People are leery of the auto repair industry because it has a reputation of being dishonest. That reputation might be unfounded, especially for your business, but it is still a consideration in the back of the mind of many potential leads. Your marketing efforts need to not only counter any misconceptions that someone might have of you, but also provide people with a level of value that just can’t be replicated by another auto repair business in your community.
The start of any marketing effort in this field requires a calendar that will help you track your various promotions. Plan your start dates and end dates in advance and use this calendar to track results. This will give you an idea of what is working, what needs to be altered, and what ideas should just be send to the creative garbage can.
Best Marketing Ideas for Auto Repair
1. Work To Get Referrals
Good word of mouth advertising is some of the best stuff you can have in the auto repair industry. When you do a good job and establish a level of trust with someone, then their recommendation to others they know will carry a lot of weight. Work to get referrals from those who are willing to share their good experiences with your organization. Discounts, prizes, or even just an award on the wall that recognizes an effort can make this happen for you.
2. Social Media Is an Excellent Venue
Word of mouth advertising doesn’t just involve a conversation with someone any more thanks to social media. A customer that shares your images, blog posts, or coupons is giving you their personal recommendation as well. Try to thank these folks on a 1-on-1 basis if you can so that your appreciation will be communicated and accepted in a genuine way… and encourage more shares and posts.
3. Hold Community Events
When people have an idea of the services you can provide, then they’ll be more confident in your ability to provide a quality result at a fair, competitive price. Community events will bring people in your doors and you can show them how repairs get done. Entice attendance with door prizes or discounts and you might just have a popular monthly or even weekly event.
4. Don’t Focus On Just One Medium
It’s easy to get trapped into a thinking pattern where one advertising medium is preferred and the rest are ignored. Combine your marketing campaigns together so that you can have a maximum impact in your community. Advertise your referral program on the radio or put your community events into a television commercial to provide your community with added worth.
5. Don’t Just Settle For Traditional Advertising
People will quickly forget a television commercial if it didn’t impact them in some way, but they won’t forget your creativity. Step outside of the box and put something fresh together – even if that means you’re stacking up crushed cars on your front yard.
6. Target Specific Demographics
If you’ve got a customer base that brings you a lot of good business, then target those specific demographics so that you get even more people coming to see you and business becomes even better. Instead of blanketing your community with a marketing effort, utilize your referral or discount programs to put a laser-like focus on one specific demographic and maximize your success there.
7. Base Your Decisions Off of Your Data
Marketing decisions are often based on what people think instead of what the data dictates. Personal opinions are important, but data is even more important. Always review your customer data so you can eliminate wasteful spending and focus on the intent of your leads instead of what you think about your leads.
8. Transform Your Media
It’s easy to talk about all the awards and certifications you’ve received, but it’s not so easy to translate your awards into something a customer will find to be valuable. Transform your media into a focus on the problems that can be solved with your services and all of your marketing campaigns will likely see more success rates.
9. Drop Bad Campaigns Fast
The focus on marketing is often on what is successful, but not every marketing effort is successful all of the time. Track your returns on your marketing investments and don’t be afraid to pull the plug fast. As the saying goes, “Hire slow, fire quick.” The same is true with your marketing campaigns.
10. Switch Your Pricing Structure
Oddly enough, your pricing structure could be seen as being TOO fair and that could be costing you business. People love a good sale and they love finding incredible deals, but people also have an baseline expectation to pay a fair price for a quality job. If your prices are too consistently low, you’ll develop the reputation of being the Walmart version of auto repair in your community. Believe it or not, there’s a big difference between charging $20 or charging $20.95. Go with the $20.95.
11. Build Relationships
You don’t have to invite your customers over for your poker night, but you do need to build relationships with them so you keep their business. The best way to do this is to follow-up a service to get feedback. Ask tough questions and take criticism for what it is: feedback. You’ll make your customers feel like their opinion matters and you’ll get valuable information that will help your auto repair business fix a problem that could be hidden right now.
12.Send Out Service Reminders
Those stickers on a windshield will peel off and people will forget or not even know when routine maintenance needs to be done. This is the perfect place for you to forge relationships and bring in some extra business because if you send a friendly reminder about what projects can help someone’s car last longer on the road, you’ll get profits and you’ll create a higher level of perceived value for your auto repair business.