As you well know, the auto repair industry is incredibly competitive. If you’re not constantly staying on top of your shop marketing efforts, it is all too easy to fall by the wayside, giving your competitors the edge you don’t want them to have.
How do you build a profitable business, keep your customers coming back again and again, and stay on top? There are many ways to market your services, but if you’re not using the right techniques, you could be wasting your time. Let’s take a look at five auto repair shop marketing ideas that can help you find new customers, keep your current customers and skyrocket your business.
Leverage the Power of Social Networking
Word-of-mouth advertising is still king in the automotive repair marketing world, and what better way to leverage this than by using social networking. If you haven’t done so already, create a Facebook page and start actively promoting it. If necessary, offer a special coupon to those who “like” your profile. Start using services like Twitter to get local customers interested in your business–share funny anecdotes and repair tips and tricks, and keep it light and fun. The goal here is to build genuine support, or likability.
Want to keep your current customers happy and expand your business? Start using a frequently overlooked auto repair marketing technique and develop a referral program. Offer your existing customers a free oil change if they refer a friend, or give them a discount on their next auto repair job. In this business, you need to break through misconceptions about the industry in general, and having friends refer friends is an easy and effective way to do this. Of course, we automatically ask your customers for referrals as part of our automated customer review process.
Hold Regular Events
In order to improve your automotive service marketing efforts, you need to get people to your shop and you need to prove that you’ve got their best interests at heart. Hold a clinic that focuses on the need to winterize their vehicles, demonstrate what happens when vehicles aren’t properly maintained, or host regular customer appreciation events. Become active in your community and build a reputation that local customers can trust.
Here’s a great example: Ladies Night Crash Course, hosted by Shade Tree Auto in Grimes, Iowa. When you have these events, remember there will be current customers and potential new customers there. You want to make sure your staff makes a good impression and really builds rapport with the people that attend.
Combine Your Advertising Tactics
If you’re not using a combined auto repair advertising strategy, you are missing out on building your customer base. It’s possible to use traditional marketing such as newspaper and radio ads, as well as incorporate social marketing and online marketing efforts, as long as you’re tracking the results carefully. For example, some of our successful customers run a single campaign across multiple kinds of advertising–radio, social media, their website, our New Customer Finder–and they even bring things like Groupon into the mix. The benefit to this approach is that you reach different groups of people with different media, and you make it easy for potential customers to respond because they have not just one, but many options and can choose to respond in whatever way is easiest for them. The data in your smrt™ report can help you decide which media will best reach high-value customers.
Get the Right Kind of Attention
Guerrilla marketing techniques are very effective for small auto repair shops and can help you get the attention you need. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your efforts. There are lots of ways that you can get the right kind of attention in your community. Keep it fun and intriguing, and you’ll keep your customers coming back just to see what you’ll do next. Here are some guerrilla auto repair marketing ideas to get you started.
Even though you may be the owner of a traditional brick-and-mortar retail shop, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to “traditional” auto repair marketing techniques. Put technology and creativity to work for you, and you’ll attract the kinds of customers your shop needs to succeed. The more you become active in social networking and local networking, the more potential customers you’ll reach.
Got ideas to share? Scroll all the way down and leave a response.
Want more ideas to market your shop? Get the free Shop Marketing Manual emailed to you every month.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our free marketing tools.
You might also like: