7 Reasons why Bike Shops Should Use Text Messages

The bike retail industry is transforming. Online sales have risen in the last decade and some large manufacturers have made the switch to a direct-to-consumer model. Albeit this, bike consumers still rely heavily on local bike shops for their trusted expertise as well as for maintenance and repair services.

Local bike shops have a lot to gain from the growing popularity of cycling, which is in part due to consumers becoming more health and environmentally conscious. To compete with online shopping trends, bike shops need to offer a unique and personalized retail experience to retain and grow their customer base.

I’m sure you can think of a few bike stores that are already making an impact. Whether it’s because they’re reaching out to a niche market, offering rental bikes or that warm espresso you desperately needed, many bike shops are upping their marketing game.

No matter the approach, providing best-in-class customer service should always remain a top priority. Using an SMS platform to communicate with your customers can help improve the overall customer experience—all while being more profitable. In this blog post, we’ll look at the 7 main reasons why bike shops should start texting with their customers.

1. Get quick responses

Perhaps you’re tuning a bike when you realize there’s another repair that needs to be done. Or maybe you’re ready to order new parts, but aren’t sure about your customer’s choice of color or brand. If you’re unable to get a hold of your customers quickly, you might risk postponing their scheduled pick-up date and disappointing them. Text messages help you to get faster answers and approvals than by phone calls and emails. In fact, the average response time for a text message is of only 90 seconds.

You will get quicker responses with text messages and be able to track all of your customers’ answers. Text messaging platforms are collaborative web-based tools that keep track of all messages sent and received from each user. Keeping track of all communications is just one reason that you shouldn’t be texting for business with a personal cell phone.

Is Texting from a Mobile Phone for Business a Good Idea?

2. Improve staff efficiency

Reaching out to your customers via text messages can help save time by reducing the amount of time spent on daily operative tasks, such as making phone calls and managing appointments. By reducing the amount of time spent on tasks that could be automated, you can spend more time helping customers in yourstore, which adds value to your business.

By using a smart texting platform, you can automate the sending of text messages. This means that your messages can be sent based on certain rules and events. For example, you could send a text message that automatically notifies your customers when their bikes are ready. You could also send automatic appointment reminders and confirmations by text messages. Automating appointment reminders will help reduce no-shows and lower your mechanics’ idle time.

Hi { customer.name }, Your bike is ready! 🙌 You can drop by at the shop whenever you’re available during our regular business hours. See you soon! { company.name }

3. Send targeted sales campaigns

You can send targeted text messages to your customers based on their preferences and past behaviour. This can help keep your inventory levels low or promote sales. For example, you could send a targeted campaign to all your customers that have previously purchased spinning shoes to promote your new spinning classes. You could also send a discount code on winter apparel for all customers that own a fatbike.

Hi { customer.name }, Fatbike season is at our doors! 🚴🏾‍ ❄️ We’re offering you a special 20% discount on all our thermal bib tights. The offer is valid until Thursday. See you soon! { company.name }

You could also send automatic messages to customers about when their bike maintenance is due. A message could be sent 9 months after customers’ last maintenance to remind them to book an appointment.

Hi { customer.name }! 👋 Looks like you’re due for your annual bike maintenance. Would you like to book an appointment before spring (and never miss a day of riding!)? Answer YES to schedule an appointment.

4. Accelerate pick-up processes

Nobody likes waiting in line. This is especially true for cyclists who haven’t ridden their bike in a few days! Using text messages can help you provide your customers with the option of paying from their mobile phones before pick-up. By sending a secured link through text message, your customers can conveniently pay from wherever, whenever they like (and skip the line!).

5. Share pictures, videos, and files

Text messaging offers the opportunity of sharing pictures, videos, and files with your customers so you can communicate more clearly. For example, a picture could be sent to show a repair that needs to be done. By looking at the picture, your customers will have a better understanding of what’s at stake. It’ll also help build trust because your customers will be thankful that you took the time to send a personalized message and they’ll have no second-doubts about the repair.

Hello { customer.name }, As you can see by the photo below, your [OBJECT_NAME] needs more repairs. Would you like a new quote? { company.name }

Other than pictures, it’s also possible to send quotes and invoices through text messages. You could send quotes before repairing a bike or ordering new parts. You could also send invoices to your customers so they can be easily tracked, as opposed to traditional paper receipts.

6. Keep your customers happy!

Text messaging offers many benefits to your bike shop. Most importantly, your customers will be happy that you’re texting them. In fact, customers want to be texted by businesses because it offers little disturbance compared with phone calls and is convenient for instant communication. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers want to use text messages to communicate with businesses.

We’re used to having the world at our fingertips. Because of this, your customers are expecting to be provided with information. They’ll be thankful if you send timely updates, such as work orders, the status of their delivery, etc.

7. Measure your customer satisfaction

Once your customers leave the door, it can sometimes be hard to get feedback on their experience. With text messaging, you can send automated review requests after bike maintenance or repair. You could also ask them to review a new product to see if you should recommend it to more customers. By automating this task, you don’t have to worry about asking for the information and your customers can answer when the experience is still fresh in their minds.

Text messages are omniscient in our daily communications and can easily be integrated in your business operations. Smart SMS platforms allow you to send targeted messages, automate daily tasks, ensure two-way, and much more.

Take a look at our platform for more information.

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