Service customers greatly prefer that dealership shops notify them by text message when their cars or trucks are ready, a new survey suggests.
Getting the message
When you bring your vehicle to the dealership for maintenance or repair, how would you prefer that the service department contact you to let you know that the vehicle is ready?
Source: DealerRater survey of 10,053 consumers who recently visited a dealership, conducted Sept. 10-13. Totals may not add up to 100% because of rounding.
In September, DealerRater polled for Fixed Ops Journal more than 10,000 consumers who had visited a dealership recently. Of those, 45 percent said they preferred a text message alert when maintenance or repair was complete and their vehicles were available for pickup. That's a greater percentage than other options, including a phone call, email or face-to-face notification.
Luxury-brand customers were more likely than mass-market customers to opt for texting, while mass-market customers were more likely to prefer in-person notification, the survey found.
These preferences confirm the results of previous surveys. Yet a study last year by J.D. Power and Associates concluded that only about 3 percent of vehicle owners and lease customers said they got text message updates from dealerships about service work. Texting does more than phone calls to build loyalty among service customers, the study added.
Some industry analysts say that the percentage of service departments using text messaging has increased, but that many dealerships continue to lag behind in communicating with service customers in the ways they want.