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BMW dealer uses text to cut phone bills and eliminate missed appointments

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BMW dealer Calterdon Limited, in Inverness, Scotland, has ‘gone-live’ with an autonomous web-based SMS solution from Text Messaging Centre (TMC) to instantly communicate with its customers – significantly cutting costly telephone bills by switching from high-volume telephone correspondence to SMS, which is both immediate and well-received by its customer base.

Calterdon has also experienced significant cost-savings through eliminating missed servicing, MOT appointments and enabling additional work to be completed on first visit.

The Calterdon BMW dealership is currently utilising TMC’s SMS solution within its Parts and Service department. Brian Bailey, After-Sales Manager at Calterdon Limited, explains: “Our showroom is located near a shopping centre that customers get limited mobile reception in and we were finding it increasingly difficult to get calls and voicemails though to our waiting customers to update them on the status on their car. We were looking for an alternative way to get in touch with our customers and I was instantly attracted to TMC’s SMS service. From discussing the SMS solution with TMC we soon realised that we can utilise SMS within many of our operations to instantly engage with our customers – even in a bad reception area where a text can often make it through – and remove the timely burden of continually calling unreachable customers.”

Crucially, TMC’s SMS solution will also mean that fewer customers miss their pre-booked appointments Calterdon BMW; something which Bailey is understandably delighted about.

“We are using the SMS service to remind customers of booked vehicle service or MOT appointments and this is fundamentally minimising the rate of no-shows we experience, allowing us to ensure that all appointments are honoured, therefore removing costly dead-time for staff,” he says. “The text messaging service is certainly of value to our business –, not only is SMS cheaper than telephone calls but we are already seeing huge cost-savings just through appointment reminders alone.”

Together with the cost-savings already being realised through the use of the SMS system, Calterdon is also seeing an impact on the speed and success of its customer communications. Bailey adds.

“These days the majority of people own a mobile phone, but it is not always convenient to answer a call, return a voicemail or answer an email. Many people prefer to receive a brief text rather than take or make a call. As such, SMS has been well received by our customers and has prompted both a higher and quicker response rate over calls or email. This adds to the smooth running of our after-sales service and ensures our customers receive the standard of care that they would expect from BMW.”

As Bailey goes on to describe, Calterdon’s BMW dealership also utilises TMC’s SMS solution to send customers a courtesy message after their car has been serviced. Furthermore, SMS is used as a quick and convenient way to inform customers that their car is ready for collection or parts are in stock. An additional benefit of text message communication is the instant nature of it, meaning that Calterdon can receive timely response from customers for any additional work that is required on their car whilst it is in the workshop. This ensures any necessary work on the car is completed in one visit, delivering an all-round more efficient service for both customers and staff.

Bailey concludes: “The solution from TMC is very effective across our organisation. It provides a full audit trail of all communications allowing us to ensure we are contacting the correct people with the correct information and can look back over this if the need arises. We see the SMS service as something that will gradually be incorporated within more and more operations at our dealership – including plans to market promotions to our customers who choose to opt in to this service.”

Peter Tanner, Group CEO at TMC, adds: “With customers and clients now increasingly hard to contact as people get busier and less contactable via the telephone, the simple text message is thriving. Replacing telephone calls, emails or even postal communication with SMS not only saves businesses money but also significantly streamlines efficiencies and empowers the recipient with the latest information in an instant, irrespective of location. We are extremely pleased to be working with BMW dealership Calterdon to help them make best use of SMS within their organisation.”

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