When your customers need their cars fixed, what makes them try one auto repair shop over another? This question has many different answers, but the simplest answer is trust. Some people have used an auto repair shop before and will rely on that preexisting relationship for help again. Others will trust a recommendation from their insurance, friends and/or family. It’s also incredibly common to check out online reviews as well. After all, no one knows better than people who have visited the shop before!
If you want your auto repair business to grow, you must build trust if you want to keep receiving recommendations. That means doing quality work and providing excellent customer service. However, every shop out there will do their best to meet those goals. To differentiate yourself, you need to embrace digital marketing and use the internet to build relationships – and trust – with your potential customers.
Active Social Media & Blogging
Even if you aren’t the most techno-savvy, you are likely familiar with the concept of social media. Through customized social media pages, you can directly reach and interact with your customers, allowing you to build engagement and promote your auto repair shop.
In order to be successful and effective on social media, you should be making frequent impressions on potential customers. You don’t want them to forget who you are! When they need your service, you want to be in the back of their mind. Giving away tidbits of information help you build a relationship and rapport. Try creating blogs that provide your customers with minor, everyday tips. These could be things like “how often to get an oil change,” “how often to check the coolant in your car,” or “how to know when your car needs a tune-up.”
None of these freebies replace your customer’s need to see you for repairs. However, through providing the potential customers following you online with answers to their questions and minor inconveniences, you teach people that you know what you are doing. That way, they will think of YOU when it comes time for the major problems and repairs that need to be made on their cars. You are building trust!
When people have the choice to read an essay or watch a video, they will almost always pick the video. You should absolutely embrace videos on your social media accounts. How often do you google “how to” videos? Your potential customers will certainly do the same! Amp up your online by not just writing about the minor car fixes, but by showing your followers how to carry out these actions themselves through video.
Example: A quick and easy how-to video on how to check your oil tank, how to replace the air filter in your car, or how to change a tire.
Once again, this will put you at the top of customer’s mental lists when it comes time for major repairs.
Don’t worry. By putting this information out there, you are not competing with yourself! The viewers of your video already planned on executing those minor repairs themselves so, even if you didn’t post the video, they’d have found the information through someone else. Those little things weren’t going to make you money anyway. Instead, you are keeping your eye on the prize – bigger, pricier auto repairs! When your tip or trick works, they will remember that your business is helpful and knows its stuff.
On top of how-to videos, see fun videos to show your team in action or highlights of the week. This will help your customers get to know your business and, again, build on the trust element.
Testimonials is an excellent way to market your business. Customers are more likely to trust the advice and opinions of your past customers, rather than your marketing team. If something bad happened to this previous client, then couldn’t it happen to them too? Likewise, if someone was positive about their experience, then it is worth serious consideration. The issue with testimonials, however, is that customers are easily distracted. Even if you send reminder emails, many of your pleased past customers will forget to go online to write a review. Meanwhile, angry customers are quick to vent. Thankfully, there are services you can use to help create a more accurate ratio of satisfied to dissatisfied customers.
Email & Text Marketing
Email and text marketing are both powerful tools for digital marketing because they allow you to remarket to past clients. It is much easier to get customers to return to your business again than to find completely new customers. You can collect your customers’ phone numbers and email addresses in a variety of ways, usually by adding a collection step to your checkout process. Once you have developed a reliable database of customers, you can regularly touch base with your audience. This can be done for purely informational purposes, like directing them to your blog or sharing upcoming events. It can also be used for sales purposes by including coupons and specials that will encourage them to come back and you see the next time they need repairs.