What sets your shop apart from others in the area? Do you specialize in collision repair work and paint restoration? Do you primarily handle maintenance appointments? Perhaps, your shop assists drivers who have failed state-mandated emission guidelines. No matter what your business’s emphasis may be, it’s important to learn how to highlight your shop’s specialties to attract more of your ideal customer demographic.
Start With a Product and Service Analysis
Differentiating yourself from the competition is crucial in the highly competitive automotive repair market. Look at the work you have done over the last 12 months to get a good feel for the reasons why drivers have been coming to you. Examples may include your expertise in working with foreign cars, your state-of-the-art equipment that lets you work on the newest models, or your skill at restoring vehicles that have been in accidents to a like-new condition.
The Art and Science of Psychographics
“Psychographics” is a term that denotes an individual business’s characteristics. Go through your files and compile information about your customer base.
- Values: Do your clients pay whatever it takes to get original manufacturer parts, or do they prefer less expensive, generic products?
- Clientele makeup: Do you sometimes see families come into your shop? Are your customers predominantly male? Does your shop appeal to “car guys?” (This means that you have gained appeal with hobbyists.) How many of your clients are repeat customers?
- Age groups: Marketing to millennials is different from marketing to baby boomers. Knowing the age groups your customers fall into determines many of the marketing tools you should employ.
Putting it Together: Highlighting Your Shop’s Specialties
To attract more of your ideal customer demographic, combine the product analysis with your compiled psychographics. From there, devise possible marketing tools.
- Rewards programs: Increase customer loyalty with a rewards program that appeals to your demographic. Build this program around your most popular service or product. Millennials will like the idea of points they can download via an app to redeem when coming in for a service appointment. Baby Boomers may prefer an email with a printable rewards point coupon.
- Email marketing: Attract new auto repair customers with a comprehensive email marketing campaign. Focus again on your most successful product or service, but make mention of ancillary services you offer as well. Make the most of this opportunity by reworking your website’s landing pages and improving your local search engine optimization (SEO).
- Signage: Marketing your shop with signage is a must. But some signs matter more than a nicely designed channel letter display above your entryway. For example, posting your shop’s RepairPal certification and your technicians’ ASE, or other industry certifications, can make a huge difference in the way your customers perceive your credibility.
Contact us today to learn more about the importance of industry certifications, and get more tips on how to improve your business.