Tips to Expand your Auto Repair Shop
Attracting new customers to your auto repair shop (and to keep them coming back) repeat customers, you need trackable auto repair shop marketing strategies that can help you grow your business. Your marketing campaigns should be easy to create, manage and analyze so you know what’s working and what’s not. Traditional advertising like print ads or TV/radio spots can be expensive and may expose your business to some new customers, although their effectiveness is more difficult to track.
The benefits of online marketing enables you to see:
- The source / channels where visitors are coming from
- The links or banners visitors are clicking on
- Which message captured your target customers’ attention the most.
We at 5iQ workshop software, suggest some tips to expand your mechanic shop. Below are some digital marketing strategies your auto repair shop can apply to grow your business.
Expand and Enhance your Auto Repair Shop
Establish your presence on Online platforms
In the 21st century “Internet Era” of online digital platforms you will be left behind if you don’t have an online presence. The benefits of having an online website far outweigh the time and cost of establishing one.
Your website is your digital shopfront which showcases your expertise for the types of services you provide. This will provide the customer with trust and confidence when selecting a workshop to carry out their service or repair work.
When creating your website ensure it includes the following:
- Use responsive design, since more internet usage occurs on mobile than any other device, and search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in search results.
- Secure your site with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which is a secure internet communication protocol – which benefits users and your search results.
- Create content on your website that accurately and clearly explains your services and includes reliable contact information.
Choose a domain name that reflects your business making it easy for those who visit your website to get in touch with you, another simple and clever way of interacting is to use live chat boxes throughout your site or by making the Contact tab prominent on each page.
Sharpen up your SEO
Your business must and will use search engine optimization (SEO) to get seen by customers searching the web. Google states that, 28 percent of searches for something nearby / local result in a purchase.
Make sure your website is SEO-friendly by:
- Researching popular keywords that relate to your business, and then use those naturally throughout your website content
- Adding those keywords to other websites your business has a presence on, like in the bios of your social media sites and review sites
- Creating pages throughout your website that relate to keywords – for example, separate pages for each service you offer at your shop
Security and mobile-friendliness of your website will impact the performance on your search results. We recommend you work with a professional website designer and SEO expert to optimize your website and content.
Connecting with local business
Small businesses will have specific creative ideas that they can take advantage of over large corporations, by creating mutually beneficial relationships with other local companies to offer joint promotions or services as history tells us there is normally a financial uptick when you cross promote within your network.
Cross or joint promotion traditionally earns you a good reputation and increases your rating with customers in your local community. So, take a look around the corner or down the street and find that neighbour who might be looking for an opportunity to expand their business offering. It is great practise to increase your network by having a simple conversation talking about some options.
Engaging with social network platforms
In addition to creating your website you must consider creating a social media page on one or all of the following 5 platforms . These five are essential to start with.
- YouTube: Upload videos showing your technicians in action, or create video content with tips for car maintenance.
- Facebook: Share business updates like specials or service promotions.
- Instagram: Upload content like before-and-after shots of work you’ve done and share photos of your staff to promote your shop’s company culture.
- LinkedIn: You can share business updates on a company page, and create your own personal page to connect with other local business owners.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great site to form relationships with journalists and online influencers.
Schedule now to lock in future appointments
When the car is in the shop you would want to schedule the next service date at that point in time. This will allow your customer to save the date in their calendar and in the event the date is moved you can reschedule the job with ease. By scheduling in the car service or repair on the day will assist you in your job forecast for both technician productivity and sales revenue.
By using this workflow you will be creating loyalty from your customer as they commit to the service date in advance which gives them the confidence to know you are looking after their car and safety at the same time.
Create incentives for the referrals
If you want to build trust in your business, let your happy customers tell you and more importantly tell others effectively doing the marketing for you. Research shows 83 percent of people around the world trust recommendations from friends and family which make word of month the most trusted form of advertising. Having a branded website as mentioned above comes in second, at 70 percent.
You can have a discounted offer to new customers when they get referred by an existing customer along with other rewards offers. Promote your referral / reward program on your website, social media and in email marketing, too.
Asking for Customer Testimonials
Asking a customer for a testimonial can be difficult at times as we dont want to intrude however its super important as that we gauge and manage the customers expectations. If we dont get a good review then you can you this information to improve but on the other hand if you receive a raving review you must share it on social media, your website and in your marketing campaigns.
Above are steps to increase your auto repair shop sales. Most importantly, always maintain your consistency in the type of messages and images that you advertise.