Any business owner dreams of growing and expanding their business, moving from merely breaking even to finally making large profit margins. For most auto repair shops, bringing in more customers is a key requirement for growth.
Here are three strategies to help you bring in new customers and give your shop more chances of converting walk-ins into loyal customers.
1. Invest in mobile column lifts.
Limited floor space is one of the challenges of expansion for auto repair businesses. If you want to increase your income, you need to receive more clients. And to accept more vehicles, you need to have a bigger garage space. For shops that cannot physically expand their floor space (e.g., the shop is bordered on all sides by other establishments,), one way to optimize existing square footage is by installing mobile column lifts for cars.
A mobile column vehicle lift allows you to hoist a car up. It is mainly for convenience when working on undercarriages and engines, but it also doubles as a space-maximizing tool. You can lift vehicles in your shop for long-term repairs and accept drive-in customers who only require quick fixes, like a tire or battery replacement, brake check, antifreeze refills, oil changes, and air filter replacements.
2. Offer new services that target first-time and college drivers.
This strategy works even better for auto shops that are near colleges or in university towns. Offer services that college drivers usually need, like straightening dings and dents from minor fender bender accidents, repaint services to cover deep scratches, Bluetooth stereo repair or installation, air conditioning repair, and more. If you earn the trust and loyalty of young drivers, chances are you’ll have them as loyal customers for the next decade.
You can also sell car accessories that appeal to a broader demographic. Examples are pre-made and customized car decals, statement bumper stickers, seat belt and dash accessories, car air fresheners, and more. While these cannot sustain your business, the income can add to your working capital when work on the shop is slow.
3. Join the digital world.
You may have already heard about the importance of having a website and SEO in this digital era. It is true: now that people are increasingly dependent on the Internet for information on readily available products and services, i.e., they look for products and services on the Internet. Naturally, those that are already highly-placed on search engine results pages are the ones that get the lion’s share of clicks.
You don’t need the flashiest website, but it must be functional, mobile-friendly, responsive, and search-engine-optimized. Another important featured to add to your website would be an online booking feature. Web developers can integrate website forms with your CRM platform to become easier and faster to book, document, and bill repeat customers.
You can also explore local online listings and digital marketing through search engine (Google Ads) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) advertising.
These tips come from a place of experience and good faith: we’ve partnered with so many automotive businesses that we now have a deeper understanding of the industry and our customers' needs. We can provide reliable and durable mobile column lifts to give your shop flexibility to receive walk-in customers when necessary.