SMS Marketing for Independent Driving Instructors & Driving Schools
With this year’s GCSE and A-level exam seasons about to get underway, many young people are beginning to focus their minds on the extended window of freedom that they will have over summer before returning to the next stage of their studies or even starting work. For many, this period of independence and sometimes adventure is connected with the ability to travel freely with one’s own transport – and as a result, many young adults will be keen to get their driving test under their belt now, so that they can finish school with that all important driving licence under their belt. It is no surprise then that spring is a busy season for driving instructors.
SMS Marketing is a simple and versatile tool that can not only help to manage existing students effectively during this busy period but also to begin filling the schedule for the months ahead. So how can independent driving instructors and driving schools alike make the most of SMS Marketing? Here are five examples.
1. Managing driving lessons with SMS Marketing
Young people who are learning to drive are under a lot of pressure, not just from school or study commitments, but also because this is generally a challenging time in life. For those in their late teens, making a booking is one thing, but remembering can be quite a different matter. Whilst those with a regular, same day same time slot may not struggle, others with busier schedules such as someone trying to juggle studies with a part-time job to fund their driving lessons may find it much harder to keep a regular booking. Whatever the case, SMS Marketing is a great way to make sure that your students know exactly when their next lesson is, improving customer service and boosting attendance rates.
In addition, an SMS message also means learner drivers will have the instructors details to hand should their plans change. Although no instructor likes late cancellations, encouraging learners to send an SMS notification in the first instance means more time to fill the space with another client, and less time and money wasted.
2. Driving test tips by SMS
Another great application for SMS Marketing is to share advice and tips for the driving test. This might be at a frequency of once or twice a week, or even more frequent in the weeks immediately prior to a scheduled exam. Short, straightforward tips that fit within the 459 character limit are incredibly user-friendly as they can be read without any need to have a data connection and the student does not even need to leave the messaging application.
If you wish to share more detailed guidance or an illustration is essential to understanding, then SMS Marketing can be used to share a link to your blog or a resources section on your website. SMS messaging supports clickable links, meaning that the vast majority of phones will allow the user to click directly through on their handset. This is great for young learner drivers, as they will be able to prepare for their driving lessons during any breaks they have at school or work, supplementing the hard work they are putting into their driving lessons.
3. SMS Marketing for Customer surveys
Ultimately, it is the pass rate that sets the standard for a driving instructor or school. But regardless, it is essential in the modern social world to ensure that your learners are satisfied with their driving course – and SMS Marketing is a great way to make sure that your customers are happy. It is very easy to create and run a simple SMS satisfaction survey in which a learner driver is asked a small number of questions that can be ranked on a numerical scale. For example, one message within the survey might ask “On a scale of 1-5, how well do you feel the instructor used visual aids to support your understanding?”. Another all-important message is “and on the same scale, how likely are you to recommend your instructor to a friend?”.
Whilst such a survey does not lend itself to detailed, open answers on every question, it is possible to finish off with a simple “Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?” This allows the learner to shed light on anything that may not be covered directly within the survey.
4. SMS Shortcodes for Special offers
Of course, looking after the learner drivers you already have on the books is one thing, but there is another very valuable use of SMS Marketing for driving businesses – recruiting new clients. Whilst the laws governing the use of SMS Marketing mean that it is not acceptable to do the equivalent of cold calling, there is no problem in inviting customers to contact you via SMS just as they would by telephone or email. The advantage of SMS compared to these channels is the sheer convenience.
An ideal way to reach new learners is to use an SMS shortcode/keyword combination that is ideal for print adverts, television, radio and even online campaigns. An advert for your driving school will simply contain a compelling call to action that encourages new customers to contact you with a one word SMS message to a five digit number, for example, “Book a course of 10 lessons now and get an extra 2 hours completely free. Text DRIVE to 87007 to reserve your space.”
5. The human touch
Sometimes, the real key to a successful business is in the human touch. And in a sector that is so strongly connected to the hopes and dreams of young people, where the final outcome really does have an impact on your customers’ futures, keeping a human touch can make all the difference. A simple “Good luck for your test tomorrow” can really count for a lot, even if the learner will see you at the examination centre. Simple gestures such as this show that your care for the customer extends beyond the face to face contact. This could be developed, for example, by sharing a link to a page with last minute tips to prepare for the driving test, sent a day or two ahead of the big day. Think about what would be helpful and reassuring to you as a learner driver about to take the test and embrace this within your SMS Marketing strategy.
To start using SMS Marketing today, give the team at Fastsms a call now on 0800 954 5305 and discover just how simple it is to get started.
Here's some ideas on what you can do to help your SMS campaigns to do better. Use the following checklist to see if you’re using all your possible channels.
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