Most small auto repair shops are run by visionaries that are tired of working for bigger companies and feel they can really make a difference by helping out the average Joe. If this describes you we're rooting for you. That being said, many of you are very knowledgeable in the auto repair industry but baffled by the marketing portion of your business. For that reason the team at JMC is here to help. There are big benefits when it comes to marketing the right way and you don't have to invest thousands of dollars to stay competitive. Here are 6 Auto Repair Shop Marketing Facts for Small Businesses.
Customer Turnover is Inevitable
Regardless of how good your products and services are, you will always lose customers. Whether it is because they found someone cheaper or moved away, there is no guarantee that your current customers will be faithful to you a few months from now. Before you start worrying just remember, it is inevitable and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Don't take things personal and remember that keeping a reliable new stream of customers is a necessity.
Keeping Existing Customers is Cheaper than Acquiring New Ones
Some of you might be thinking that why work so hard on existing customer if they're going to leave anyway. Well, the answer is simple, will you not buy a house and car because you're going to die anyway?
It costs money to put out ads on newspapers, radio, etc but being friendly and helpful with your current customers is free. We tend to take things for granted and that one customer that only comes in for an oil change will be missed if he were to go to another shop. Make sure you pay close attention to the current customers you have by doing everything in your power to be helpful, nice and letting them know that you are there for them and are their go-to-guys for shop needs, equipment and advice.
Always Monitor Who's Coming in and What You're Doing
It doesn't take a genius to realize that not all shops that promise great services and results deliver what they promise. That's on them. What you have to do is make sure you deliver what you promise because that and that alone will bring in new customers and keep the ones you have.
How do you deliver what you promise? Reports go a long way. Start monitoring everyone that comes in, how long it takes them to be assisted and how much they spent. This will make way for patterns to emerge and in time you'll see what areas need more work.
Be Patient with Your Marketing Strategies
When it comes to marketing (regardless of the type of marketing) errors and mistakes are just as important as success because it is through errors that you can learn what works and what doesn't. For that reason we urge you to develop a marketing strategy, set plans and short term goals. Many people abandon their strategies when a single aspect goes wrong but this doesn't mean you have to start over, it means you have to fix one problem and get back to work.
When it comes to marketing the first thing you have to know is who is your target audience. Auto shops know that kids between the ages of 5-15 will usually never buy from them so why include them in your niche market? Why waste money on targeting women between the ages of 25-50 when your selling car parts to a different audience? Understanding this allows you to makes the messages you market a little more personalized and specific.
Internet Marketing is your Friend
I know the internet and social media might be scary for those new to it but unfortunately it's not going anywhere. It's the year 2015 and everyone in America has a mobile phone with access to the internet. If you want to know why your competitors are doing better than you it might be because they make themselves present by putting themselves on their customers phone screens. They have a website, send out email newsletters, have social media presence etc.
All of these tips are not new but they are essential to every business and you'll be surprised at the number of businesses who don't know or use them. There is no 1 secret to having new customers come in to your shop on a daily basis. It is a gradual process but by the time you get the desired number of customers your shop will be ready and so will you.
Do you know of any other facts that will benefit auto repair shops?