As of 2016, the number of cars, trucks, and buses worldwide was 1.32billion. This figure has maintained an upward trend over the years regardless of the economy. The US alone had more than 272.48 million vehicles and up to 297,000 operational auto repair shops at the end of 2017.
There’s high competition for customers amongst auto repair shops. Businesses must enhance their marketing tactics if they want to remain successful in the industry. Here are four marketing tips for auto repair shops that will keep you ahead of the competition.
1. Create a Website
Do not ignore your online business presence just because you operate in a predominantly hands-on industry. Create a good website and make it informative and mobile-responsive. While creating the website, think of a car owner with a broken car at the roadside. The first thing such a person thinks of is searching for help on Google from their smartphone.
They may want information about a simple diagnosis or look for a nearby auto shop to fix the problem. Those who find help on your website will likely subscribe to your newsletters and may even become loyal customers. The website doesn’t have to be fancy. Just ensure that it offers quick and helpful information to visitors.
2. Create a Social Media Page
Social media is a place where you can engage your customers directly and market your services. Do not limit your online presence to the company website. Create at least one social media account and post regularly. It should be a professional page with photos similar to those on your website.
Post helpful tips about car maintenance and other car-related content, like things to consider when buying new or used cars. Create and stick to a posting schedule so that your followers know when to expect new content. Also, add links to your website whenever you have a new post. Encourage happy customers to leave comments on your posts.
3. Run a Customer Loyalty Program
The auto repair shops market is saturated. Getting repeat customers is not guaranteed unless you do things differently. Studies indicate that it will cost you up to five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. Therefore, even as you try to attract new customers, find ways to retain the existing ones. A customer loyalty program can help you achieve that.
Make it simple. Offering free oil exchange every three months may be enough. You can also give repair discounts to customers who spend a specific amount on car repairs. It’s a clever way to keep customers coming back even for minor problems.
4. Encourage Referrals
Satisfied customers will talk about your business to friends and family. But you can do more to ensure they’re spreading the word. Make business cards to give to your clients and also get their contact information, too.
Surprise them with a freebie whenever you get a new client referred by them. Send a small note to inform them about the referral and thank them. You can offer them a free oil exchange next time they visit your auto repair shop. Referral programs can be effective marketing strategies for any business when implemented right.