Age Of Convenience Dictates Streamlined Communication Methods -
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Age Of Convenience Dictates Streamlined Communication Methods

The manner in which the majority of your customers prefer to communicate about vehicle service is changing, as their need for convenient and easy information access accelerates. You likely have noticed that their attitudes and expectations are vastly different than what you were used to encountering.

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Mary became editor of Tire Review in April 2019. She joined Babcox Media in 1988 as the senior editor of Brake & Front End. In her 32-year career with Babcox, Mary has contributed across the brand portfolio in a variety of ways, most recently serving as the editor of ImportCar before joining the Tire Review team. Her appointment to Tire Review makes her only the 10th editor of the brand in its 118-year history.

The manner in which the ­majority of your ­customers prefer to communicate about vehicle service is changing, as their need for convenient and easy information access accelerates. You likely have noticed that their ­attitudes and expectations are vastly ­different than what you were used to encountering.
 
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So, there are great opportunities for every business owner to reach their customers and prospects more effectively by embracing e-communication channels like email, social media (Facebook/Twitter) and texting.
 
Not only do various electronic communication sources enable you to interact with your customers more efficiently, they also allow you to market to your customers more cost effectively than previous methods, notes John Volz, Jr., co-owner of Volz Bros. Automotive Repair in Grass Valley, CA, which has been in business since his father started the shop in 1982.
 
Volz has found that email is a powerful tool in the shop’s communication and marketing arsenal, not only by informing customers but also building the shop’s brand in the process.
 
While ­getting a ­customer’s email address can sometimes be difficult, Volz found that asking customers for their email address at the time of payment was the most effective approach. “We found that if we take the time to explain the advantages of email correspondence, many of our customers embrace the approach.”
 
Email correspondence advantages:
 
• Sending customer invoices and service reminders electronically, which cuts down on paper usage and makes it easier for customers to track their service history. 
 
• Customers are able to read and respond to emails during non-business hours, making communication more efficient and more likely to occur.
 
• Customers are able to make an appointment after hours with a few simple keystrokes.
 
• Allows you to keep customers informed of upcoming company events, especially if your shop is involved in the local community.
 
Facebook is also a great ­commun-ications tool, ­allowing constant, real-time dialog with your customers, and it’s very visible and powerful, ­continues Volz. “I’m amazed at how much interaction we get on our Facebook page on a daily basis. ­Customers love it. We use this channel of communication to talk about what we’re doing in our community and what we’re working on in the bays, and it gives our customers a fun way to interact with us.” 
 
Taking the time to proactively reach customers through a variety of electronic communication methods will boost customer engagement and build your brand. Time well spent, ­wouldn’t you say?  

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