A couple short blocks of mom-and-pop retailers and restaurants make up the center of my San Francisco neighborhood. And for years, smack dab in the middle of it was garage operated by a guy named Dirk, a great mechanic who was a fixture of the block. Unfortunately, when he lost his lease a couple years ago, the garage closed.
While I don’t begrudge the space’s fancy new retail tenants, Dirk’s departure did mean I no longer had a go-to service I knew I could trust to treat me and my car well. And it meant I needed to undergo a process I really dislike: finding a mechanic who both does quality work and is someone who I know will have my back without picking my wallet.
Eventually, I did find another awesome mechanic to service my car, but it took a lot of time and word-of-mouth recommendations to identify someone else who I knew would offer great service and value. In the past, I haven’t been so lucky. I think we’ve all probably had the experience of not knowing where to start—and wondering if a mechanic actually had our interests at heart, or just his own.
ClickMechanic Has a Better Way. And It Uses Email.
Solving that problem is what ClickMechanic, a growing online marketplace in the UK, is all about. ClickMechanic was founded in 2012 on the simple premise that finding a trustworthy mechanic to work on a vehicle is often more difficult than it should be.
The service takes the stress out of the transaction by asking customers to select the work that needs to be done, approve an industry standard-approved quote, and confirm their booking. On the other side of the transaction, the company’s system ensures that the best-performing service providers are rewarded with a steady stream of repair jobs.
Email is essential to how ClickMechanic operates. CTO and founder Felix Kenton says, “We use email extensively to improve the customer experience. From the moment a customer receives a quote, right up until the booking is complete, we are constantly keeping the customer informed on the status of their booking via automated emails.”
Mechanics also need to stay informed throughout the process, and Felix notes that they start receiving emails as soon as a customer initiates a repair job. He described to me how “to provide the best possible service, it’s very important that the mechanics receive these emails quickly and reliably.”
SparkPost Is a Great Fit for ClickMechanic’s Business
ClickMechanic has been using SparkPost to meet that mission-critical requirement for about a year. Felix’s team implemented SparkPost when Mandrill stopped being offered as a stand-alone solution for transactional email.
Since switching to SparkPost, “deliverability has been excellent,” Felix commented. He also appreciates that SparkPost’s developer-first focus means he can work with a great API. And SparkPost’s competitive pricing scales well for a growing business like ClickMechanic.
ClickMechanic Is a Car Key in the U.K.
(See what I did with that headline? Sorry-not-sorry. 😏)
I feel lucky to have found both my old pro Dirk and my new mechanic Garry. To be honest, I wish I had access to ClickMechanic when I needed to find a new service for my own car in San Francisco! But I’m glad for the chance to talk with Felix about how his business uses email and the tech options he considered. ClickMechanic’s story is a really great example of how transactional email delivery can make a big difference in a service’s customer experience and provide a foundation for business growth.
P.S. Want to learn more about how ClickMechanic uses email and SparkPost to drive its business? Check out our case study about how ClickMechanic does it.
How Community Pull Requests have made migrating from Mandrill to SparkPost smooth
The last two months have been a rush! As the community manager here at SparkPost, a large part of my job falls into the hard to measure categories of brand awareness and garnering feedback from the community. This is usually what they call a long-tail endeavor — something that you don’t expect to see dramatic results from immediately. Until, that is, something upheaves the industry.
This is every community manager’s dream — what we were made to do! I refilled my coffee mug, rallied the troops (most of whom were already online), and we took up the banner of answering questions, pointing people to resources, and burning the midnight oil helping out developers who were left treading water in the wake of the news.
You all came out of the woodwork suggesting feature requests, offering feedback, giving us new use cases, and in general being awesome. We hope that you’ve seen us respond in kind with our wholehearted appreciation and support, and occasionally a t-shirt or sticker thrown in.
If you’ve missed the recent digests with everything we’ve pushed out in the last few months, check out what Amie Durr and Josh Aberant have to say. But we aren’t stopping there! We’re still prioritizing new feature requests, building new tools, accepting pull requests, and more, as well as having daily conversations with you all in our Slack channel.
We know you’ve been busy as well. We know this because we’ve watched you pull together as a community, build resources to help each other out, answer each other’s questions, and submit pull request after pull request after pull request after pull request after… well, you get the idea.
On behalf of myself and all of us at SparkPost, thank you, thank you, thank you! All of your pull requests, contributions, feedback, support, and encouragement have meant the world to us. Your feedback is directly affecting our decisions, priorities, and direction as a company. After all — you’re the ones using the product! It’s been a crazy ride so far (and we know it’s not over yet!), but messages like these have kept us going, and warmed my community-loving heart:
Changing all my email to @SparkPost could not have gone smoother. You have the gratitude of this Mandrill refugee.
— Shane Gowland (@ShaneGowland) April 11, 2016
@SparkPost We integrated with you in one day, only looked at the api docs twice, and we actually simplified our existing code. You rock. ♥
— Kyle W. Cartmell (@KyleCartmell) March 18, 2016
— Per Lund (@dotper) March 11, 2016
@Sparkpost I just wanna say, you're taking this "being Mandrill's awesome replacement" thing very seriously, and I admire the crap out of it
— Silver Eagle 🦅🌹 (@SilverEagleDev) March 23, 2016
Just got amazing support from @SparkPostDev ! Thanks nick
— Pascal (@pascalschoeni) April 13, 2016
Just tried @SparkPostDev, great support, excellent infrastructure, totally recommend them!
— Nick (@NicolasGuzCa) March 8, 2016
super impressed with @SparkPostDev helping me with things… api keys, SPF/DKIM, etc. looks like @SparkPost is going to be my smtp service!
— Derick Bailey (@derickbailey) March 3, 2016
Daily sending limit raised within the hour of an email to support. I'm really digging @SparkPost more and more!
— Ramon de la Fuente (@f_u_e_n_t_e) April 18, 2016
— Josh Harms (@nozzlegear) April 18, 2016
— Harsha Vardhan (@harsham) April 19, 2016
— FeatureSwitches (@featureswitches) April 21, 2016
In short, we ♥ developers and we ♥ you. We’re all in it to make SparkPost the best possible service for our customers. And while the last 2 months have been full of all sorts of exciting developments, keep your fork — the best is yet to come! Also, if someone wants to invent an IV coffee machine and send us a prototype, I don’t think anyone would complain 😉