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Service Department Etiquette…..when to text, when to call?

Texting solutions for service providers in the automotive dealership service drive have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and efficiency. Deciding whether to use a text message or make a phone call depends on several factors including the urgency of the message, the complexity of the information being shared, and the customer’s preferences. Here are some general guidelines:

### When to Use Text Messaging:

– **Updates and Confirmations**: 

Texts are perfect for sending appointment confirmations, service completion notifications, and status updates on a vehicle’s repair progress.

– **Simple Questions or Requests**: 

For straightforward inquiries that require a yes/no answer or a short response, texting is efficient.

– **Document Sharing**: Sending pictures or documents related to the service, such as estimates for repairs, work orders, or visual evidence of issues.

– **Promotions and Reminders**: 

For sending service promotions, reminders for upcoming appointments, or maintenance needs.

– **Customer Preferences**: Many customers prefer texting for its convenience and might specify it as their preferred method of communication.

### When to Make a Phone Call:

– **Complex Discussions**: 

If the issue requires a detailed explanation or if there are several options to consider that would benefit from a back-and-forth conversation, a phone call is better. Typically this includes ANY instance where MONEY must be discussed! Be careful NOT to just send a huge estimate without warning!

– **Sensitive Information**: For discussing sensitive information that might require immediate clarification or where privacy and security are concerns.

– **Urgent Issues**: 

If immediate feedback is needed or if the matter is too urgent to risk the delay of a text message response.

– **Customer Preference**: Some customers may prefer a more personal touch, especially for significant service decisions or when they have expressed a preference for phone calls over texts.

– **Clarification or Follow-Up**: 

If a text conversation has become too complex or if there’s misunderstanding, switching to a phone call can save time and reduce confusion.

Ultimately, the choice between texting and calling should be guided by the context of the communication, the nature of the information being conveyed, and the known preferences of the customer. It’s also a good practice for service providers to ask customers upfront about their preferred method of communication and to document this preference for future interactions.

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