The Holy Grail: Messenger and Two-Way Texting in Auto Repair Programs
Shop-ware Founder and CEO Carolyn Coquillette calls it “the holy grail of robust customer communication” within auto repair programs. She and Darin Sullivan, Shop-Ware’s product manager, recently hosted a webinar that drew more than 150 clients who were eager to see how it works.
“We are listening to our customers to make this even better,” Carolyn said after answering several questions about this change to the best shop management software on the market. “It makes life easier for both parties – shops and their customers.”
She thanked the shop mechanics, owners, and support staff for all their tips. In all, 62 auto shops ran beta tests on this addition to the auto repair software to help improve it.
What is this addition to auto repair programs?
Messenger is a shop-to-customer messaging platform built right into Shop-Ware that enhances the super-rich engagement on the Shop-Ware platform. It supports messaging from the customer view of the RO as well as two-way texting. As a result, it simplifies the communication between shop staff and customers to one location by:
- Cleaning up the repair order notes within the auto repair software
- Making way for controlling where Findings appear on the RO
- Creating a more familiar interface for customers (like a chat interface)
- Generating a more powerful feature set for both parties, customers, and staff
- Helping you, the shop, respond to customers more quickly
How Messenger and Two-Way Texting Works
With Two-Way Texting enabled on your account, the Messenger window will show some new features.
On the left is the channel pane. This now includes two sections, one for RO Channels and another for Direct Messages. In the center, you will find the conversation for this RO with a checkbox allowing you to also send the message via SMS. On the right is a list of people included in the conversation with the option to add others. This section has not changed.
You can ‘copy via SMS’ to share updates and keep all your conversations with each customer in one place.
The first step is to assign a default recipient as the point person in your shop settings then add others via the Permissions settings. Watch for the Open Messenger Conversation button then you’re good to go! Anyone who needs to be in the same channel as the customer, from the automotive technician to the service advisor, will automatically tap in so nothing gets missed.
When you open the panel, watch for the ‘direct message area’ in the lower left-hand corner to communicate with the customer. Just like other social platforms, you get real-time magic of seeing when they are replying, whether you have an open RO or are booking their next service appointment.
If you missed the recent demo, you can watch the full webinar or scroll ahead to the 13-minute mark to see how it works when it comes to your shop on Dec. 1, 2021.
How It Will Look and Work With DVX
Once we roll out DVX, the interface will look far cleaner, thanks to feedback from our customers. Ultimately, customers will get a summary of what they are approving and why they need those services. DVX will capture signatures for every event and present information so the customer will value and buy more.
“Shops are really stoked but want to see messaging beyond RO, customer lookup, and search functions within the messenger,” Darin says of the changes still to come. Stay tuned for more customer-centric updates to boost your workflow and profitability.
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