There are approximately 112,682 body shops in the US. Divided evenly, that’s about 2,253 shops per state.
Layer in the added competition from the 16,682 franchised dealers/repair centers around the country, and you can start to see why savvy marketing is necessary to set your body shop apart from the competition.
But knowing when, where, and how often to reach your customers can be tricky when your services range from one-off repairs to regularly scheduled maintenance.
The answer? SMS text messaging.
With average open rates as high as 98%, the ability to text 1-on-1 with customers, and engagement rates eight times higher than email, it’s the perfect communication platform for every type of customer.
Almost everyone has a cellphone, and now more than ever people are accustomed to communicating with businesses over text.
We surveyed hundreds of folks in our 2020 SMS Marketing Report and found that 66% of consumers either prefer mobile messaging or consider it their second choice for communications when compared to phone and email.
When it comes to what consumers like to receive from businesses, it ranges from customer support to deals and promotions.
What does that mean for your body shop?
Well, for the short answer, it means there’s no limit to what you can use texting to do with your customers!
Here are some examples of just a few of the ways your business could utilize text messages to reach more customers.
Did you know businesses with over $120,000 yearly revenue can lose over $26,000 each year due to missed appointments? Help dramatically cut down on no shows by sending text reminders to customers before upcoming appointments.
Deals and Discounts
Drive new and old business with a deal too good to pass up. 96% of American consumers use coupons, according to RetailMeNot, so capitalize on the holidays, annual inspections, and other landmark occasions to encourage customers to bring their business to your body shop.
Share Tips and Reminders
Sometimes a sales strategy doesn’t have to be as direct as a discount. Sharing regular car care tips can be a great way to keep your contacts engaged with your messages and keep you top of mind for their next repair.
Answer Customer Questions
Triage support requests to deliver a great customer experience before a guest even walks through the door. Let your customers know they can text you any time with questions before bringing their car in for service—a major competitive edge many body shops don’t offer!
Generate Ratings and Reviews
72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more. It’s crucial to gather this feedback from customers if you want your body shop to stand out in a Google search. Because texting is so hard to ignore and has such high engagement rates, it’s the perfect space to request a quick bit of feedback.
Now that you have some inspiration for the types of messages you may send, here are some tips to ensure you’re texting as efficiently as possible.
The first step for any text marketer is to gather subscribers or contacts. If you already have the phone numbers of customers who have given you permission to text them, great! You can upload those directly into our platform.
If not, here are a few things you can do to start getting customers signed up as quickly as possible.
Now that you’ve grown your list, you’ll need to start sending messages your subscribers will actually want to read. Here are some ways you can boost your chances.
There are a few more things you can do to give your message the best shot at converting into action.
As you can plainly see, auto body text marketing isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It’s a simple, no-fuss solution that allows you to reach your customers where they’re spending the most time already—on their phones!
So, if your body shop is looking to:
You may consider giving texting a try! Your first 14 days are always on us, no credit cards or contracts required. Set your body shop up with SMS today!