Whether you are a seasoned shop owner or a veteran, one thing remains constant– loyalty to your shop begins and ends with the customer experience. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. And while a lot of this is determined by what happens when the customer is in your shop, there are marketing efforts that will improve each person’s experiences and ultimately lead to automotive loyalty.
1. Listen to What Your Customers are Saying
How are you supposed to provide a better experience for your customers unless you know what to improve? That’s why asking your customers for reviews is something to add to your overall marketing strategy.
How to Effectively Solicit Customer Reviews
The good news is, 76% of consumers who are asked to leave reviews do so willingly. Here are a few different ways you can ask your customers to leave you that 5-star review you deserve and increase their automotive loyalty:
- Ask them in person- Simply, start a conversation about their experience. Once they’re talking about how great the service was, ask them to leave an online review.
- Ask them over the phone- This method is great for shops that are customer support-heavy. Take the same approach as above.
- Ask them via email blast- As a part of your email marketing initiatives, add a specific email that blasts to your entire customer list that specifically asks for a review.
- Ask them via automated email after their visit- With digital marketing platforms. like BayIQ, shortly after your customers leave your shop, they’ll already have a text or email asking them to leave a review.
- Ask them on your website- Dedicate a section on your website (possibly on the ‘Services’ page) that links out to the places where you collect reviews so they can easily leave their own.
Let’s not forget that collecting reviews is only the first step to improving your customer’s experience. What you do with the information is where you can differentiate yourself from the rest. These are the best practices we recommend:
- Respond to every review in a timely manner, even the negative ones
- Leave responses that are professional and helpful, not reactive
- Showcase all new reviews to your staff on a recurring basis so they’re aware of customer feedback
- Consider making the appropriate adjustments based on their feedback and highlight those changes in your marketing initiatives
2. Train Your Employees
As an auto repair shop owner, you’re likely aware that your staff plays a huge role in the overall customer experience. Not only on the sales side but also through marketing efforts. Start considering your staff as an extension of your marketing strategy. It’s essential that they know just as much as your shop’s offerings as anyone else.
What They Should Be Continually Trained On
With the ultimate goal of improving the customer experience, there are a few different areas in which to train your shop staff so everyone is in-the-loop (not to mention inspired and motivated):
- Your loyalty program- Your staff should know everything about your customer loyalty program, including how it works, so they are able to educate your customers on the value.
- Asking for reviews- Make sure your team is consistently asking for reviews so you can implement customer feedback.
- New promotions- Keep your team informed on any new shop specials so they can pass the word on to your customers.
3. Make Social Media an Extension of Your Shop
Automotive loyalty starts before your customer even walks through your doors. The same is true for when they leave. Why? Because 53% of the world’s population is on social media and if you’re not taking advantage you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to stay connected with your customers, make more sales, and even promote your brand.
What to Post on Your Shop’s Social Media Accounts
- Highlight company culture with photos and quotes from your employees
- Engage your customers by asking them questions
- Showcase how great your shop is by sharing the reviews you collect
- Show your humorous and light-hearted side by creating funny memes
- Take your customers behind the scenes with candid photos of your staff hard at work
Social media can be super fun, so get creative with it. Don’t get caught up in how often to post– just be sure to get posts out a few times a month to maintain your presence.
4. Automate Where You Can
We get it, running a successful auto repair shop has its challenges. From ordering parts and managing the finances to keeping your shop staff happy, juggling never-ending tasks can be daunting. With that said, the one thing that cannot suffer or afford to be put on the backburner is the customer experience.
The good news is that there are marketing platforms created specifically for shop owners like yourself that automate some of these efforts to ease the stress. With BayIQ in your arsenal of marketing tools, you can automate everything from scheduled maintenance and service reminders to automated email and text appointment confirmations. You can even solicit reviews automatically after a customer leaves your shop. Consider automation your new partner for improving the customer experience and beyond.