skip to Main Content

Should your Service Advisor be in Marketing?

Have you ever wished you had a magic button that you could push and fill your bays with the type of work you want to do?

Well, guess what? You have it! In this episode, we hear shop owner Russ Crosby (Russ’s Wrench in Clinton, NJ) discuss how his shop has used AutoVitals’ Campaign Manager to increase new appointments from marketing campaigns by 25%!

Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00:04):
With AutoVitals or give you a reason to get on the bandwagon and access this opportunity. And so the title of the show kind of spells it out. Could Your Best Marketer Be Your Service Advisor? And so let’s get started. I wanted to open it up Russ, if I could, and just talk to me about your evolution with that. I know you’ve been working with Honey, your AutoVitals account manager and kind adopting this over some time. What kind of happened, what made you decide to start to adopt the campaign manager and some of the other CRM tools that AutoVitals provides for you and what was the need and how did that solution plan develop and what’s been happening there?
Russ Crosby (00:01:00):
I think it ultimately really started to, we started to use it right around Covid, right when Covid hit right before there was a real need to reach out to a lot of people to let ’em know, Hey, we’re doing everything we can to keep the cars clean, keep the shop clean, or we went to extremes of wearing hazmat suits for a period of time in the beginning when we didn’t know what was going on. There’s a picture of me on Facebook and full hazmat gear, full turnout gear getting into a car.
Tom Dorsey (00:01:30):
I bet it was pretty dapper. I got to tell you I’m sure dapper.
Russ Crosby (00:01:37):
So I was talking with Honey and she said, well are you using the campaign manager? How are you reaching out to all these people? Because we were doing tons of phone calls trying to reach out to people and she said, well try the campaign manager. And I said, well, alright, I have no idea how to use that. So we spent some time, Becky and I spent some time together and it’s just such an incredible tool that’s at your fingertips that I feel we were definitely not using it enough and we’re trying to implement in every chance we can now because there’s a lot of great resources there. You can reach out to a lot of people about specific topics. There’s a lot of things already set up for us. So it was pretty awesome.
Tom Dorsey (00:02:23):
And Becky is Russ’s service advisor. We were actually going to have her on the show today, but she had some last minute stuff, but life, but that is exactly the point is to say the first thing, and I’ll tell you what, as I go around talking to folks and I was looking for thinking of guest ideas for this topic, most people man, that’s like touching the third rail. What do you mean my service advisor’s going to do marketing? And you usually get two kind of sides of that fence. Either I’m such a small shop that I am the service advisor and yeah, I do all the marketing and my wife’s helping me or whatever. Or you get the other side is no way. We have a person that handles that. In some cases it’s the owner or it’s staff. In some cases it’s a third party marketing company or a person that you hired specifically to do marketing for your organization.
Just from the outside looking in, you think to yourself there’s a potential for a disconnect there between what the service advisor knows is happening or the techs know it’s happening from a deferred maintenance issue or I should say the amount of people out there with deferred maintenance that could be coming in, should be coming in. You get stuff dropping on the people cancel, stuff happens openings a cooler and that’s a long way of telephone game to make that communication all the way over to some marketing company if that’s how you’re doing your thing. And so talk to us a little bit about how you’re able to be nimble or are you able to, and how did you set yourself up? It’s not an additional burden on top of your front counter.
Russ Crosby (00:04:14):
So Becky’s position is she’s a service advisor and it happens to be that she also does our marketing, she handles all of the marketing stuff. So what I really liked and what we’re trying to implement is what you just said, we want who knows better than your service advisors of what jobs you’re missing. So Becky and I will look at different Becky, myself, Alex, and our newest guy Avery. We will look at what’s going on in the shop where we see people deferring work or if we see holes in the schedule where we think we could fill in some of this stuff. We’re building these campaigns to identify those people and get them through the door. So Becky and I just kind of sit down and she drafts things up, I look it over. It’s really all her doing most of the draft and her and Alex come together and they know what they want to go after. They’re specifically going after certain services or different, maybe it’s not a new thing that we’re doing. I think we just sent one out for an event that we’re doing in a couple weeks for breast cancer awareness. We just let our customers know, Hey, this is going on if you want to come and join, please do we get a lot of response from that? It doesn’t always have to be fix your car. I mean people like to hear other good stuff too.
Tom Dorsey (00:05:44):
Well, but did you pick up appointments from that because that’s not a
Russ Crosby (00:05:49):
Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
Tom Dorsey (00:05:51):
And so it’s just that touch, just that reminder and hey, giving back to the community, being good stewards and then oh gosh, I remember I need my oil changed.
Russ Crosby (00:06:02):
It happens a lot when you’re just sending out those touches and if you’re constantly keeping your customers top of mind, they start to notice that and they feel that right, they’re important to you. It’s more than just getting ’em through the door to take their money. It’s about really looking out for the benefit of them and their family. So as many times as we can, I don’t want to say touch them but reach out to them. I think that’s super important. And there’s so many times where we get phone calls like, Hey, I got your email or I saw the text, I’ve been meaning to call you but I haven’t had time. It happened this morning with a lady, she called up, she saw that we’re doing the breast cancer a charity event and she says, I wanted to reach out to talk to you about that, but coincidentally, her check engine light came on a couple of days ago, she forgot to call us. So we’re pulling appointments out of these campaigns consistently and it’s working really well.
Tom Dorsey (00:07:07):
Yeah, and it sounds like you got it set up exactly how it was intended and I want to bring Lou in here to talk a little bit about exactly how that was developed and what those intentions were because I think, and that’s what the purpose of the show really in my mind is to say to folks, you have this in your toolbox. A, don’t be afraid of it. B, if you set it up, you build it once and then that stuff becomes canned. It’s like a spare magazine in the belt right there. You access it and you can implement that quickly. It’s not a big rewriting these things or doing a lot of work at the counter. I have an opportunity to do this, I want this type of work to fit into. Because that’s the other I would think consideration. You have to take in, yeah, you have an opening or maybe you had a flat Wednesday coming up and you identify that, but then you really can look around what else is happening?
Oh, well we’re solid on alignments over here so we’re not really going to want any of that, but we don’t have any of this, whatever that might. And so you can actually start to target it down to the type of vehicle, make, model, job service that you want to perform. It’s going to make the most sense in that time period that you’re going for. It’s a little small laser scalpel that you’re taking to your marketing versus just throwing kind of everything against the wall. So see what sticks and now you’re really overloaded on something that you’re actually isn’t covering the margins, right? It’s burning you almost. And that’s really once you build that, now it’s ready to be deployed. And it sounds like to your point, Russ, you had Becky involved in that. You don’t necessarily have to have the service advisor in that marketing type role. You can actually even hire a marketing company to develop the content and then put it in the jar and then fire them and it’s already to go and now your service advisor is just pushing the button thinking about when is the best time and which button to push. It really becomes that simple.
Russ Crosby (00:09:22):
I like to add something that we think is incredibly useful, reaching out to your new customers. I know if you go through any type of marketing or any type of training on how many times it takes to convert someone to your customer, it’s not one time, it’s not even two times you want to market to the fourth visit. So as you have these new customers coming in, you have an unmatched tool there that can help you reach out to these people and let ’em know, listen, we’re here for you. Thank you so much for coming in. Remind them of the services and in that campaign they can open up that campaign and continue to look at the inspection that you did and see the history of the vehicle. I think that’s incredible because all you’re doing is just you’re continuing to teach them and give them so many different things that they’ve never had.
I mean, who else does that? So using that new customer campaign that’s already built for you, it’s already there. It’s in there. You don’t have to do it. You tweak it to the way you want it. But that’s something that a lot of us as shop owners are super concerned about is getting those new customers to come back. What better way to do that than to show them their vehicle again and say, Hey, check this out. You didn’t do the service last time, but here it is again. Take a look at it constantly just touching and communicating with your customers, especially your new ones, marketing towards that fourth visit, not the second or third or fourth or first, second, third.
Tom Dorsey (00:10:54):
Yeah, exactly. It’s the top of mind. I mean I always say, Hey, Budweiser still advertises, right? Who’s never heard of Budweiser. They’ve been around for 150 years or whatever it is, but they’re still buying Super Bowl ads and spending all that money because hey, you’ve got to constantly stay top of mind. Hey Karen, I got your question and Russ is going to give us a demo here pretty quick and show us kind of the process, how he has his setup walkthrough and we’ll definitely talk about how to do the scheduling on those for when you want to make the automations and also we’ll show kind of how you can just bring up a campaign and fire it off manually as well. But first I wanted to get Uwe in and give us some background Uwe on what went into the development in your thought process and what are we solving there because I think that, again, I really want to emphasize this is I want people to take away from this episode, at least open up the tool and run a test on it and talk to your AutoVitals, talk to your 20 group members that are using it, talk to your peers on the Facebook form that are using it.
Review this video when we get the recording out to you so you see how Russ has it set up if you’re one of those DIY people and you don’t want to ask for help yet, but just get it out and run a couple tests on it and see the results because I think it’s going to open up a whole new opportunity for you moving forward. Uwe, if you could kind of tell us what we’re solving.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:12:27):
Thank you. Sure. Can you guys hear me?
Tom Dorsey (00:12:29):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:12:29):
Sir. I just had an internet glitch and vanished. You did. Just as I try to say something, I don’t know what that means, but
Tom Dorsey (00:12:38):
This dump button over here, Dustin,
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:12:43):
Can I deviate a little bit and ask Russ another question? Because this whole topic of the service advisor being a marketer I believe has also to do with, I personally believe the pickup touchpoint is actually the most important one to prepare the next visit. And often that since it’s rushed because people, service advisors as well as customers don’t feel there’s enough time then fall back to, oh, my marketing software is going to solve this. But there are anecdotal stats out there. I cannot give you a statistically founded one, but just mentioning at pickup what the follow-up communication is is going to increase the open rate and the click rate for text and email because it should be looked at as a continuation of the relationship. It’s not out of sight, out of mind, problem solved, car picked up, okay, next problem happens. Let me call the shop. Right? It is we take care of your car and we are a part of the community. And since you’re nodding Russ, I assume you agree with what I just said.
Russ Crosby (00:14:18):
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think in today’s, today’s day and age, we get so many emails and text messages from all different areas. If you’re not explaining, Hey, this is what you should expect, you’re going to expect a follow up email from us, why don’t you go ahead and open it, it’s going to show you your vehicle again. And it’s basically going to recap everything we’ve already talked about today. They’re looking for it. Then if you don’t tell them to look for it, they’re, they’re going to click right past it, delete it, not see it. I do it all the time personally and I know probably all of us watching do that. Communication is key and I think that’s been said quite a bit. And yeah, if you’re not telling ’em that it’s coming, why would they be expecting it?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:15:09):
Right? And it’s almost like the inspection, right? The drop off conversation prepares the approval. I think the pickup conversation prepares the next visit, although I agree from a time horizon much further out. And now to my question, do you have kind of a setup where customers really connect to Becky in this case personally, and then the campaigns you send out are kind of personalized coming from Becky? Or how do you make sure that on the one end, if Becky is not there, then all of a sudden the communication breaks down on the other end? It’s personalized enough. Does it make sense?
Russ Crosby (00:16:00):
It does. So I think that there’s not as much of a personal touch that I would prefer to make it very personal, but like you just said, if for some reason Becky’s not there, it’s like if I went back six years when I first opened my shop, everybody’s calling looking for Russ, right? Well if Becky’s sending those messages out and they’re really personalized and their people are really only looking to talk to Becky, it kind of devalues the rest of the incredible team that you have. So I think that you want some type of, I think getting a message like that that doesn’t seem like it was generated by a robot is a personal touch in and of itself. So I think staying consistent is really important about that. But I think a big thing for us and something we’ve been working in many different areas, not just this one, is building processes so that let’s say a situation like today, Becky couldn’t be on the show with us because something came up. Well, what’s going to happen with the rest of the emails that are supposed to go out or the campaigns that are supposed to go out? Somebody’s got to be able to fill those shoes, whether it’s myself, whether it’s one of the other service advisors or somebody. So having a process in place I think is super important and training somebody next to you so they can help you out if you’re not there for a reason. Does that answer your question?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:17:32):
It does. It does. Good,
Russ Crosby (00:17:34):
Good. It was a little long-winded.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:17:36):
No, no, no. But it’s important because on the one hand it is personalized. You don’t, as you said, and I don’t want to repeat what you just said and back to Tom’s question, so what we were thinking, I can’t remember whether it fell together with the increasing effectiveness of text messages, but I mean there is nothing beating text and now we are looking at each other and said of course, but I don’t know, three years ago there was a debate, can you even send a text to a customer? Isn’t that intrusion of privacy and so on and so forth. And today you go to webpages and the first thing they ask you is your text number and you type it in.
We are so used to it. And so back to Tom’s question, that is how it basically got created. We wanted to have one tool where you send text and email together whatever is available. And now with all the FCC regulation also opted in for and so on, I mean if we want to talk about that, I’m happy to talk about that too. It’s a little boring, but it’s important. You can be sued and pay up to 500 bucks per text you sent out unauthorized. If you want to talk about that in the show, we can do that too.
That’s how it got created, a campaign manager to really be able to send text and email combined and start filtering based on really in our opinion, critical filter criteria, your most loyal customer, your lost customers, your people who have high mileage cars, people who have drive, certain vehicle makes, and so on. So the whole point was the more you can be laser sharp in your targeting of your clientele, the bigger you can also make the incentive because you know what kind of margin you get for certain services, whereas you mentioned that before. And so it’s much better to target a certain group and really target a specific problem or characteristic than to say, I don’t know, 10% of an oil change for everybody. So that was the whole reason for building a campaign manager to answer Tom’s question.
Tom Dorsey (00:20:26):
And it was designed exactly to be deployed without quickly. Yes, you had, I remember, and I know because for a lot of years I’ve been trying to get people to adopt and I don’t know. Russ, what do you think? Why would somebody be resistant to that tool?
Russ Crosby (00:20:58):
I think it’s a tool that if you don’t try to use it or if you don’t look for it, you may miss it. So I think sometimes we don’t use all of the tools in our toolboxes. We’re scared of ’em. And I think a lot of times if you just ask for a little guidance, it can go a long way. I mean if you look at it from you, look at it from a scenario of think about your first, for me, the first big engine job I did, it was very daunting. This is nowhere near as daunting as that, but it could be intimidating. You don’t know what to say. I just saw a message come through how frequently you should be sending it. The answer to my opinion, and I could be completely wrong here, is just start sending ’em. Just start doing it.
Start trying to use that tool and you’ll start to gauge the frequency of how often you should be sending ’em. I think we get nervous and we’re afraid to try new things and I think really that’s why people avoid using it sometimes or avoid using the tools that are in front of them. I know it was for me, I wasn’t exactly sure and I didn’t take the time to learn it as I should have, but as soon as I went through the training with Honey, it was a couple minutes and we got hung up a few times while we’re trying to get these campaigns off, I’d send Honey a message and she’d get right back to me and say, okay, this is what you did wrong. Boom, it’s fixed. You’re out the door. The help is there, the tool is there. I think we just sometimes are afraid to jump in there and try it.
Tom Dorsey (00:22:38):
And it is daunting because it’s marketing, it’s your customer base that’s sacrosanct. You can’t mess stuff up. That’s not good practice. And so that’s why, and we’ve built in a lot of testing. So that’s the other thing maybe that I’d like to mention is that you can test everything. You can get in there and send it to yourself before you send it to anybody else and look and see how it renders and make sure that the text and information is correct and it’s not mixing it up with somebody else or whatever it is, and really detail it out, put in the work in the front and then you take advantage of it because now it’s set up and it’s ready to go and that’s where you can hand it off to that front counter staff and they can start to deploy that. Now we’re not saying that they’re doing your a hundred percent of your marketing, we’re saying that they’re using something to solve a need.
Somebody dropped, I need to fill it. I see some, it’s flat on Wednesday or Thursday or some period of time coming up or we’re really stacked in this type of work and we need more of type of work. And then you can start to make those decisions at the counter based on situational awareness and deploy something that’s going to start to balance the scales and correct the imbalances or bring in the work that you’re looking for and the type of work that you’re looking for. And from when we talked a little bit ago about where do you talk about that in the conversation and it’s that ongoing conversation and I always go back to the doctor, the doctor in sales, you say assume the sale, right? But we don’t need to say sale. We just say assume the appointment, assume the follow up. And that’s what your doctor does.
The doctor doesn’t tell you, Hey, you should think about we’re running a special on knee replacements next month and maybe make an appointment on the way out the door if you’re interested in taking it. They just tell you, stop the front, make your appointment to come back in because we’re going to do this orthoscopic or whatever it is and you do it. And so it’s no different with the health of that vehicle. And so it’s almost a mindset and yes, it permeates through the initial marketing and acquisition of that customer, the experience they get in the appointment confirmation drop off the approval process. It all talks about, Hey, don’t worry, we’re transparent. Here’s what we need to do in prioritization. And hey, you know what? This stuff we’re going to do next month we’re going to do in two months. Not you should think about it.
Maybe you do it. Here’s some coupons for you to do it. We’re going to do these things, we’re going to do this next. And it’s assumed at pickup and it’s assumed through all of those marketing touches and it’s not a sale or trying to convince somebody to come back. It’s just an extension of the plan that we developed together through the needs and service plan on that vehicle. And so maybe you can give us a little hint a little from what Becky was telling me, you are prepared to show us kind of how you have that set up, Russ, and how she would say, deploy that for a situation. Let’s say you got a flat Thursday, tomorrow’s flat and you want
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:25:59):
To, would you mind, I would like to answer the question how often to send it out? Oh yeah. And I totally agree with what Russ said. I just want to increase your confidence to do it and not hesitate with two things I would like to add. Number one, the beauty now is since you do digital inspection, your customers are used to digital communication with you in any campaign manager communication later is just a succession of that same communication. It’s not all of a sudden like it was before, everything was phone call while the vehicle’s in the shop and then you pick it up and all of a sudden you get inundated with emails and texts and had no idea that it will happen. Right now it’s digital. It’s even digital when the vehicle’s in the shop, right? It is a completely new experience for motorist with lots of information available and the campaign manager after the visit is just a continuation of that, right?
So please keep that in mind. So do it and then measure the data as Dustin said in the chat and define for yourself what works. Because it’s so different between shops. If you have done a very good pickup communication to prepare them, your data will look completely different compared with if you don’t do that, if you just think marketing takes care of itself and you don’t need to mention it, right? The data outcome is completely different. That will be number one. Number two, I want to, if I may share quickly my screen and hopefully you can see this, can you,
Tom Dorsey (00:28:04):
We still see your handsome face.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:28:07):
Oh, how about now?
Tom Dorsey (00:28:09):
Thank goodness. No. Yes.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:28:16):
So what we built is this is what every customer of Euros can decide themselves, what type of messages they want to receive and what channel they want to receive it on. I picture just during the conversation, one random customer who basically told us of the three kinds of information we sent out, I’m completely okay with being texted and emailed for one-time events like appointment reminders and for inspection results and other critical messages during the visit, but they’re not keen on seeing thank you and special end updates. That’s what we used to call, that’s the marketing section.
And so don’t hesitate to send to your customers the campaigns because there is no absolute switch where if they feel they’re over inundated with messages, they’re going to say, don’t send me anything anymore. They can go in here and say, okay, maybe marketing is not what I want in this example, but I will stay with inspection results. So we have the ability configure that and the motorist is going to give us the feedback and you can actually look this up in the tool who has opted in, who’s not, and so on and so forth. So it gives you the confidence to know that you’re on the right track. So I thought I wanted to share that.
Tom Dorsey (00:30:01):
No, buddy. And I’m glad you did because I got to tell you, this is something we probably do a whole show around and because this is something that’s overlooked and it’s also not challenged. If you get somebody who ops out of everything you need to when they come in, you have to open this up and you need to talk to ’em, and you need to educate ’em on what these different levels are. And you will always get somebody to convert and go, oh, you know what? Sure, go ahead and sign me up for these and these leave me out of this stuff. You know what I mean? But just go in a blanket opt out. You don’t want to just accept that there’s a little continuing education that happens once you get ’em into the shop and talk to them about what these things mean.
And because I’ve never seen, I remember when we were developing that three tiered opt-in and opt out and all the work that Uwe did, chasing it down from legal and regulatory perspective, and most people just have a standard opt-out, and that’s kind of what you’re used to. This is much more designed to help you stay in communication with folks that are even a little shy. There’s still a lot of people that are gun shy about giving out information to people. You can still get them to certain levels where you keep them engaged. Oh, you don’t want to get your digital inspection texted to your phone. You’re going to have to drive down here and pick it up. Okay. Oh wait, oh, here, okay, text me that part. It works.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:31:34):
So here, that’s the TVPX, right? But the same information is available on the legacy TVP, right? You just hover over the customer’s name and it tells you how to reach them and see what the opt-in options are, right? So Ken here doesn’t want to be texted just email, but everything. So it’s really simple to have that as a tool available at the counter to then say, okay, is there a particular reason you don’t want to be texted? This is the fastest way for us to reach you for the inspection result. And then basically opt them in at the counter and not wait for some digital magic happening in the back.
Tom Dorsey (00:32:28):
Yeah, exactly. And then of course the campaign manager picks up all of those rules and obeys them. And so you do not have to worry about going through, but what should be doing on a regular basis, and maybe Russ, you can talk to us a little bit about this when you’re showing us your setup is you should be regularly auditing that stuff. If there’s somebody, like I said, you can see it right there in the list. And oh, if they are maybe showing up on too many of your marketing lists, kind of to Karen’s point, you can refine your filters to start to exclude some of those folks. You can build much more focused filters that would then exclude some of those folks that might be showing up on a lot of different campaigns. And maybe you’re worried about getting them inundated and you can see what their opt-in rules are and you can start to question some of this stuff and make notes and follow ups and maybe you send them just a one-off email just to them to say, Hey, I noticed these things.
Here’s the benefits. Maybe next time you’re in, by the way, oil change or whatever it is, you should come on down and we can talk about it. And just have that conversation. Tell ’em that you’re thinking of them, give ’em options on how to communicate with you over the health and safety of their vehicle. And just like Russ was saying earlier, stuff happens, right? You tell ’em about the breast cancer awareness, you pick up appointments, you talk to ’em a little bit about the opt-ins and how we’re looking out for their identity safety. Hey, they remember they needed to come down and get that alignment. So don’t be afraid to have that touch and talk about those things are very important to the communication of information that’s vital to that motorist. Alright, off my soapbox, Russ, let’s check it out. If you can give us a look behind the curtain, if you would.
Russ Crosby (00:34:27):
Yeah. So I figured I’d run everybody through the campaign here, how we set that up, how you get to it. So can you see my screen?
Tom Dorsey (00:34:37):
Yes sir.
Russ Crosby (00:34:39):
All right. So we’re going to come over here, campaign manager, create a new campaign or you can look and see where your previous campaigns are, but create a new campaign here and we can start our template, grab a template, could be a custom one. Something we’ve built, like I said, there was covid ones. That’s really what started us using this was the COVID template. Lemme go ahead and I actually, yeah, let me pick this one. Numbers are on the rise, so we’re going to probably be sending one of these back out and say we’re still taking every precaution. So you could select new customers, best customers, customers in limbo, all of that. You could set your time here. So I’m going to go for a year and it’s going to tell me right here, based on the summary, I’ve got 686 people that I’m going to be sending a message out to.
This will be your text message. This is fully editable. So we can go through and we could write whatever we want to send to our customer right here. Hey, back to the subject of all. Let’s say I know that I have a hole in my schedule on Friday. I could drop this out to all my customers and say, Hey, we have a couple appointments open Friday. If you were thinking that you need to have your vehicle serviced, you’re going on a road trip, anything like that, Friday we have time, here you go. Here’s what’s available. Don’t be afraid to ask or tell them you have a couple open appointments where just because you have open appointments doesn’t mean that you’re closing your doors up. You know what I mean? Yeah, well, and
Tom Dorsey (00:36:20):
There’s nothing wrong with it. You help me, I help you. I have an opening right here. If you fill it, I’m going to give you a little bit of a discount. It’s a win-win. You need all this stuff anyway and get on down. I’ll come get your car.
Russ Crosby (00:36:31):
Yeah, exactly. I’ll come get, I’ll come pick it up. But that’s the beauty of this is you could say anything you want in this text here and tell ’em I have appointments open on Friday. We can get you in. So once you pick that, you’re going to come through and this is going to be your email, what the email’s going to look like. Same thing, email, body call to action. If you have coupons all through there, you can add your coupons. It’s highly, highly editable. We’re not me key, so we wouldn’t be putting that. But so once you come to here, customize the landing page. So we’re open during this crisis we had there, call us to schedule an appointment. Here’s our number. And you can edit even color schemes. There’s a lot that we can do here. And then this is what’s really cool is the automated campaign.
You could click this if this is something that you wanted to send out on a weekly, monthly, daily basis, something like that. If it’s one you want your customers seeing consistently. And for new customers, what’s nice is it will automatically adjust as the customers have been in a couple times. They’re not technically new customers anymore, so they’re not just going to continue to get hammered with new customer emails or something. So they were talking about a test button before. So you can come in here and you can send a test once you click this, you pick a vehicle, pick a person you want to test, send it out and you could see what it looks like in your hand or through the email and see if it feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, go back here and retype something else up.
So going through this and sending that test, seeing what it actually looks like, making sure that everything, I remember the time that we were trying this out, I was having a problem with a coupon that kept popping up that wasn’t mine. And I sent Honey a message real quick and she told me exactly how to pull that off in there. So it’s pretty simple to use. We just have to get in there and use them. Like I said, it’s a beautiful tool. If you have openings in your schedule, you can quickly reach out to all of your customers and tell ’em exactly when those openings are and how we can get people in the door. So you would hit next and then you could launch it right here. Boom sends out when you want it to send out. And it also tells you right here too, how many motorists, texts only email, only email and text. So it’s breaking down how the vast majority of these people are actually going to receive it. And to Uwe’s point before, if I only see 71 people want emails, email only, I can go back and I can look and see exactly who that is and how I can maybe get them to open both or something. So that’s how we’re sending out our campaigns. Hopefully that helps.
Tom Dorsey (00:39:48):
That was awesome. And the beauty of it too is that once it’s saved, you saw when Russ hit that dropdown, he had those saved campaigns in there. Well now from the service advisors perspective, they pick the right campaign, they can then adjust the filter if they want to, and then they can skip all the way over and say launch. They don’t have to build the email body. They don’t have to go build the landing page. They go right over to launch. When do you want to send it out? Do you want this to kick off tomorrow at midnight or do you want to send it right now? Bing. And you can whittle that thing down. You can whittle it down to left hand drive BMWs that you have in your database and there’s four of them for whatever reason, you got extra breaks sitting on the shelf for that, whatever.
But you can then do that and hey, if that subset didn’t get the response, well then guess what? You can then expand it out a little bit wider and do it again because you’re now testing just segments of the market, segments of your database to see it’s just like efficiency, which where you’re getting the hits and the bites and then you fill because you don’t want to also crank that throttle wide open and you had two spots that you wanted to fill next Friday and now you’ve got 14 appointments, which is a good thing to have, but you’re just going to start to have some conversations on the phone and juggle that, but that can turn people off. So you want to make sure you small bites to fill that need, very, very targeted and those are the results you’ll get. And so how’s that been working? Muddy? It looks to me, and I’m just looking at it from the big picture that when you started this, it’s looking like you’re getting about 25% increase in book appointments.
Russ Crosby (00:41:42):
Yeah, it’s working out beautifully. And I mean even us, we could stand to start sending out some of these messages a little more frequently. I know I think Karen was asking before how frequently as you get more comfortable with it and as you see the response of your customers, you’ll know when to send them out. If your customers start coming in and telling you that you’re blasting ’em with stuff all the time or people stop start to to shut off their reception of getting these text message and emails, you may be doing a little too much, but I can almost guarantee that we’re not doing enough of it in general as an industry, right?
It’s working out really great. It gets people calling during covid, sending out how we’re taking care of the customer’s car and the pickup and drop off. That was huge. People were picking up the phone, they felt a little bit more at ease having their vehicle come in so we didn’t have to call ’em and try and play salesperson on the phone. They were able to read something and get them through the door. I just saw a chat come through. Is there a recommended character count for the text option Personal? My personal feeling on that is if you can keep it short and sweet and the reason why you’re sending the text out, I feel that’s the best least amount of characters to keep it short and sweet to the point I think is best. I don’t like reading long-winded text messages, so you got to keep that in mind because your customers may not either on the email side of it, it may be a little different, but for me, I like to try and keep things short and to the point. Uwe, Tom, you guys, what do you guys think about that?
Tom Dorsey (00:43:38):
Yeah, that question was from Lindsay and she’s also asking would you recommend a large text or teaser to get to that landing page? And that’s a great question and we’ve done that. Part of it is technology, what’s available to us through the technology. Recently Rich Snippet came into play and we have incorporated that and Uwe, if you could talk a little bit about that. What platforms is it on? What are some of the limitations and what are the options and what have we seen? Right? We’ve seen, I mean the click-through rate is incredible. When you can take a picture, you take that, you don’t use the stock image on your tablet, the technician goes up to the vehicle for first, he replaces that stock image by taking a picture of the vehicle in the bay, preferably with your signage in there. We always talk about that, your branding and that background. Here’s why because now that rich snippet in the text messages that vehicle in your shop with your branding behind it. And that’s really, you’ve seen, you’ve gotten those texts before, it has a picture on it and it says click through depending on the phone, it could have a different experience. VE if you could talk a little bit about that and how we are introducing that and what’s been the benefits.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:44:56):
Happy to. So let’s start at the beginning. What’s the recommended character count? To Russ’s point, the ideal setup is you have a very compelling teaser short in text and email and it leads to a landing page where you can make your case. So if the call to action to click on the landing page link is not compelling enough, then they don’t do it. But if it is, then that’s the ideal setup for many, many reasons. Let me give you one reason we encountered in the last years, which we did not expect, but makes complete sense. If your text is, you all know about texting to be abused by too many marketing messages and all the carriers are on the hunt to identify those senders and try to block them, right? I mean there is a whole movement in the industry, not just in industry and texting not to be abused because we all complain about things coming through text. We don’t want to see. So what the carriers do believe it or not, is they check your text in the text message. And if that is spam and you do that often enough from the same phone number, they block your phone number.
So if that shows up on the landing page, your marketing message, that can never happen. That’s one reason to keep it short relevant in the text and make the link below the call to action to check out the landing page. So we have had to replace text phone numbers for shops who use the campaign manager with spam triggering text and then the carriers are relentless. You’re just done. So
Tom Dorsey (00:47:13):
In an easy way to implement that for your operation is think of all of those click beatty type titles. You cannot stop from clicking like the one weird trick, the lower your insurance rate. Well take a version of that. That’s how you really get, I mean the reason that you see those everywhere is because they work and you don’t have to make it so cheap, but you make a compelling reason. fomo, the fear of missing out a lot of times is what’s going to trigger that clickthrough. And you put that in that short and concise and real clear method and that’s when we talk about testing, that’s what you test. You can have several versions of that clickbait type title, run ’em out there and then just look at the numbers and see which one works the best and run that you’re always going to. It’s not ever going to then last forever. Everything gets burned out and played out and we stop responding to it. So you really need to look at those numbers. When it starts to flatten out and it’s not returning well now it’s time to do some more testing and find a new type of a subject line or title that is going to attract people to click through.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:48:21):
Okay, so number two goes a little bit to the email. We all use phones and read emails on our phone. Some use Gmail, others use Yahoo in the app or on the a web app or a web page. So what I’m trying to allude to is there is no way if you have a heavy and rich email, for example, with a lot of images in it to make sure that all phones render it the exact way you want because of the variety of email clients on phones. And so that’s why, that’s another reason to keep also the email short and put the heavy content on the landing page because web browsers are standardized. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Safari, chrome, whatever is out there. But it also helps that there are kind of two standards now, right? Sorry Firefox guys, but it’s Safari and Crow depending on what phone you use. And so the chance that you email or your landing page is rendered exactly the way you wanted it to look is close to a hundred percent long-winded answer to the question, what’s a good character count? Let me quickly summarize. Put the heavy stuff in the landing page and create a teaser and a relevant information and text and email linking to the landing page
Tom Dorsey (00:50:08):
And then test it and track it. Yep, you cannot, I can’t emphasize that enough. You have to test it for the result, the open rate or the response rate. And then you have to look at your results over time. Is it really paying off you think it is? Or is it starting to its bite. And then you need to put that creative hat back on and find the next thing that’s going to keep your goal amount of click through. Because it all boils down to math, right? You figure out how many you need to send and this open rate and it’s going to get you this many responses and then that’s the gravy. And as soon as you start to not get as much gravy, you want to get back in and test some more so that you constantly stay on that gravy train. And that’s where the service advisor at that front counter, that’s your front man, that’s the front lines right there.
They know they have their finger on the pulse. You’ve got the summary, you’ve got the big picture, you’re doing the other marketing when it comes to brand awareness and stuff like that. But when it comes to operational marketing, getting your base full, being dynamic and nimble, being able to turn or to be able to attract specific types of services, vehicles, whatever it is for a situation, there’s nobody who’s going to be better equipped. And so you just have to give them the tools and then the training and set some goals, right? Set some goals because then that’s how they’ll use that tool. If they’ve got some incentive, there’s a goal that there’s something expected of them, well then they’ll get out and they’ll start to use it. The more they use it. It’s just like doing digital inspections. That’s how we get people to adopt digital inspections is they get big returns from it and they just start doing it. Then they do it more and then pretty soon it’s critical. It’s instrumental in your business. And so will the campaign manager be, Ooh, I know. Gosh man, I can’t believe we’ve got seven minutes
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:52:21):
Tom Dorsey (00:52:25):
Content out of this thing. But I want to talk a little bit about jobs. I promised Ross I would give ’em a little takeaway and some education and some more knowledge for everybody in here. Is that canned job scheduler? What kind of the quick high level view of what is the canned job scheduler? Please show it to us if you can in this last kind of minutes that we have and how does it help take that customer relation management to the next level?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:00):
Can you see my screen?
Tom Dorsey (00:53:01):
Yes. Thank you.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (00:53:02):
So the idea was that certain jobs, mostly maintenance and will be detected by us and give you the ability in the campaign manager to say who is overdue for this job, for this service? That was the whole idea. So send in campaign to everybody who’s overdue on a certain service and in order for us to know when it’s overdue, you use the can job scheduler and you see it here, and this is a test chop, so don’t be scared. Most chops don’t have a 1,348 can job. Most of you have it in the order of 200 ish. So it’s not such and not all of those 200 are probably relevant for this topic. So all you basically do is you see all your Ken job listed, you can search for them and then pick it and configure it. Two wheel alignment servers every 60,000 for all vehicle types.
If you have certain ones which are just for one vehicle type like here. So you can then select the make or even go further down and say if it’s just for manual transmission, you can pick that. You can even select the year. I don’t know to what degree that’s even necessary, but this way you can go very generic for all vehicle types or all the way specific to specific vehicle types, which is always the make the model, the engine to transmission. And if you want the years, so you set this up and from then on we track when the last visit, when the last time was, when this canned job has been performed and when it’s overdue. And all you need to do is in the campaign manager Russ showed before you have another filter and say this can job is overdue on, send a campaign to all of them. And then you can do, for example, a repeat campaign. You set it up for every four weeks to go out and we automatically update the people who got added to it because it became overdue or the people get removed because they actually requested an appointment and let the shop perform the service. So there’s a constant updating of the list in the background. You don’t need to care. Does that help?
Tom Dorsey (00:56:04):
So yes. And so in a nutshell, right, is that you can set up a custom maintenance plan for your shop and then automate that to the subscribers. It’s basically subscribers at this point. They already opted in when they fit into those categories. You haven’t had the 30,000 mile service, you’re overdue for that. They’re going to get that touch. It’s not going to go out like spammy. It’s going to go out when it applies to them. And then you can set the frequency and the follow up and all that good stuff, but it becomes automatic. So it’s not just the OEMs that you’re trying to hook ’em on or whatever you set up based off of your knowledge of that vehicle, your type of service, your expectations. And once it’s set up, then it’s just like it’s on a subscriber basis. They’re going to get that information when it’s pertinent to them.
So please take a look at that. If you’ve got the cm, if you’re on smart flow X, smart flow plus is one of the legacy you have that actually you have to be on smart Flow X, you’ve got it, but it’s again, it’s another one of those things like the campaign manager, to what Russ said, it’s in there. You either didn’t know it was in there and haven’t gotten to click that button yet. Maybe you’re not interacting with your AutoVitals trainer as much as you should be because I know they’re chomping at the bit to tell you all about all this good stuff and they’ll show you how to use it and just give it a shot, run it through some tests and see what it does for you. You’d be surprised. Give us that feedback, man. We got two minutes left, man. Russ, thanks again for coming on.
That was awesome. Really good insights into how you’re doing that and really taking that leap, incorporate that into the front line through your service writer. I really wish Becky could have came on. I told her I want to get her back on in the future and we’d love to do that. Let’s get that campaign. Let’s get that canned job scheduler set up and incorporated Russ, and we’ll have you on in a month or so, two months and we’ll take a look at those results and get an update on. For folks out there still naysayers are sitting on the fence and don’t believe me, 25%, it’s just because of Covid or something like that. We’ll make sure, we’ll show ’em that it’s continuing and it’s growing and it’s a critical success factor in driving your business forward.
Russ Crosby (00:58:32):
Yeah, what was interesting about that Tom was that 25% was actually like the third campaign. Didn’t have anything to do with that covid campaign. I just started with Covid and I had a way higher open rate like the third, fourth time I sent it out. Yeah, yeah. Honey was actually really surprised when she looked at the numbers. So consistency is key. You have to start somewhere. Just give it a shot, try. I mean, right now we’re always looking for the next great opportunity and it’s been sitting in our lap for a long time.
Tom Dorsey (00:59:06):
No, that is awesome Ross. Thank you very much. It was a great show, man. You helped a lot of people and I know you’re out there. Just give it a shot, take it onto Facebook and ask for help. Post up your, what’s working for you. If you’ve got some content, you’ve got an email you’re sending out or a text message, it’s money share. Have other people test that. Give them an opportunity to try it out and get started and see the potential why it’ll come back to you because then they’ll be sharing what’s working for them, help each other, help each other. Tune in next Wednesday, same time, same place, and oh, recap for this show. So we’re doing a new landing page and you can always go, it’ll be up here probably by end of day first thing in the [email protected]/DST88.
This is episode 88. So we’ll be having that up and then we’re going to break it down into segments. So you just want to see how to set up, how Russ has his backend set up. You’ll have a snippet for that. Okay, Uwe’s been busy marking down those timestamps for us. Any other ideas to improve the show? Want to come on as a guest? Reach out to us. Love to have you on, love to solve problems and bring in operators to help us do so. But we just need to know what it is you’re looking to solve. Okay? What help do you need and want? And you got great people like Russ Crosby right here, willing to come on and help you out and share that knowledge and respond to him directly on Facebook. I’m at the shop, this guy’s an awesome guy and he will help you. Thanks a lot.

Back To Top