Auto Repair Advertising
It’s hard to be successful in business without customers, but with all of the different options how do you do auto repair advertising right?
Advertising your repair shop doesn’t have to be overly expensive or complex. If you can stick to the basics and stay consistent, you can bring in more than enough traffic. In most areas, it’s not too difficult to do better advertising than the competition, so what to do?
Most people don’t use the phonebook anymore so why are you spending hundreds or even thousands to have a listing there? Take a look at all of the free and low cost options that get in front of buyers. First off get a website. There are hundreds of webhosts that charge under $100 per year to have a website and domain. Get testimonials and pictures of your shop and happy customers. While you can hire someone to build one inexpensively, most technophobes can quickly build a website with the templates that are available today. Next get listed with programs like Google Local. It’s free and gives you better rankings when someone searches for auto repair in your area. Facebook is another free way to properly do auto repair advertising. Discussions about car maintenance, tips & tricks and difficult projects with a successful outcome are easy to show and people can quickly gather you know how to fix cars.
Another easy, yet inexpensive way to promote your repair shop is to offer existing customers a bonus if they refer a friend. We all know word of mouth is the best advertising and here is an easy way to spread the word. Most people won’t even take you up on the freebie that you offer as good mechanics are hard to find and they like to promote local businesses that provide good value. The typical freebies that shops offer are free oil changes, discounts on their next service or cash.
Make It Personal
In today’s society it’s uncommon to get a hand written thank you card, so why not surprise your customer. Send them a handwritten thank you card after they visit. Going one step further, you could include a coupon just so they keep you at the top of their mind when they need to use repair services again. While this doesn’t bring in new customers it may help keep your customers visiting your shop more often. Also keeping customers coming back is a key to running a successful business as it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer versus finding a new one, plus they tend to refer friends.
Direct mail with some sort of coupon offer is a way to get a quick impact. The best times to send these out are either a few weeks before peak travel such as the beginning of summer as people prep their cars for vacation travel or at times when you are slow. I don’t typically recommend a big coupon at the peak times since you will probably be overrun with people anyway and a big coupon is just throwing money out the window but your slow times are a good time to get the offers out to potential customers. The USPS has a great, low-cost option now to deliver postcards to every mailbox in a certain area. Another alternative is to use the Val-Pak bundles as they are even cheaper but you are combined with other offers.
An often overlooked way to advertise your auto shop is though joining groups such as Chambers of Commerce or Rotary. Being a familiar face in the business community goes a long way in building trust and business people tend to stick together as they see the value of supporting the local economy. If you go this route, be sure you are friendly and can talk to other people or you could have the opposite effect than you intend.
Most people don’t associate customer service with marketing but without customers there is no business so have a plan in place to resolve conflict. There will invariably be upset customers due to a perceived overcharging for services or when there is difficulty in fixing a problem. Whatever the situation, be sure to try to work out the issue and treat them with respect. Getting angry back at the customer, while it may feel good at the time, is never going to help you in the long run.
These are just a few auto repair advertising tips. Whatever methods you choose to do, try to not do too many things at once and keep records of what works best and keep improving on them.