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Introducing TextBox – Text-Enable your existing shop telephone number


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(Warning and apologies for the long post)

As you can see by my profile, I’m pretty new to AutoShopOwner.com but after browsing around quite a bit and communicating with @Alex and a couple of other leaders around here, I figured it would be worth the investment to become and Advertiser Member for the purpose of introducing our service and getting some feedback.

It is not my intent to bombard with promotion but rather provide information about a capability that few realize is even possible.

I’d like to start this introduction with a couple of statements.

  1. It is becoming increasingly difficult and frustrating to reach customers by phone since they often don’t answer the phone and often don’t check their voicemail.
  2. Most people text more than they talk these days.

If you agree, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to TextBox!

TextBox was conceptualized back in 2012 from this video (See YourCarIsReady Video)

Following are some of the capabilities we offer along with comparisons to other text messaging options we have encountered.

Text Enable Your Existing Shop Telephone Number

TextBox-

Text-enables your existing shop telephone number. Your telephone number is part of your brand and part of your value. TextBox leverages the value of that number by opening up the text communications channel. People are probably already texting your number… they’re just not getting anywhere.

Adding ‘Call or Text’ to your shop signage, website, Facebook page and any other marketing materials that include your telephone number will enhance those marketing efforts and provide more leads.

Frequently, when you call somebody they text you back. Likewise, when you text somebody, they may call you back. Since TextBox uses your existing phone number. Both of those work!

Others-

Some use a shared 5 or 6 digit short codes. Some require you to introduce a completely new number that might not even be a local number. Some use email-to-text which requires you to find out what carrier the customer uses.

If somebody calls the number you text them from, usually, the call goes nowhere. Not a very good customer experience.

If you call a customer from your shop telephone number and they respond via text, the text goes nowhere.

True Two-Way Texting

TextBox-

TextBox offers true two-way texting from the comfort of a full size keyboard and computer screen and keyboard anywhere you happen to be. You can name and tag contacts and review unlimited conversation history.

Others-

Many are one-way only. If a customer replies or initiates a text, the text fails and you never see it. Many don’t have an interface where you can review previous text messages in a conversational thread. With email-to-text, each message is a separate email message. It’s almost impossible to keep up with. Most Shop Management systems that have a text module are one-way only.

Multiple Interfaces

TextBox-

The most used TextBox interface is through a small app that is installed on Windows computers and/or laptops. It automatically starts when the computer starts and pops up to alert you when new texts arrive. We also provide tablet and mobile apps that allow you to see and respond to TextBox messages wherever you happen to be.

Others-

Most require you to remember to open and log in to a web browser and remember to check the page to see if any texts have come in. Very few also have tablet or mobile interfaces.

Cost

TextBox-

Most shops don’t need anything more than our $49/month small business plan. Larger shops with multiple service advisors with direct numbers can text-enable each additional number for only $29/month. There are no contracts or term commitments. We even offer a free trial and don’t even ask for billing information.

Others-

We have been surprised at some of the services that appear to do less but cost much more.

Frequently Answered Questions:

  • Will it mess up my phone service? NO. The voice and text networks are completely separate.
  • Can multiple people use it? YES. And everything is automatically synchronized.
  • How long does it take to get set up? Usually fully operational within a few hours.
  • Are there any contracts or term commitments? NO. Service is month-to-month.

For those who have taken the time to read all the way down this far, we’re making a special introductory offer hoping you will provide feedback here on the forum about your experience with the ease of getting started, the power and efficiency of TextBox and our outstanding customer service.

The first 10 members here who PM me here or contact us directly and mention AutoShopOwner.com will receive:

  1. A completely no obligation trial from now to the end of March 2017.
  2. An automatic free month every year if they sign up for service after the trial.

Of course, I’d be happy to answer any questions in this thread, via private message in this form, buy phone or… by text.

John Fabrega
Founder
Line1 Communications & TextBox
850.205.1111 (Call or Text)

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Great Tire Deal

Exciting news... I have been invited to speak at a Repair Shop 20 Group in Houston in February.

(One of our customers/fans -Auto & Tire Super Service Center- presented TextBox as a 'best idea' a couple of months ago. Although he didn't win the $$s ='( about 1/2 the group requested trials and have signed up. Now the rest want to learn more)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to give everyone here an update. I saw this thread a couple of weeks ago and reached out for more information about it. John contacted me personally by phone and answered all of my questions. I decided to give TextBox a try. I have tried several "free" texting programs and even used Mitchell Pro Pack for almost a year. Every free program I used left something to be desired, and Pro Pack was so cumbersome that we never used it. To me one of the most important aspects is that the phone number remains the same. Customers don't need to remember another number!! They can text the same number that they would call!. John got me set up rather quickly and kept in contact through the whole process. He even contacted me a few days later to make sure everything was working out. The program is very easy to use and even my "not so tech savvy" service advisor is loving it!! the message templates make it quick to let a customer know their vehicle is ready and the auto reply for after hours texts is awesome. I also really appreciate the personal service that I have received from John and the crew. Anytime you have a question, you just text support and they respond immediately and will call if necessary! Now I know this may sound like I'm on the payroll, I assure you I'm not. I just wanted everyone to know that if you've been looking for a texting program like I was, don't hesitate to give this a try, I think you'll be glad you did!

 

-Scott

 

Scott's Automotive

2600 NE McDonald Lane

McMinnville, OR 97128

503-472-9622

[email protected]

 

www.scottsautomotivemac.com

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I always wished bolt on would fix this. It can be really confusing for our customers to text us on one number but have to call another

We would love to work with the folks at Bolt On. I suspect that an integration would be relatively easy so Bolt On customers could choose between using their own TextBox enabled number or the number Bolt On provides. It generally takes some nudging from customers to get it going. I know that @mikerisich is pretty active around here so if it's something you are interested in, please comment here or PM him if you are friends.

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Are you able to type your own text or use templates only? Are you able to attach pictures?

 

Yes, you can always type in anything you want and you can also easily modify any templates (there are up to 10 templates on each computer).There are some videos here that show the primary interface. It has changed a bit but it is pretty close. Of course, doing an evaluation trial is the best way to really see how it works.

 

Yes, you can both receive and send picture messages. (At this time we only support picture messages, not .pdf or .doc or video, but of course you can include links that would bring up any of those)

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I've been using text box for two days. So far the program has been great and saved me a lot of time from having to call customers multiple times. I am sending appointment reminders the day before using it,when we have an estimate ready, when the vehicle is ready, and a follow up the next day. I love that I can use my same number. I was using Pinger but hated the fact that the customers had to remember two different phone numbers. They have been very helpful in helping me with the program and have also offered some great ideas for marketing tools. John sent me a link to include on my follow up message that would link to my Google reviews. Tomorrow I plan on messaging customers in a group message that have not been in in three months and linking a coupon to my website to offer them incentive to come in. This was John's idea and a great one I think. Wish Mitchell would get on board with this company where it would automatically link up your database with text box. Would highly recommend trying this company!!!!!. Would highly recommend trying this company!! Great thing is they are offering free trial until March-no risk!

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we signed up for the trial a few days ago, it is neat but the problem we are running into is there are several phone numbers for us, meaning, in marketing companies use their own numbers to track and monitor the phone calls. So, if you look on our website, it is not the real phone number to our shop. i figure there is 3 maybe 4 different numbers that will actual ring here. Textbox can tie all the numbers together but they will charge you for each line they do that. So in our case, we would be charged 4 times in order to get all the lines covered.

 

now, do we need to have all the lines covered? I guess not but it will raise problems for when people say, i texted you but got no response etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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