Americans start driving at around 18 years of age, and many of them will drive right into their golden 80s. What does this mean for your auto repair business? It means there are differences in reaching your auto repair customers through the generations that must be taken into account when you lay out your marketing and communications plans.
Here’s how you can think about the six living generations in America when you design your marketing programs.
Millenials and Gen X
When it comes to Millenials and Gen X, the more options you can offer, the better. If you have the means to utilize a mobile app service, go for it! There are package services that allow you to easily create a bundled app, such as Auto Service App. Others, like Mobile Manager Pro, work with your shop to create a smooth garage experience for your customers.
Millenials also won’t shy away from fluent social media usage. Facebook? Twitter? Tumblr? Instagram? Millenials and Gen Xers alike will be comfortable managing and utilizing your garage’s information channels through social media. And, in fact, you may find that they prefer this method to others.
Market most efficiently with millennials by staying on top of social media, communicating via text, and offering – but not demanding – that they make use of email communications.
The middle generation, Baby Boomers are a mixed bag. Many Boomers are comfortable in the world of technology, especially if their work lives have required it. Others? Not so much. They’re likely to respond well to email and web contacts and will enjoy the option to skip human contact, if they want (don’t take it personally, though). Unlike Millenials, Boomers are not likely to want too much interaction on social media. While they’ll probably be fine with limited marketing on the more common social media sites, like Facebook, don’t expect much interaction via Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr.
Build your marketing towards this generation by keeping your website up-to-date, your email list full of useful information, and your Facebook page well-maintained.
Mature and GI Generation
Your older customers, a lot of them will likely prefer “the old fashioned” way or the “traditional” way of doing things. This won’t include social media and will rarely include your website. Many members of the mature and GI generation are, however, growing more comfortable with email. So don’t cut that out entirely!
Many of your mature auto customers will appreciate a communications relationship that exists over the phone, and possibly with the use of mailers and flyers (but be careful – many members of this generation are either familiar with mail scams or have scam-savvy family members who may approach unsolicited print products with a wary eye).
Build your marketing towards them by placing an emphasis on one-on-one customer relations. Have your staff comfortable with addressing customers by name when they’ve checked in, and make use of phone calls to update them on the status of their car repair.
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