For many auto repair shop owners, the garage is already stocked with the tools needed to get cars back on the road in no time. But while cars are getting their regular check ups and new parts, what about the business itself?
Beyond the ratchets, multimeters, and car jacks, mechanics need to consider the technology that will help run their business for them, as they focus on the cars themselves. These days, business owners can automate everything from building their online reputation to managing customer feedback and re-engaging existing customers – all while providing a great customer experience.
So what are the top things every shop owner needs to drive success? Here are the 3 a shop can’t live without..
Online Reputation Management
A majority of existing and new customers go online to look up the vendors they need – looking at reviews from previous customers. An online presence is the bare minimum needed these days to be noticed, but auto shop owners can take it one step further and make their shop stand out from the pack with glowing reviews. Whether it’s on the shop’s own website or on popular review sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook or RepairPal, positive reviews from satisfied customers go a long way to bringing that next customer in the door.
You may think you know what your customers think about your service, but do you really? Believe it or not, many customers are not comfortable sharing honest feedback with staff or business owners in person. Even if your customers smile and nod when asked if they had a good experience, there often is more to the story than customers will share at the point of purchase.
A customer feedback system can engage your customers after they leave the shop via text message or email to ask about their experience, and quickly generate detailed insights that helps your shop understand where you are excelling, while also pointing out the areas of service that your customers believe could use improvement.
How do you turn new customers into loyal customers? Target them with the right email promotions, service recommendations, or reminders at just the right time. According to Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing Report, “49 percent of marketers claim email is directly linked to their business’ primary revenue source”.. But first, you need to capture your customer’s email – which can be easily done by setting up online appointment request forms and training your staff to ask for customer email addresses at the point of purchase.
Once you start building your customer database, marketing automation makes it possible to automatically send the right communications to the right customers to help fill your bays and grow your shop’s revenues.
As you set up and run your shop day-to-day, invest in the technology that will help you drive success. This way, you can spend more doing what you love — helping your customers get back on the road..