There are over 253 million cars in the U.S. and every one will require service at one point or another. From standard tune ups to unexpected fixes, auto repair shops are hardly hurting for business. But there are over 33K repair shops who are competing for those fixes, not including the dealerships themselves. So how can you set your shop apart from the rest and appeal to the newest generation of vehicle owners?
There are several ways to start elevating your auto repair marketing, here are some of the most successful trends we’ve observed with our partners!
For some people, cars are like babies or pets. Owners are protective and particular about who and what handles them. This generally manifests itself as lots of questions, specifications, and a general need for elevated customer support. In order to get ahead of these needs, your auto repair shop needs to position itself as an industry expert that people turn to for answers. A great way to reach this status is by populating your social media with helpful graphics, before and after photos, Q&A’s, customer testimony, and anything else someone looking for a reliable repair shop might be looking for.
Not only does this increase your shop’s visibility across search engines, it also works towards building trust with the general public. 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others!
With some people treating their cars with major TLC, others wind up hitting the snooze button on preventative services or “nonessential” repairs. A great way to target that demographic is to send out exclusive discounts or deals to the people who subscribe to your text message program. To keep your subscribers engaged, you can also send out texts with helpful car maintenance tips or important vehicle safety updates like recall announcements.
If your shop isn’t currently text enabled, you can elect to send these out via email. But be aware that the open rate for emails is around 15% as opposed to 98% of text messages!
Spring is in the air, but is it in your tires?? Be sure to check your tire pressure with the weather changes to avoid a blowout!
In order to increase word of mouth referrals, your marketing efforts need to focus on your existing customers as well as prospective. One of the most effective ways to maintain customer satisfaction is instituting a customer loyalty program. By offering perks like referral deals and discounts you’ll maintain existing business all while encouraging new customers to join.
With many auto owners needing regular car servicing every six months or 12,000 miles, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer perks for anticipated repairs.
Missed appointments can mean missed revenue. Emails and phone calls aren’t always read in a timely manner, but 90% of texts are read within three minutes of receipt. That makes SMS the perfect medium for appointment reminders.
Additionally, texting is the most popular way to reach teens and millennials. Not so coincidentally, that’s also the age group that has the highest rate of car accidents. By text enabling all of your auto repair marketing, you significantly increase your appeal to the demographic of drivers most in need of repairs.
When it comes to working *smarter*, one of the best strategies is to call in some reinforcement. Partnering with brands or businesses that can help you reach your target audience is a great way to market your car repair services. For example, connect with a local car wash and work out a deal for offering a free car wash voucher with each repair. Your customers are grateful for the added perks and, in exchange for the additional business, the car wash will refer their customers to your shop. It’s a win-win!
Similar to a strong social media presence, encouraging customer reviews on sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Angie’s List is essential if you want to capture new customers. Studies have shown that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends. When someone searches for “auto repair shops near me”, sites like Yelp are some of the first to show up because of their high domain authority (a fancy way of saying they’re really big and popular, so they show up first on Google). Ensuring you are highly ranked with fresh content will guarantee your shop is found by the people who are searching for what you offer.
A great way to solicit reviews or feedbacks is by including a link to your site in a follow up text you send out after a customer visits your shop!
From local car dealerships to auto trade and specialty shows, there’s tons of activity happening in the auto market across the country. Dealerships, for example, are always promoting fanfare and onsite events to bring customers into their space. What better time to prime customers for their service needs than when they’re purchasing their vehicle?
Setting up booths or tables at transportation centric events is a great and inexpensive way to create brand awareness and attract new customers. You can also use that opportunity to advertise your text marketing programs by handing out flyers or tchotkes with your keyword and number on it!
Auto repair marketing is changing, and for the most part it’s to your benefit. Traditional media marketing efforts can get expensive. Delivering a measurable return on investment with these methods is also getting increasingly more difficult.
While TV, radio, and newspapers were once the only real advertising opportunities out there, the last decade has created more opportunity for businesses to connect with customers directly. Wether it’s through social media, text marketing, or chat rooms, the power is yours.
Interested in branching out? Get started with a 14 day free trial or chat with one of our all-star support team members to talk through your goals and see how we can help grow your marketing efforts!