For small- to mid-size businesses, it’s no longer enough to rely on the loyalty of your current customers. To stand out from the competition, you’ll need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.
To create such a strategy, you’ll want to closely examine all of the ways in which your shop interacts with customers. From there, you can tailor an approach that attracts new customers and strengthens the loyalty of existing ones.
Here, we discuss the marketing checklist every auto shop needs.
Email and SMS Text Marketing
Over the past decade, email and text marketing have become ubiquitous across industries. If your shop isn’t using it, then you’re already behind.
Email Marketing Benefits
- Personalization: With email marketing, you can tailor your message based on a customer’s profile and buying habits. For example, if a customer has recently come in for an oil change, you might email them in two months to remind them to make another appointment.
- Affordability: Compared to traditional forms of marketing, email outreach is highly affordable, not to mention that its personalization often leads to greater engagement than traditional advertising.
- ROI: Email ROI is an astonishing $36 for every $1 spent.
- Brand loyalty: Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness of your brand, its values, its services, and any current promotions.
SMS Text Marketing Benefits
- High open rates: Compared to email outreach, text message marketing efforts have significantly greater open rates. One study finds that 98% of text messages get opened and are responded to within 3 minutes of sending.
- Automation: With some SMS marketing services, you can administer automated text messages to customers. These could be used for promotions or to remind people about upcoming service needs.
According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s anywhere from 5-25 times more difficult to acquire a new customer than it is to sell to a new one. Moreover, increasing your retention rates by 5% can increase your profits by over 95%. Solidifying the loyalty of your current customer base should be a top priority.
One way to accomplish this is through loyalty programs. These can take many forms, including point programs, cash back systems, punch cards, or tiered loyalty memberships. Regardless of the exact mechanism, each of these methods incentivizes customers to continue doing business with you.
Some ideas for a repair shop loyalty program include:
- Customers receiving a free service for referring a friend
- Offering free or discounted services after meeting a threshold of purchasing
- Partnering with other businesses to offer mutual discounts
Ratings and Reviews
In addition to reaching out to customers, you’ll also want to develop a strategy to obtain ratings and reviews for your business. One study finds that 58% of customers would pay more for a business with good reviews, demonstrating the key role reviews will play in attracting new clients.
Positive Google reviews also have a positive impact on your SEO. When a person runs a web search for a repair shop, Google will often present highly rated options before those with fewer positive reviews.
To begin obtaining more reviews, you should start by requesting customers review your business following a service. To make it even easier on your customers, you could even send them a link to review your shop through email or text message.
Once you start getting new reviews, make sure to interact with them. Particularly in the case of negative reviews, you’ll want to reach out to dissatisfied customers, learn what the problem is, and develop a way to make things right––both for the customer and potential customers reading reviews before visiting your shop.
For a busy shop, it can be difficult to simultaneously manage both day-to-day operations as well as full-fledged marketing initiatives. This is where it’s helpful to automate, enabling your shop to streamline its outreach efforts while maintaining a high level of service.
BayIQ, a marketing software designed specifically for tire and auto repair shops, allows you to streamline your marketing efforts. This platform empowers you to build loyalty rewards programs, administer email and SMS campaigns, and monitor online reviews with ease. The results are twofold. You’ll not only be able to more effectively track your performance, but you’ll also be able to ensure greater loyalty from your customers.
BayIQ also has a built-in appointment scheduler, making it easier than ever to reach out to customers and allow them to book an appointment right from their phone or computer.
For small repair shops, loyalty is king. To build this loyalty and continue to grow your business, BayIQ has the solutions.