they do not text you back right away, there is no need to keep bothering them. When they find the time, they will answer your message. Fortunately, the average text is responded to within 4 minutes.
Additionally, if your customer texts you, you should not answer their text with a phone call – this is a mistake you should try to avoid. Mirror their behavior and make sure to maintain a professional distance that respects their personality and privacy.
Use only standard forms of words (NEVER write in caps lock because this means that you are yelling at your customer) and avoid usage of slang and informal expressions, and keep the communication as professional as possible.
4. Add a personal touch
Make your customer feel special. Give them updates on their car via text so they are not inclined to call and leave a voicemail. Over 50% of texts to a service operation are requesting an update on a vehicle. Always say
Hi and Thanks at the beginning/end of your message, and say Please when you need a response quickly to keep the job and technician rolling. For example,
“Hi John, the brake noise is from the brake pads being worn out and touching the rotors. The repair requires new pads and rotors and will cost $286.60 tax included. Please approve, thanks.“
Even though the usage of smileys and emoji has not recommended in the past, times have changed, today it is acceptable to start ’softening’ our text to customers by using them in order to build a great relationship.