No matter how fantastic your auto shop is, people won’t come in if they don’t know you exist. To address this, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy that uses multiple media to attract and retain customers.
Many shops are familiar with traditional forms of marketing like print ads and radio spots; however, modern forms of marketing can potentially be more effective at reaching your audience. Here are a few marketing strategies you can try at your auto repair shop to attract and retain customers.
While word-of-mouth marketing has likely existed for as long as people have sold goods and services, it’s still one of the most effective ways to attract business. In fact, 92% of people say they trust recommendations from people they know, making it essential to incorporate word-of-mouth marketing into your business strategy.
To do this, you’ll first need to offer a superior customer experience. From there, you’ll want to encourage people to talk about your business online, potentially through online reviews. When potential customers see other people raving about your auto shop, they’ll be more likely to trust your expertise and book a service.
Even if you’ve never overseen a marketing campaign, we’re all familiar with email marketing efforts where a business emails clients and encourages them to make a purchase. And while email marketing can still be a worthwhile investment, SMS (text message) marketing can be more effective.
Across all industries, marketing emails have a click-through rate of about 4%. This means that, of all the emails sent from businesses, only about 4% of people will even click through to view a deal or promotion, let alone complete a purchase. Compare this to the 19% click-through rate of SMS outreach.
Apart from promoting services, text messages can also be an effective means of reaching out to existing customers. For example, when a person books an oil change with your auto shops, you might consider sending them text message reminders a day before their service.
Social Media Marketing
Millions of people use social media every day to communicate with loved ones and learn what’s going on in their communities. Social media can also be an effective way for your auto shop to communicate with your customer base.
For starters, you should consider your auto shop’s social media pages. Similar to your shop’s website, these social media pages (ex: Facebook and Instagram) can serve as a digital storefront for your business. With this in mind, you’ll want to post regularly.
As well as posting about promotions, you can also post informative content that helps establish your shop’s expertise as well as highlight your teams. Pictures and videos always help your social media accounts stand out, and they increase the chances of people finding your business while scrolling through their feeds.
Additionally, most social media platforms offer paid ads. These are particularly effective at targeting specific audiences. For example, on Facebook, you can create an ad that targets people by zip code, gender, age, and/or race. This can be an effective way to attract new customers.
When a person runs a Google search for an auto repair shop, you want to be sure that your business is one of the first websites that appears in their search. The first search result in Google searches takes the lion’s share of clicks, and the further your site is in the results, the less likely a person is to click on it.
To improve your site’s position in search results, you’ll need to boost your site’s authority, which can be accomplished by fleshing out your onsite content. Beyond contact information and links to book a service, your website should also create a blog section in which you write articles that provide useful information to your customers.
As an auto shop owner, you possess a wealth of automobile expertise that is highly pertinent to readers. By creating informative articles and posting them on your website, other sites will eventually link to your useful content which, in turn, will boost your site’s authority and rankings in Google searches.
Marketing isn’t just for attracting new customers; you can (and should) market to your existing customer base in a number of ways.
Since vehicles require regular maintenance, you should keep profiles of individual customers. With these profiles, you can note the specific vehicles and track their mileage and the maintenance performed. With this information, you can then reach out to clients, reminding them of the need to schedule oil changes, alignments, or any other regular maintenance. You can also create loyalty programs that incentivize customers to continue booking services with your shop.
While it’s possible to create and administer these types of programs with an excel spreadsheet, this method could quickly become complicated as you acquire greater numbers of clients. Luckily, there are software solutions.
BayIQ, a software platform made specifically for auto shops, allows you to build loyalty programs, monitor customer profiles, and even capture customer reviews and push them to social media channels.
If you’re looking to streamline your marketing efforts, attracting new clients and retaining existing ones, then BayIQ is worth a look. Contact us today to see a demo!