Tag Archive marketing tips

ByEric Lawton

3 Ways To Get More Business From Your Auto Repair Customers

As an auto repair shop, much of your success depends on bringing in a steady stream of new customers. After all, the person who comes in today for a repair may not return to your shop for several months, when their car is in need of additional maintenance. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

You know better than most that routine upkeep is an important part of keeping your car in good, working order. Why not share this wisdom with your customers and give them some compelling reasons to bring their cars in more often?

By implementing a few simple marketing tactics, you can encourage your auto repair customers to take better care of their cars and, in turn, bring you more business.

1. Personalized Email Marketing

Today’s email marketing has the ability to be more innovative than ever. By segmenting your audience based on their age, family status, type of vehicle, or other relevant criteria, your auto repair shop can craft lists of email recipients that are highly personalized. Target customers who have families with tips for keeping their family car safe and running at its best. If you have a lot of customers who love the thrill of going off-roading, send them information about how to care for and maintain their 4-wheel drive vehicles.

This type of personalized email strategy results in 14.32% more opened emails and 85.74% higher click-through rates, which can boost your final conversion rates by as much as 355%

2. Seasonal Promotions

Certain repairs have a seasonal nature to them. Family road trips during summer months may require a tune-up. Spring means the onset of rainy weather, making new wiper blades a must. When cold weather sets in, a radiator flush and fill with antifreeze will be something every car owner needs. Aggressive seasonal promotions can keep business booming year-round with new and existing customers being reached on a regular basis.

Aggressive seasonal promotions can keep business booming year-round with new and existing customers being reached on a regular basis.

3. Service Subscriptions

Every automobile needs routine scheduled maintenance to maintain its value and perform well. However, life happens. Many car owners forget or lose track of what needs to be done and when. Why not make it easy for them?

Offer a subscription service that gives them a heads-up when it’s time to rotate the tires or change the oil. Including the opportunity for savings as a preferred subscription customer will help you retain and gain more business from your auto repair customers.

At RepairPal, we’re committed to connecting certified auto repair shops with the customers who need them. For more expert advice on how to grow your auto repair business, please contact us.

ByEric Lawton

Auto Repair Marketing That Takes a Stand & Demonstrates Authority

Talk to five different marketing pros, and you get five different answers about the ideal auto repair marketing campaign. Some are big social media fans, while others swear by upgrading a shop’s signage. Other suggestions may include an overhaul of your waiting area, a uniform phone protocol, or an investment in technician training and shop certifications, such as the coveted RepairPal-Certified designation. In fact, they are all correct.

Stand up and Be Heard

That said, there is one marketing approach that you may not yet have attempted, although it incorporates some of the earlier suggestions. Take a stand on an issue that matters to your customers and tends to be moderately divisive. In the field of auto body repair, restorations, and even maintenance, you will likely find that the use of aftermarket parts is one such issue.

Aftermarket vs. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts

We want to make it clear from the start that there is no universal right or wrong answer. Here are  a few things to consider:

  • Price Point: Aftermarket parts are cheaper than OEM items. Passing the savings along to the consumer is a good marketing point.
  • Quality: Although there are plenty of great aftermarket part manufacturers, there are also some questionable ones out there. Being an industry insider puts you in an excellent position to discuss this topic with authority.
  • Fit: Needless to say, OEM parts fit perfectly. The generic equivalent may suit a broad range of vehicles but may need minor to major alterations. Even then, it may not perform as well as an original piece.

Incorporating a Stand in Your Auto Repair Marketing

Remember that you do not have to take a hard stance on this discussion. Instead, you should position yourself as the friendly neighborhood mechanic who knows the ins and outs of the topic. Since insurance companies generally only pay for aftermarket parts unless the use of OEM pieces is necessary, explain to customers that in some situations the difference is negligible. Batteries and similar items are good examples.

Do so via podcasts, blogs, or vlogs you post to your website and social media channels. From there, get ready to interact with folks on both sides of the issue.

Remember that a RepairPal certification presents you as a trustworthy authority in the field. If you do not have one, contact us today to get started on the process.

ByEric Lawton

3 Auto Repair Marketing Mistakes That Send Customers Elsewhere

Body Shop Business insiders have taken an industry profile and learned that an average 85 percent of repair estimates translate into actual jobs. This is actually a very encouraging statistic. But if your own number is lower than the average, there could be a reason. You may be making one of the fundamental three auto repair marketing mistakes.

1. Your SEO and inbound marketing strategies are too broad.

In the auto repair business, you are not dealing with customers from across the country. Instead, your clients are local. When you target keywords like “auto repair” or “repair shop”—or even long-tail keywords like “best auto repair shop”—you’re not only competing in a gigantic pool of other repair business, but you’re also targeting a ton of people who will never need your services: people who don’t live near you.

Solution: Target city-specific keywords in order to reach the customers who actually need you. Write content for your website, blog, and social media channels that incorporates these local keywords, such as “best auto repair shop in Cleveland.”

2. You’re not focused on ongoing education.

In the past, you could rely on experience, built on initial training. Today, vehicles feature more computer parts than ever. Industry and manufacturer certifications are the calling cards that identify you, your staff, and the shop as a whole as being equipped to work on customers’ super-modern vehicles. In fact, failure to apply for manufacturer certifications can make it difficult to access the repair data you need to complete your jobs.

Solution: Encourage—and even require—employees to continue their auto repair educations. Seek out industry certifications, like RepairPal, to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to improvement and customer satisfaction.

3. You don’t have any shop appeal.

Unless your auto repair marketing gives the customer a good reason to visit you, rather than the shop down the street, you may lose their business. If you have a messy shop, unfriendly employees, and lackluster marketing materials (displays, flyers, business cards, online content), it will reflect on your customers’ perceptions of your shop and the way you do business.

Solution: Be sure your staff and your shop are presented in a friendly and professional light. Periodically update marketing materials, signs, and logos to give yourself a modern look. Additionally, a RepairPal Certification identifies your business as one that maintains high standards of integrity and promises an honest price for a job well done. This is the type of advertisement you cannot afford to be without.

To learn more auto repair marketing tips or to find out how to earn your RepairPal certification, contact us today.

ByEric Lawton

Simple Tricks to Help You Attract New Auto Repair Customers

If you’re in the auto repair business, one of your number one goals is likely to establish yourself as the go-to neighborhood shop. But how do you attract new auto repair customers when they don’t even know when they’ll need you? Auto repair is often an unexpected crisis. When a frustrated car owner is looking for a reliable repair shop, how do you get their attention and convince them you’re the right choice?

Here are some simple yet effective ways to attract new customers and keep your shop top of mind.

  • Provide FREE diagnostic checks—and not just when asked. Advertise it proudly and be sure current and potential customers know about it.
  • When suggesting additional maintenance at the bottom of an invoice, include estimated prices. Don’t make the customer ask. (They usually won’t.) Give them all the information they need, without a pushy sales pitch. They can read it over on their time and discuss it with a spouse at home.

Think of fun, easy reasons to get people into your shop—before they need you.

  • Offer a free one-hour lesson on changing tires to high school kids once a month. Parents will love you, and you’ll be the first shop they think of when they need a repair!
  • Point out low tires to strangers, and offer to fill them free if they swing by your shop. (Don’t forget to pass along your business card!) They’ll remember that small, thoughtful gesture next time they need a friendly repairman.

Take advantage of free advertising.

  • Sponsor a local sports team or community event. Not only does this show people that you care about your community, but it also gets your name on a bunch of t-shirts or banners that are displayed around town.
  • Create small, branded products that people use regularly and give them away for free at your front desk. Key chains, zip drives, and ink pens are all great options.

Contact us for the best tricks to keeping the customers coming!

ByEric Lawton

3 Community Events Where You Can Find New Auto Repair Customers

You do not have to go to a trade show to find new auto repair customers. Instead, focus your efforts on local community events that bring out neighbors who already live close to your place of business.

1. Street Fairs

Usually put on by the local chamber of commerce, these fairs provide opportunities for neighborhood businesses to set up small stalls that introduce their companies. Inquire early about setting up a booth where you can hand out coupons and brochures detailing your services and connect with local auto repair customers.

2. Neighborhood Events

Neighbors usually put on these events in the form of block parties or seasonal/holiday celebrations. Learn about these opportunities and offer to come out, provide prizes for some games/raffles, and take the opportunity to be seen as a part of the local community.

3. Outreach Opportunities

Organizations that put on outreach events are plentiful. Depending on the demographic they seek out, you might market to seniors, families with small children, or simply the area’s residents. Typical outreach sponsors include the local YMCA, health care facilities, and charitable organizations such as the Rotary Club.

Of course, when presenting yourself in these settings, it’s important to focus on the points that matter most to attendees: fair pricing and reliable service. Arrive highly recommended with a RepairPal certification proudly displayed on your stall, brochures, and perhaps as a patch on your work shirt.

By showing off that your shop submits to a third-party certification test and value assessment, you prove that the business is not just honest and transparent, but also offers fair pricing for needed services. Contact us today to learn more about a RepairPal certification and how it can help you find new auto repair customers right away.

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