The auto repair shop industry has become saturated in many markets. When smaller to mid-size shops are up against big-name brands, it can be especially hard to stand out. That’s why it takes a strategic approach for your auto shop to cut through the noise. Here, we highlight four key ways you can do just that.
1. A Solid Website
With 97% of consumers searching for local businesses online before visiting it, a solid website often serves as a first impression for your auto shop. A website also has the ability to build credibility–through consistent content you can demonstrate to clients your expertise and trustworthiness.
Here are some top features your auto shop website should have to stand out.
- Online Scheduling- Online scheduling improves the overall customer experience, eliminating the need for a phone call during business hours. Instead, customers can schedule an appointment when it’s most convenient for them.
- Online Quotes- Online quotes involve accepting information about damage to a customer’s car and return an estimated quote. Again, this speaks to the customer experience, making the process much easier for them. Additionally, it helps save manpower for you.
- Contact Information- Most simply, your website should have clear and visible contact information. You should include several ways for customers to reach you such as phone, email, text, or a submission form on the site. This enables customers to reach out to you whenever and however they’d like.
- Helpful Content- A library of relevant and helpful content about auto repair helps build your shop’s authority on those topics. Writing articles about how to change a tire, or how to know when you need an oil change, can not only educate your customers, it can also build your brand’s credibility with your client base and boost SEO.
2. Leveling Up The Customer Experience
It’s hard to find someone who looks forward to getting their car serviced–that’s precisely why you should make it as simple and seamless as possible for your customers. Here’s how.
Pick-up and drop-off services involve your shop getting the vehicle, servicing it, and dropping it back off to the customer afterward. This is the utmost convenience for anyone but especially helps for those working full-time or stay-at-home parents with young children.
Text messages are a great way to immediately reach your customers. With an open rate of 98% and the fact that 60% of customers read texts within 1-5 minutes of getting them, it’s a great way to give an update or get a response.
An Amazing Waiting Room
To really improve the customer experience, consider transforming your waiting room for maximum enjoyment. Install a high-end latte machine for customers to use while they wait. Pack the fridge with free waters. Keep a bucket of candy. Stock the shelves with the latest magazines. Provide a play area for kids. Keep the AC on. All of these are simple ways to make customers want to come back to you the next time they need their car fixed.
3. A Loyalty Program
A 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25% - 125%. And one of the best ways to increase customer retention is through a loyalty program. It quite literally incentivizes customers to stay with your business. Here are some benefits of a customer loyalty programs.
Reduces Slow Seasons
Loyalty programs are fantastic ways to reduce the drag of slow seasons. They give consumers a reason to come out and shop. You may decide, for example, to give out more rewards or special promotions to drive business during weak times. This should include an expiration date on the rewards to ensure consumers make a purchase within the timeframe you need.
Loyalty programs can also help you learn more about your ideal customer. This can be purchase information and spending habits, data that can help your auto shop develop better marketing strategies and promotions.
With data, you have a better way of connecting with your target as well–think birthday cards with special coupons or service reminders.
4. Stellar Reviews
93% of people read online reviews before purchasing a product. That’s why it’s so important to include several positive reviews from happy customers so that potential clients know that they can trust your business.
Consider providing a video of the happy customer on the site or feature several clients through testimonials. This is a great way to prove your credibility.
Start Standing Out, Now
It takes strategic effort, patience, and time to help your auto shop stand out from the competition. And sometimes, you need some help. That’s where BayIQ comes in.
Our small team of industry experts is made of former auto shop employees and owners. We understand what’s needed to make your shop successful which is why we created specific software to help you streamline your marketing efforts. From SMS text, email marketing, a built-in loyalty program, review solicitation, and reporting, we provide an automated way for you to give your clients the best experience on all fronts.
Set up a demo and see how you can start standing out from the competition today.