It’s a tough and competitive auto repair world out there. So much to do and so little time. But it is worth investing some time and effort in your marketing to maintain a profitable business. Running a small business it is often a challenge to determine where to start with your marketing.
Here are some tips:
Understand your customer
It is absolutely key to ask yourself about who your main customer is and what is important to them.
Who is my customer?
Is it mum bringing the family car in for a service? Or is your prime customer the 4WD enthusiast needing accessories? Or are you more specialised helping other workshops or automotive businesses with their automotive needs?
To market effectively to our customers it is important to understand where your customers are located: do they live or work in the area? How do they find your business? Driving by? The internet? Friends referrals?
What is important to your customers?
This automotive service industry is built on trust. For a family car it might be a suitable service time during school hours, or a car seat safety check.
Think like a customer.
Everyone likes to be kept in touch with the progress and know when the car will be ready for pick-up in time. Is the staff friendly and approachable? Is the workshop clean?
Treat customers well
Word of Mouth is still the best form of advertising. People always ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations for a good reliable automotive repair business. If you provide excellent service, your customers will promote your business by telling others. To make it easier for them to find you think about an effective website to reflect your great service.
Why not start a simple VIP or loyalty program via email or postal mail for your customers? Make it easy for them to refer family and friends to your business and reward them with a discount or a value-add like a free car wash or premium oil change.
Implement a hands-on customer follow-up process. Take the time to call customers, use sms services or simply make it part of your routine to mail a post a ‘thank you’ card to customers and ask for feedback.
Move with the times
Most customers have busy lives. Make dealing with your business as easy as possible.
Google just confirmed that there are now more searches from mobile phones than from PCs. Make sure your business can be easily found online and of course any mobile device for all relevant services you offer. Make sure the customer just has to click to call you or to book that service in. Is there a map where your business is located? Are your opening hours easily visible?
Do you communicate with your customers via email to let them know about specials or their next service. Utilise email to send receipts, special offers and promotions.
It is almost standard now with service businesses like hairdressers or doctors to SMS customers to confirm or remind you of your appointment – could you implement a similar system?
Use technology to stay top of mind and make it easier for your current customers to get in touch with you and potential customers to experience the great service you provide.
Focus on a few things and do them well.
Stay tuned for some useful and effective marketing strategies in next month’s Aasdn news.