Should I offer texting or chat on my auto repair shop website?

Oct. 21, 2022
Anything you can do to make it easier for your customers to contact you provides you with more opportunities to win their business. Below are three reasons why you should incorporate texting on your shop's website.

Your website is one of the first opportunities that most potential customers have to interact with your shop. Anything you can do to make it easier for them to contact you provides you with more opportunities to win their business. That’s why click-to-call was such a great invention.

While click-to-call is still very relevant to today’s consumer, you may be missing opportunities with those potential customers who prefer not to call a business. With the growing number of consumers who would like a near-immediate response but prefer not to use the phone is it better to offer texting or a chat?

We would say texting, and here are three reasons why:

#1 – Consumers prefer and are comfortable with texting

In a recent survey by Leadferno, more than 37 percent of consumers said they prefer to communicate via text.

And notably, more than 44 percent of consumers aged 35 to 54 prefer to communicate via text.

If consumers are already very comfortable communicating by text, and with many of them preferring it, it sure seems like you would want to open up that line of communication for them. Providing an easy opportunity for them to reach out to you via text on your website could significantly break down the barriers to that initial contact.

#2 – Texting is better than Live Chat for the consumer and the business

I have tried to use live chat on many websites and I usually have one of two experiences. One – I type in a fairly simple question and get a quick answer which doesn’t fully answer my question. So I type in the follow-up question…and wait…wait a few more minutes…start to ask myself when I tried to start this conversation…wait a few more minutes…and then frustratingly close the session because I’ve got other stuff to do.

The second scenario starts the same way – I ask a question and get an answer that doesn’t fully answer my question. Then I’ll spend additional time going back and forth with the AI or the person before I get the message that they cannot answer my question and I’m going to have to call a certain number to ask and start completely from the beginning.

You’ve probably experienced something similar. Both of these situations are extremely frustrating. After the experience, if I have a choice to do business with somebody else I will. When I think of chat I want it to be instant, and to fully answer my questions. I’ve come across very few businesses or systems that are able to deliver on that promise.

On the business side, I know it’s difficult to deliver on that promise. No business can afford to have somebody waiting around for a chat to come in so that they can be immediately responsive. It’s almost like a chat box sets you up to disappoint the customer.

With texting, I’m willing to give much more time for a response because I’m not stuck in a chat window. I’m not expecting an immediate response. If I get one within five minutes then that’s fantastic. If it’s 20 to 30 minutes that’s still really good. If it’s within an hour that’s also okay and even longer may be okay in certain circumstances.

From a business standpoint, you should know that 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes. In addition to buying you time to respond, texting also increases the likelihood that you’ll get a quick response back and you won’t lose the customer to a closed chat window. And now you have that potential customer’s number for future text conversations. You get no such thing through chat. When it’s over it’s over and you’ve got no way to reach back out to the potential customer.

#3 – Texting is easy

For many consumers, convenience is now one of the major factors in their likelihood to do business with a local service provider. The easier you make it to do business with you, the more likely you are to get their business. Most consumers will be happy to give you the right to text them because they believe it will make their lives easier.

Including a text box on your website enables them to easily reach out to you. Auto replies can be used to confirm immediately that you received their text and to set expectations for when they can expect a reply. The right platform will provide notifications and an easy way to respond. You can also attach photos and videos.

Utilizing texting fits nicely in the normal flow of your customers’ days, making it easy for them, and it should be easy for you to build it into your workflow as well.

In a nutshell, texting provides the opportunity for your potential customers to communicate with you in the way that they prefer and are most comfortable with. It gives you the opportunity to establish a stronger, longer-lasting connection with them that’s easier for both parties. If you are not currently offering texting to your customers, now is a great time to consider it.

This article originally appeared on repairshopwebsites.com.

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