How Auto Care Plus Converted a Simple Text Message into a $2,000 Automotive Service | Openbay Overdrive

Texting is among the most simple forms of communication. Today over 6 billion SMS (Short Message Service) text messages are sent each day in the U.S. ( ). Now, more than ever, text messaging is the preferred way to communicate as consumers shift to a mobile, digital-first lifestyle. In fact, texting is the number one means of communication for Americans under 50 years old (Gallup).

The use of text messaging in business has grown in the past decade as industry leaders seek ways to keep up with changing consumer preferences and win market share. The automotive aftermarket industry is no exception. Today, top automotive service providers are using SMS as a safe and innovative way to connect with online customers.

Text Messaging Keeps Auto Care Plus Ahead of the Competition

Auto Care Plus is a premier auto repair, tire, and service shop servicing New Hampshire and Maine, and a certified NAPA AutoCare Center. They operate seven locations including the hybrid/EV specialist shop Electrified Auto Care. Auto Care Plus provides its customers with the benefits of an established national entity while maintaining the personal touch of a family-owned and operated business. Support teams like Pit Crew Marketing help make this possible.

Co-owners John Manelas and wife Karen hold degrees in Electrical Engineering. They are always thinking about how to improve operations and deliver a better experience for their customers and employees. Manelas is a dedicated 20 Group member and part of a co-op developing technology features for the auto industry. It’s no surprise he is always considering how new technology can help him deliver his company vision.

John’s technology interest led him to Openbay Otis, the advanced online chat platform for automotive service businesses. Openbay Otis includes a messaging feature that gives an automotive service business the ability to communicate with customers using two-way text messaging — the method they prefer most. An early technology adopter, John and the team at Auto Care Plus were one of the first to use Otis’ messaging feature.

The Text That Turned into a $2,000 Automotive Service

Manelas likens the expertise of his team to another well-known brand’s support staff. “Many of the people visiting an Apple store go there because they need help. We’re experts in our field — we’re trained to answer questions and help consumers solve problems.” He’s practical about the role of his online presence: “People visit our website because they’re seeking guidance.”

Manelas likes to talk about one of his first experiences with the Otis text message feature: “I was at home around 9:30 pm on a Thursday night and in came a text. This customer was on our site and was stressed out and nervous about what was wrong with his Subaru.”

After a bit of back-and-forth Manelas was pretty confident of a few things: 1) that the customer didn’t have a transmission issue after all; 2) the work was significant, with $2,000 of service needed; and 3) Auto Care Plus could help.

“We moved our schedule around and had him in the next day to our Derry location. He was back in business the following day. Now we have a new customer who had a great first experience with Auto Care Plus. It was convenient for him and, hey, we solved his problem!”

Using Otis to Improve Operations and Customer Experiences

Openbay Otis delivers a simple value proposition: to enable easy, instant, and personalized communication between a shop and a website visitor. Otis’ messaging is a convenient way to start a connection with a new consumer or reinforce a current customer relationship. Additionally, Otis messaging includes easy-to-use staff management tools such as inbound alerts, round-robin message allocation, and privacy settings.

By combining a text messaging capability with powerful tools to manage customer interactions, Otis’ text messaging feature gives automotive service professionals the ability to elevate the customer experience and improve business operations.

Above all, Openbay Otis helps automotive service businesses like Auto Care Plus build customer connections and make transacting business easier. Automotive service businesses (independent repair shop, mobile mechanic, dealership, or national service center) can learn more about Openbay Otis or contact Openbay.

Originally published at on May 14, 2020.




Online automotive repair and maintenance service marketplace; receive multiple competitive price estimates, book your appointment, history saved online.

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Online automotive repair and maintenance service marketplace; receive multiple competitive price estimates, book your appointment, history saved online.

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