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Finding a trusted automobile mechanic has long been a challenging ordeal. Consumers have depended upon word-of-mouth referrals, yellow pages advertising, and even simple drive-by convenience to find a mechanic to service their auto. When faced with inefficient options like these, it’s no surprise that consumers often think of the process of finding a mechanic to be a frustrating, hit-or-miss affair.
Helping to ease that process is the reason ClickMechanic, a UK service provider, has found success building its marketplace platform to match thousands of customers with trusted professional mechanics every month.
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 simply register their vehicles, select the work that needs to be done (or ask for a diagnostic evaluation), approve an industry standard-approved quote, and confirm their booking.
On the other side of the transaction, ClickMechanic only works with mechanics who meet certain criteria. The company’s system ensures that the best-performing service providers are rewarded with a steady stream of repair jobs, and a 12-month warranty on labor and parts gives customers and mechanics peace of mind.
Email Keeps Consumers and Mechanics in the Loop
Unsurprisingly, “email is a crucial part of our business,” ClickMechanic CTO and founder Felix Kenton explains. “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. Keeping the customer up to date eases the workload of the customer experience team and helps us add value to our service.”
Mechanics also need to stay informed throughout the process, and Kenton notes that they start receiving emails as soon as a customer initiates a repair job. “When a customer places a booking on our site,” he says, “we immediately notify all the local mechanics on our network that a new job is available via email. To provide the best possible service, it’s very important to us that the mechanics receive these emails quickly and reliably.”
Making the Easy Switch to SparkPost
ClickMechanic previously relied on another service provider for sending that large volume of email, but they were forced to switch providers when their vendor “made the decision to scrap their standalone transactional email support,” Kenton recalls. Despite a very short transition time, Kenton says that SparkPost “was there with its excellent service to pick us up. They made the process of switching super easy and have proven to be a great alternative.”
Kenton points to SparkPost’s Mandrill migration guide as one of several resources that ClickMechanic relied on for a smooth transition. “We were able to get up and running without any prolonged development time,” he says. Kenton also notes that even after the switch-over to SparkPost, day-to-day use of the platform hasn’t been difficult because “the general level of documentation is very good as well, which makes our lives a lot easier.”
Excellent Deliverability, Great Analytics, and Competitive Pricing
Kenton also says that SparkPost has helped ClickMechanic meet their the mission-critical requirement that emails reach customers and mechanics as quickly as possible. “The most important thing for us is deliverability, which so far has been excellent,” he points out.
The SparkPost dashboard also gives ClickMechanic an easy way to see email sending metrics and figure out if they’re running into any bottlenecks. That’s key, since customers have to get their vehicles repaired as soon as possible, mechanics need to know the number of jobs they have lined up each day, and both groups require timely communications to ensure that the ClickMechanic platform is operating the way it should.
“The online dashboard provides some great analytics,” Kenton says. “It’s also great for scoping out problems with specific emails.”
SparkPost Helps ClickMechanic Hit the Accelerator
In addition, SparkPost makes it easy for companies to quickly scale up their sending capabilities without having to pay more until they have to, rather than pre-paying for capacity they may not need yet. That’s important for a company like ClickMechanic, which is seeing growth by leaps and bounds as car owners discover the platform’s transparency and ease of use and mechanics learn that they can easily use the service to increase their revenue streams.
Kenton notes: “The pricing plan is a great fit for the current state of the company. As we grow, the pricing plans remain very competitive.”
Looking forward, Kenton says that ClickMechanic wants to do more with SparkPost beyond larger sending volumes. “We’re definitely keen to take advantage of the SparkPost API,” he explains, referencing SparkPost’s REST email API, which makes it easy to embed transactional email and analytics into any app or workflow. Given ClickMechanic’s heavy use of transactional email, the SparkPost API will offer them richer functionality when the company decides to implement it.
In conclusion, Kenton notes that SparkPost provides the backbone of ClickMechanic’s offering. “Without a reliable service like SparkPost, we wouldn’t be around,” he says. “We send millions of emails, so it’s great to have a service that can appropriately facilitate us.”