Challenges: Mower Parts Plus couldn’t keep up with daily phone calls and voicemails weren’t getting responses.
- Spending hours a day on the phone to answer simple questions.
- Leaving voicemails that no one listens to.
- Not getting enough Google Reviews.
Mowers Parts Plus (Tavares Mowers) is a small business doing big things with large-scale lawn mower parts in Tavares, Florida.
Susan Williams is the co-owner of Mowers Parts Plus along with her husband. Like many small businesses, there’s a lot of work to do and not many people to do it. Susan and her husband have two service technicians but otherwise, it’s just them running daily operations.
Susan does everything she can to make her customers happy and communicate real-time service. But things get challenging when customers won’t answer the phone and don’t listen to voicemails.
Susan explained that landscapers really aren’t the type of people to answer phone calls when they’re on the job. Phone calls weren’t really cutting it.
“So many people aren't even listening to their voicemails anymore.”
It’s even worse when her customers call into the shop.
“When people call in, we only have one business line. We've tried two lines and that didn’t work. My husband will be on the phone and people want to call and find out about their equipment. By the time I get the voicemail, it's maybe a day or two later. During the busy season, it just makes for unhappy customers because we can’t keep up with voicemails.”
Susan explained how it isn’t surprising that landscapers would be calling her non-stop for status updates.
“When landscapers are waiting for equipment, they're not out there with their equipment, so they're not getting paid. So I just needed to get the message out as soon as possible and save some time.”
Susan was stuck on the phone answering basic questions like “is my equipment ready?”
Phone calls to answer simple questions like “when can I pick up my equipment?” take time. It certainly adds up too. Susan would spend the majority of her day answering phone calls instead of running her business.
Like any resourceful small business owner, Susan started looking for a solution. She needed a way to save time and get in touch with customers.
Solutions: Susan needed three things: a way to text updates, a way to reduce phone calls, and a way to collect more Google reviews.
- Texting service updates to notify customers when their equipment is ready.
- Texting a link for customers to leave a Google Review.
- Saving time with templates for frequently asked questions.
“I've always been looking for a way to text without using my own phone because I don’t want customers having my personal cell phone number.”
After researching different text messaging services, Susan came across Podium.
Susan tried Podium for a short time but was quickly turned away from their platform.
“I didn't even use half of their features. It was kind of an all-or-nothing package. The only thing I really did was send texts. You know, they had a bunch of other services that they kept trying to sell me on, but it just was out of our cost bracket.”
All of Susan’s issues with Podium stemmed from one core problem. They didn’t treat Susan as a small business. They didn’t recognize her problems.
So Susan went back to researching business text messaging solutions and she found MessageDesk.
She immediately scheduled a demo and spoke the same day with Josh (one of MessageDesk’s messaging experts). Josh got Susan up and running with her account that day.
Josh was also able to text-enabled Susan’s existing landline number and set it up as her MessageDesk number. That way, her customers would recognize the number right away.
Susan hit the ground running and immediately started texting her customers.
“I was up and running that same day with MessageDesk doing exactly what I needed it to do. There was no learning curve.”
Susan found that texting worked perfectly for her customers - around 80% of which are landscapers.
Playing phone tag didn’t result in good customer service for Susan. With one phone line, it was impossible to communicate with her customers effectively.
But everything changed when Susan started using MessageDesk.
“I opted to send them quick texts based on templates saying, okay, your equipment is now in service. Your equipment is waiting for parts. Now your equipment is complete. Without MessageDesk, we aren’t fielding so many calls.”
Results: Susan started texting and went from spending hours on the phone every day to reducing her phone time by 50%.
- Reducing time on the phone by 50%.
- 37% increase in Google Reviews in just one month.
- One in five customers leave a review after getting a text after service.
Susan has had enormous success with texting her customers.
“I don't have to call them. That’s saving a great amount of time and it's helping me keep organized. Day-to-day we've cut down on voicemails because we're getting texts instead. I would say it's saved way more than 50% of my time, because with the templates I just put in their phone number, fill out the quick information and then send the template.”
MessageDesk’s templates save Susan enormous amounts of time. Back when she was using Podium, she’d get stuck spending time typing the same message over and over again.
“I texted myself on the other software so I would have the message saved and then every customer I would have to go in and copy and paste and personalize it. But MessageDesk just throws in the name with the label automatically.”
Mowers Parts Plus has even started getting more Google Reviews because of texting.
In fact, Susan has seen a 37.3% increase in the amount of Google Reviews in just one month.
“I've been asking customers for Google reviews and that’s been super easy to do. We've already had a positive response on Google stating that the communication was great. If a customer buys a $6,000 mower from us, I like to contact them in a couple of weeks to see how they’re doing and ask for a review.”
On average 85% of customers are willing to leave reviews. This means all Susan had to do was ask.
Whenever she has a mower leave her shop after the repair, Susan sends a text asking for a review. Susan tends to set a schedule for herself to send them out on Mondays.
“For every 10 Google Reviews I request I get about 2. We've had a lot of people tell us, ‘I chose you because you have the best reviews’ and we do have the best reviews around us locally.”
Susan doesn’t get these reviews for nothing. Her proactive communication makes customers much more likely to refer Mower Parts Plus.
Mowers Parts Plus now has a 4.9/5.0 on Google Reviews. All because Susan asked for a review right after the customer had a great experience.
In the future, Susan is looking to expand her use of texting. Particularly, she wants to schedule texts to remind her customers to bring their equipment in for service.
“I'd like to schedule more texts to remind them that they need a service in a year.”
We asked Susan if she'd recommend MessageDesk and she told us,
“The ease of use, from one small business to another, I would definitely recommend it to anybody. For me, it was what MessageDesk offered for the cost.”