SMS is now being increasingly used by dealers for basic notifications to customers, but also for a wider variety of purposes, according to research by dealer management systems company, Pinewood.
Neville Briggs, managing director, said: "At the most basic level, texting is a very easy and useful way to confirm details with a customer so, if they ring up to book a service, sending a text with the date, car registration and location makes sense.
“Texting is also used by dealers to cut the number of customer ‘no shows’ by sending through a reminder the day before their vehicle is booked in for service.”
Briggs added that texting was also being used increasingly by used cars and parts departments.
He said: “Texts are now also being used to tell customers when a part they have ordered has arrived, or if a used car that matched a specification they want has been located. It’s just a convenient communications tool.”
Briggs explained that texting growth by dealers was being powered by two factors.
He said: “Firstly, we have reached a stage where pretty much everyone who owns a mobile phone knows how to receive a text.
“Secondly, easy texting technology is now more widely available to dealers, either through facilities within their dealers management system or by using online texting facilities from their desktop PC.”
The texting trend was identified through Pinewood's rolling research, which covers 1,061 dealers using its own and other dealer management systems. Instances were identified in at least 58% of the dealers surveyed.