As an auto shop business owner, one of your top priorities should be to improve your engagement with your customers. Connecting with them across a variety of channels ultimately helps to build and strengthen that human-to-human connection and adds value to your business beyond the sale. Naturally, that helps you to stay top-of-mind, creates more loyal customers, and keeps people walking through your shop doors.
Here are some ways you can keep your customers engaged whether they are in your shop or not.
Text Them Consistently
If text messaging campaigns aren’t a part of your engagement strategy or overall marketing plan for your shop, now is the time to consider it. Perhaps the most striking statistic out there about text messaging for businesses is that they have a 98% open rate– nearly guaranteeing your customer will see the message.
Additionally, 85% of business leads prefer texts to phone calls from marketers and want to be able to reply. A few you can consider include:
- Appointment reminders- Once your customer has an appointment on the books, shoot them a text the day before to remind them so they don’t forget.
- Service reminders- Did your customer pass up a service recommendation at their last visit? Send them a text reminder a few weeks later to remind them that their car still needs some work.
- New promotions- Every time you roll out a new promotion where your customers can save big, they need to know about it. Texting them is the quickest way to spread the word.
We know what you’re thinking - ‘this all sounds great, but how can I text all my customers?’ It’s simple. Leave it to the professionals at BayIQ who do this for thousands of auto repair shops all around the country. BayIQ automates text marketing sending reminders and outreach messages for you.
Drop into Their Email Inbox Often
In addition to texting your customers to keep them engaged with you, email campaigns are also a smart approach to improve your engagement. While email doesn’t have quite as strong of an open rate as text messages, they do deliver a solid return on investment. Recent research shows that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.
Moreover, you can craft emails with attractive designs, put as much valuable content in them as you want and direct your customers to other important destinations on your website (hint: your customer reviews page). While there’s no secret sauce for the perfect email, you can start with these best practices to get you going:
- Grab them with a good subject line- Your subject line is the first thing your customers are going to see, so you’ll need to make it enticing enough for them to open your email.
- Be personable- The last thing you want is for your email to sound like a robot wrote it. If you want to make an impression, stick to casual language and even include humanizing content like employee pictures and stories.
- Ask questions- Nothing encourages people more to engage than to ask for their feedback. Pose a question or two in your emails encouraging them to respond.
- Have a single call-to-action- Your call-to-action (CTA) is the most important part of your emails. What do you want them to do after they read through it? Make sure it’s crystal clear.
Keep them Entertained
People spend at least 2.5 hours on social media per day. That’s why you need to have a strong presence there to improve your engagement with your customers.
Don’t have a Facebook page set up for your business or you do but hardly use it? Now is the time to get it going. Your customers are already there, every single day, just waiting for you to interact with them. The best way for you to capture their attention and keep them dialed in is to post content that’s entertaining and resonates with them.
While encouraging repeat business and driving sales is important, keep in mind that your customers are likely on social media for entertainment. With that in mind, make it a priority to diversify your content and get creative. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Tutorial videos- Videos boost views on social media by 48%, so think about doing frequent tutorials or a weekly video series where you show them how to perform simple tasks on their vehicles.
- Funny memes- Memes have made their mark on social media in recent years and are here to stay. Do some brainstorming with your team and come up with some funny car-related memes that’ll reel in the engagement. Start here for some inspiration and use free online meme generators to create your own.
- Helpful tips/tricks- When you consistently post educational content on social media, you position yourself as a thought leader in the auto repair industry. Make it a point to post car tips that people may not know of. Think along the lines of summer car care guidance and driving in harsh weather.
Stay in Front of Them
The ultimate goal of engagement is to stay top of mind for customers so that when they do need a tire repair or any work done on their vehicle, you're the first place they think of. And texting, emailing, and interacting with your auto repair customers on social media are all essential techniques to get there.
Rolling out all these best practices can definitely seem daunting, considering all the other tasks you have on your plate from day-to-day. This is precisely why companies like BayIQ came to fruition. Made for auto repair professionals by auto repair professionals, BayIQ provides an easy way to remain consistently engaged with your customers without needing to lift a finger.