Meet Your Support Agent: Kelly Nottingham

Meet Your Support Agent: Kelly Nottingham

The “Meet Your Support Agent” feature provides an inside look at the SocialCRM service from the support agent’s perspective. In an interview format, they share expertise, insights and best practices to help auto repair shops use digital marketing strategies to gain competitive advantage in their market. This month we’ll discuss the factory scheduled maintenance service reminder and why it’s an important tool for aftermarket shops to use.  And now, we’re pleased to introduce Kelly Nottingham.

Kelly Nottingham

Marcus: How long have you been a Support Agent?

Kelly:  I’ve been a Support Agent for 2 ½ years.

Marcus: During your support interactions, how do you explain the importance of scheduled maintenance service reminders to your shop owners?

Kelly: Service reminders are an automated way for shops to communicate vehicle service needs to consumers. Similar to a dentist check-up notice that you receive every six months, SocialCRM service reminders are strategically timed when the vehicle is actually due for service based on the manufacturer recommendations and driving habits. We don’t just use predetermined, generic cycles.

Marcus: How can shop owners personalize or customize the SocialCRM service reminders?

Kelly:  It’s easy to customize the coupons and body text of the service reminder with the shop’s logo and messages. Customizing allows shops to cater to multiple types of customers. Some customers are coupon clippers and some are not. If a shop tells me that no one brings in a coupon, I explain that although there are coupons on the reminder, they are not the main purpose of the reminder. The reminder is primarily intended to provide the consumer with information regarding their vehicle’s scheduled maintenance needs; coupons are used to enhance the appeal of the reminder. As far as customizing the body of the service reminder, that allows the shop to add their “personal touch.” Shops can include their own messages to promote a special deal, an event or even run a contest if they choose.

Marcus: What advice do you offer your shops when they’re creating coupons?

Kelly: Some shops aren’t “coupon shops.” They just don’t like discounting services, and that’s OK. But for shops that do use them, coupons can be an opportunity to highlight the shop’s amenities such as free Wi-Fi, free shuttle service, cable TV or free coffee. For these shops, I always suggest that they use dollars off instead of percentage off because it’s simpler for the consumer; most folks don’t want to do the math. I also suggest that shops use general terms rather than specific services. For instance, say “Any service due” or “Your next service” instead of “10% off Transmission Flush” or “$10 off Alignment.” When you state a specific service, you limit your audience. But if you use general terms, the promotion will apply to the masses — and that’s generally who you want to reach with your coupons.

About the Author

Marcus Mackell

Marcus Mackell is a Market Manager for the Mitchell 1 SocialCRM product line. He joined Mitchell in 2004 and has been in the automotive retention marketing business for over 7 years.