Turn your Phone to Landscape
We’re Going Mobile- are you in?
Mobile phones, mobile websites, mobile applications: the trend is clear. How many mobile devices do the members of your household use daily? Or more importantly, how many of your customers use their mobile device during their busy day?
One previously unutilized aspect is making an appointment at your shop. We have observed that the number of appointment requests from a mobile device to your mobile or desktop website is steadily increasing. So you might ask yourself: “Why do I need a mobile application, if my mobile website takes care of it?”. Good question.
You might need both – the mobile website and the mobile application – in order to cover an expansive motorist base.
Why Both are Crucial
Mobile websites target mostly new customers, who find your website through mobile searches.
Mobile applications target existing customers, who’d like to have a convenient way of taking advantage of a promotion, or want to see vehicle-specific information to prepare their next visit.
Compared with mobile websites, mobile applications offer great benefits for effective communication. Once the app is downloaded and installed, it offers simple usability. Moreover, it allows us to send messages to your customer, even if they don’t have the app in use. This method is called push notification. It comes in several specifications, depending whether an iPhone or Android phone is used and which platform of push notification has been configured when downloading the app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
- The Way it Works
- App only Specials
- Appointment Calendar
- Push Notifications
- But how will your customer know about the mobile application?
The Way it Works
Lets look at our app on the iPhone. After the initial login with the customer’s email address or welcome code, the app turns into a shop specific screen, featuring your logo, shop name and phone number. Next time the app is launched, it goes directly to the shop-specific page. Let’s see how easily your customer engages with you:
- Tapping the phone number calls your shop.
- Tapping “Save Money” shows the promotion, configured on your AV Dashboard. Read the next tab to learn how to set this up.
- The vehicle image can be uploaded by you or the customer. Annual mileage and personalized service interval are also displayed.
- The next service due date is shown, together with …
- … your detailed recommendations from the last visit.
- Tapping opens the “Schedule Appointment.”
- Once the appointment date is selected and other details have been added, you customer can select whether the promotion should be added to the appointment (see below the “schedule appointment” page).
App only specials and promotions
By configuring a special, when your customers press the Save Money button in the app, they will see your promotion and request an appointment to redeem it.
To configure your promotion, go to MyShop > Customer Messages. Here you will see the option to write the message and choose an expiration date.
The special will look like this in the app when the customer hits Save Money. They can use this special and request an appointment, and you will be notified via email and a notification on your dashboard that the customer wants an appointment and they they would like to use the special.
As usual the appointment shows up on your AV dashboard and in your email inbox for quick response.
Let’s take a quick glance at the push notification: Once you configured and sent a promotion or any other message to your customers using your AutoVitals dashboard, the app icon on the iPhone shows how many messages are there to check and (if configured) the promotion pops up on the iPhone screen.
Can you see how this simple and clear user experience will engage your customers? Scheduling automotive appointments will no longer be a hassle or a chore, but a quick and painless tap of a mobile device.
To send a push notification to your app customers, go to MyShop > Customer Messages.
But how will your customer know about the mobile application?
Your customers will learn about the app and the benefits it offers in several ways
- During onboarding, you will be offered the option for us to send all your current customers an email inviting them to download the app with a unique welcome code that will allow them to log in and access their account information. The upside to this method is that is that so many customers will be sent the email. The downside is that customers that have not been to the shop recently and aren’t thinking about auto repair too much are unlikely to actually download the app. It’s more likely they download the app near, during, or shortly after they visit your shop.
- After the customer visits your shop, they will be sent an activation email inviting them to set up their online Service Center account, as well as download the mobile app. Read more about this activation email and what else we send your customers after the visit click here, and specifically read the tab called ‘What does the Activation email do?’. The welcome code needed to log in will be provided in this activation email as well as the link to download.
- We highly recommend talking to your customer about the mobile app when they drop off their vehicle, or pick it up. A conversation with the service adviser about the benefits of the mobile app is by far the most effective way of getting customers to download the app. When doing this, you may need to help a customer find their welcome code manually. This is easily done from the TVP. Just click on the customer name > Communication settings > Push Notifications. Here you will see a welcome code which is needed when the customer downloads the app.
You can also find the customer’s welcome code from the Vehicle and Driver Directory. To learn how to find the code, or resend the activation email, read this article, specifically the tab called ‘How do I resend a Service Center activation email?’.
Our best practices for using the MyCar Vitals app are
- Talk with your customers about the app! We recommend making it part of your customer drop off process and telling each customer about the benefits of the app as well as helping them download it. You will want to make sure your customers know about the app and what the benefits are, and then make it easy for them to get it! Entice them by letting them know you have configured an app only special they can access and use, if they download the app to show you the special. If they don’t download it right away, you can let them know their activation email sent after the visit will have the link and welcome code as well. To learn how to find the welcome code yourself, and about what we recommend for the drop off process as a whole, read this article.(coming soon link to the customer drop off script).
- Configure an app only special. This way you can easily get customers to download the app so you can easily send them push notifications in the future.
- Send push notifications to your motorists to let them know about the app only specials, in addition to telling them at the counter at Drop Off.