Auto shops provide a valuable service, but not all shop owners understand how to market their services successfully. That means some shops will thrive while others struggle to keep their doors open. There are several strategies to consider if you’re exploring ways to boost an automobile repair shop’s business.
Get the Word Out
First, people won’t find a shop if they’ve never heard of it. In other words, marketing for auto shops begins with letting potential clients know you’re there and are ready to take care of their auto repair needs. Traditional marketing efforts focused on print ads and listings in the area’s Yellow Pages. While those are still ways to attract some clients, modern advertising experts recommend going where your clients are: online. That means building a quality website and having a presence on various social media platforms. The times are changing, and repair shops need to evolve too.
Focus on the Right Clientele
Unfocused ads will bring customers in, but are they the type of clients who help your shop be profitable? Far too many customers look for the lowest price without worrying about quality workmanship. Others are impossible to satisfy no matter how well their needs are taken care of. That’s why shop owners are encouraged to focus their marketing efforts on a target audience compatible with their business goals. In other words, look for customers who care about their vehicles and are comfortable paying a fair price for maintenance services and repairs.
Keep Your Promises
Customers rely on shops to provide the level of service they advertise. That means shop owners and technicians must consistently deliver the quality workmanship those clients expect. Ideally, the service delivered will exceed a client’s expectations. For example, many shops take the time to clean customer vehicles after completing the service work. Simple things go a long way toward satisfying customers. Conversely, leaving grease on the steering wheel and dirty floor mats will likely lead to a customer going elsewhere the next time they need vehicle service or repairs.
Communicate with Your Customers
Always take the time to communicate with your customers. Communication starts during the first point of contact. Whether that’s answering a phone call or greeting a customer as they enter the shop, creating an excellent first impression is crucial. Next, listen carefully to the customer. Don’t start diagnosing a problem in your head before the customer is done speaking. Ask questions to clarify symptoms, and pay attention to the customer’s psychological needs in addition to their vehicle’s repair needs.
When a problem is properly diagnosed and a repair estimate is completed, explain the problem in a way the customer can understand. Remember that not all customers understand industry jargon, so avoid using those terms when possible. Again, listen to the customer’s responses and answer any questions. Taking the time to communicate with a customer eliminates problems when the time comes for them to pay the bill.
Revise Your Marketing to Better Meet Customers’ Needs
Customer needs will continue to evolve, and your marketing efforts must change to meet those needs. At the same time, some strategies may not deliver the expected results. For example, your online marketing will continually evolve as customers change and move to different social media platforms. Work with an advertising expert to analyze campaign results and explore new options to generate additional business.