Social Communication

Your customers are online in Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Are you?

Tell me something

I am regularly surprised by the ease of communication on Facebook  and I am wondering how it changes the way we communicate with one another. Our daughter Lina, who will turn 19, not only claims that she knows every single one of her 973 facebook friends well, but that she also has made Facebook her main communication tool. Setting up events, reaching out to friends, inviting everybody to the next  high school Volleyball home game etc., facebook is her tool of choice. “Email takes too long and is more about facts,” she says. “If I wanted to exchange facts, I’d text.” Lina would start facebook conversations with something like: “Tell me something” or “RAWWR” – and still get quite a bit of responses! I found this mind-boggling. When talking with her about it, it dawned on me that her statements confirmed what we found when looking at car-owner- to-service-advisor communication. Lina said that people she hangs out with people who know what ‘RAWWR’ means,  and they respond within a few minutes with similar ‘interesting’ statements. Since they have developed rapport * already, they express their feelings in a kind of secret language, and are mostly interested in pinging their friends and exchanging ‘feel-good’ statements, or simply waiting for the other to say something exciting. Next time your talk to your  Service Advisor or customer, start with “RAWR” and see what happens. Just kidding. But what is striking to me is that this underlying rapport facilitates all kinds of conversations. Building trust with each other, being on the same wave length, sharing challenges and joyful moments – these all develop strong...

Online Communication Beyond the Counter – Social Search for Auto Repair Shops Part 5

Is the customer interaction at the counter related to the effectiveness of an online campaign? Can messaging to the customer be automated? Can the service adviser be replaced? Watch this recipe for success when leveraging the counter experience in your online communication. Mitch and I explore the potential for local businesses to amplify the effectiveness of his online campaigns. Please leave your comments and questions. Read about this ephiphany we discovered about online communication in customer relationship when talking to our daughters. Find out how to use our service leveraging Google based social search in customer retention....

Boost Your Presence With Boost Ads – A Second Look

I was very excited when Google launched Boost Ads; it helped everyone whom did not want to take the driver’s ed of navigating the complex Ad-Words interface. Wish to have your business show up high on Google? Simple, just select the categories you want to show up for: and a few clicks later it worked. Simple and straight forward – isn’t that what we all wanted? Well, hmm, sort of… Let’s take a look at how it works. Google simply uses the Ad-Words channel to preselect keywords for the categories you selected and start featuring those keywords for your shop. Go to your Ad-Words campaigns and you’ll see these pre-defined campaigns, like  the one below Then take a look at your keywords and sort by the ones with the most clicks. You might find the one below: You can also look at your Boost dashboard and check the most looked up keywords there: Wait a second, I did not want to sell auto parts, I am offering auto repair services! And ‘limo’? What the heck?! I don’t offer limo services! So I am paying $120.97 per month for something I don’t want to advertise for? Alright hold on, let’s just go into the keyword list and un-select those keywords. Easy, right? What????  Tisk, tisk, is Google clever or just plain greedy? You decide. My best advice is to open a limo service and start selling auto parts. Seriously? Yes, sort of…. As always, be there or be triangle. Uwe (Oova) AutoVitals – take your rapport with your customers beyond the...

Looking Up Our (Car’s) Vital Signs

We buy cars with the expectation that they function properly all the time. Feed it some gas from time to time and everything is going to be fine. We go about our business every day and expect our body to function flawlessly. Feed it the right solids and liquids from time to time and everything is going to be fine. No big deal. Nothing to talk about. Right. Really? Both our body and car have great self-sustaining mechanisms built in, which do not let them fail at the slightest hick-up of the system. Think of a software constantly monitoring our cars’ and bodies’ vital signs. They work to make sure that in case they deviate from the normal range, the body (or car) either compensates for the problem or sends an alert as pain or as a check engine light. This is beneficial in the long run, since it makes the body and car as reliable as possible.  So why require a check-up then? Often the pain/engine light is only the last resort, and earlier detection may have eliminated the root cause, or at least its damage be minimized. We suffer from short breath caused by low fitness or low fuel-efficiency caused by carbon build up. And we only realize too late that we need to deal with diabetes or replace the whole set of spark plugs and more. How about we try to be preventive and listen to car and body experts taking our specifics (life-style and driving profile) into account when giving advice? Combine it with (the so much harder) listening to your body and car ourselves, and we should not only be in...

More Than A 1,000 Words

One of the most effective ways to illustrate complex issues is by using images or videos, accompanied by a brief but crisp description of the issue. Having to explain the details of a malfunctioning car part can often be made highly effective, simply by sending the image pointing out the problem, or even contrasting it with one showing a properly functioning part. Additionally, a student’s parent or a third party person trusted by the car owner needs to be involved in the decision about the repair proposed by the service advisor. Thus, the better the documentation about the issue at hand the more effective and reliable the decision-making process. What if the technician, who uncovered the problem during the inspection, could just take a picture with his cellphone and make it available to the service advisor – to be easily sent to the car owner? We  made exactly this available to all AutoVitals shops. The  technician takes the picture with his cell or smart phone and enters the license plate number as subject line of the message. Then he sends it to [email protected], and the service advisor will have the picture attached to the vehicle in question on the Today’s Vehicle Page . He can add more information for the car owner as image description, print the estimate so it gets attached to the vehicle, and click on “Email Estimate”. Done. The car owner, and if needed – more recipients – will receive the email with the estimate and picture so that a decision can be made quickly with all the important information at hand. A few clicks made it happen, no uploading from...
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