Every business runs on marketing.
Star companies like Tesla may claim that they don’t waste money on marketing. But that’s false. Their no-to-marketing claim, in itself, is a well-planned marketing strategy and it’s working well for them.
Marketing is important!
Marketing is as essential as the backbone is to a human.
So is the same for an auto repair shop.
Because let’s be honest. If you run an auto repair or mechanic shop or detailing shop, you would know that you can’t just sit around and expect potential customers to automatically visit you for vehicle service.
You need to prepare multiple auto repair shop marketing strategies and develop a marketing ecosystem around your business.
But how exactly do you build a marketing ecosystem?
As an industry expert in this field, having marketed over 100+ service garages, we know exactly how to grow an auto repair business.
Now, let’s start this from the very beginning. Let’s assume you’ve newly started an auto repair shop business. How do we start with marketing? How should your thought process be?
There are many marketing ideas for the automotive industry as a whole, but you’ll need to go more specific to match the aftermarket service side of this industry.
We’ll share everything with you in a step-by-step manner.
Step 1) Start by Establishing a Solid Market Presence
You’ve successfully set up your garage. All the physical aspects like tools and equipment are ready. But how will people know that you exist?
So, the first step is to establish your market presence
- First of all, list your garage on Google My Business (GMB).
- List your garage on every local yellow page.
- Put proper direction boards/signages near your workshop to let you people know your location.
- Put professional and attractive sign/display boards on your workshop to attract and impress potential customers. Come up with auto repair advertising slogans for your business.
- Create a beautiful website that showcases your brand voice and the services you offer. Make sure to add an online booking portal right on top of your website and adding a live chat option can do wonders for you.
- Create a business page on Instagram and Facebook. Twitter can be optional because, for garages, the first two mentioned social media platforms tend to work the best.
Step 2) Research and Understand the Market thoroughly
Now that your online presence has been set, it’s time to understand the potential customers around your garage’s location.
- Study the market and figure out the types of services and pricing that your competitors offer.
- The target market for auto repair shops is vast, so, analyse the type of people who broadly live in and near your area.
- Figure out which class of people would be the most suitable target audience for your garage (Middle class or Upper-class people or types of car and bike they own) and get additional insights on their behaviours, thought process, etc.
Step 3 ) Create Awareness in the Target Market to Generate Leads
Now that you have clearly defined your target audience, it’s time to shout loud and catch people’s attention. Just remember to target the right audience and don’t waste your time or efforts targeting everybody.
- It’s time to properly advertise the selling points of your garage.
- Get active on social media. Post-real-life pictures (infrastructure and employees, also you have to add) of vehicles undergoing services and talk about the services that you offer.
- Now, based on the selling points, run ads(lead/awareness) on Facebook by targeting your defined audience with your workshop images or videos and service offerings. (We recommend Facebook ads because brand reach is better on this platform)
- Host events or even sponsor community events by which you get to mix and be a significant member of your community. Great awareness potential. (Due to Covid times, try digital platforms)
- This might sound unpleasant but try talking to the neighbouring garages and enter an arrangement with them where, if required, you both could suggest customers to check the other shop.
- Create flyers and banners and distribute them in your locality and nearby places as well. You can place banners on car windshields (target suitable cars).
Step 4) Create a well-defined sales process
If everything is done right, you should now be able to see some results. You’ll start to get inquiries and appointment leads on Facebook (through ads). But, you’ll need a clear cut sales process to ensure 100% conversion of these leads into your active regular customers
- We recommend you have a dedicated person to handle all the leads.
- Any leads generated from social media, ensure to contact them within 5 min. (before they lose interest and forget about you)
- Use a CRM like Hubspot. This will be useful in tracking all the leads.
- Most importantly, learn to develop your sales skill. Teach sales and proper greeting/ communication skills to your garage technicians.
Step 5) Give them an awesome experience to create an unforgettable first impression
- Most of the time first impression is the last impression so give proper attention to first-time customers
- Build a strong personal relationship from day1
- It is not just taking of them but also take proper care of their vehicles
- After a few days of the service check their satisfaction. Ask for service ratings and feedback through text mediums. Ensure to redirect them to give reviews on your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
- One of the better ways would be to take their video testimonials
- If in case you get a negative review, talk with them, understand their problem and fix it. Don’t ignore unhappy customers and address their problem sincerely and promptly
- A genuine and new reviews build a strong reputation and attract new customers easily
- Promote/post reviews and testimonials on your social media/website to capitalise on it
Step 6) Engage with your customers and retain them
This is yet another important step. Your goal should be to retain 90%+ of your new customers. For this, you’ll need to regularly engage with them. But how exactly do you do that?
- It’s simple! Just use social media to engage your customers.
- Post tips on vehicle maintenance.
- Conduct Quiz and create polls on Instagram to engage and teach your customers about vehicle maintenance.
- Create coupon and loyalty programs to acknowledge your loyal customers. This should help keep them hooked on your business for a lifetime.
- Use Email, SMS and WhatsApp to engage with customers. These text mediums are a great marketing tool for auto repair shops. Remind customers of their next service visit, share invoices and other service information.
- Sending promos and festive offers through them is a great way to engage.
- Ask for referrals and reward them for that, creating an auto repair shop referral program is a great way to grow your business.
(Bonus) Try Vlogging in the side
The benefits are numerous. Vlog on topics like “How to jumpstart your car”, “5 things every car owner needs”, “ Why you should avoid potholes on the road”, “How often should you change your brake fluid”, etc. These will vastly benefit your customers and can also help establish you as a domain expert.
How to manage funds for marketing?
If you’re newly starting out your business, the funds for the marketing budget works differently. You’ll have to set money from your pocket and your budget would entirely differ based on your business’ level and the type of market you’re establishing yourself into.
For the professionals who’ve already started off with their business, the best suggestion here would be to allot 5-15%(rule of thumb) of your profits for the marketing budget.
Keep in mind, the 5-15% invested should give at least 40-45%(although it could vary from business to business) in return (ROI).
This data can be used as a base point to evaluate the quality of your marketing efforts.
While it’s difficult to narrow down and be certain that the increase in sales is solely due to the marketing efforts, there are various benchmarks that can be used to determine the certainty. Comment down below if you’d like to read more on ways to be certain that your marketing efforts are paying off.
With these strategies, your marketing plans are good to go. All you have to do is work on the implementation, take care of the budget and keep tabs on the returns.
Talk to our support team and we’d be more than happy to help you out with your auto service marketing adventure.
There’s a chat icon to the bottom right side of the screen. Don’t be shy. Ping us and we’d get back to you in less than 5 min.