Running a profitable auto body shop involves more than having the right mechanics. You need customers to think of your shop first when their car needs servicing. And what makes your auto shop services appealing might be the very thing that turns new customers into regulars. With the right e-commerce platform, your marketing, appointment booking, and payments processes can all be scheduled and automated so that you can do what you do best.
Keep the relationship going after the initial contact with your customers and chances are good that you can develop the kind of repeat business that keeps your bays filled.
How to deliver an effortless online experience.
Your mechanics work in the physical world, but most of your customers' first impressions of your auto shop will probably be online. Even if they hear about your auto shop services from a trusted friend or family member, most will research your business and reputation online. Here's how to provide them with a seamless online experience:
- Build a website. Even if your website tells visitors who you are, what you do, and where to find you, it needs to be responsive and easy to navigate or they'll lose interest. Does your website look good on all screen sizes? Over half of all websites are viewed on a mobile device, and those that aren't optimized for mobile show up lower in search results. Build an engaging, mobile-friendly website so you don't miss over half of your possible customer base.
- Offer online booking. These days, a lot of consumers prefer to make appointments online instead of over the phone. Alongside your phone number and email address, an appointment booking system will make it easier for more prospective customers to set appointments. After booking, appointment reminders in the days beforehand will reduce the number of no-shows and downtime in the shop.
- Accept multiple payment methods. As businesses across the world continue to accept payments of all kinds, consumers are becoming less likely to carry cash. Allowing payments with credit cards, debit cards, or digital wallets and offering payment plans for big repairs will pay off down the road. The easier you make it for your customers to do business with you, the more likely they are to return.
- Send the right message. Constant, real, personalized communication is key. A simple "thank you" distinguishes you in the minds and hearts of your customers. Owner's workshops, rewards programs, referral programs, and seasonal specials are also good ways to attract and retain customers.
- Tell them what you offer. Do you fix check engine lights, specialize in high-mileage vehicles, or include complimentary inspections on every vehicle? Does your waiting area have free coffee and Wi-Fi? Communicate these key points regularly or customers might overlook your auto shop services in the future.
How a single e-commerce platform serves your auto shop.
If you thought it was complicated servicing modern cars and trucks, it's even more complicated getting them into your service bays. Gone are the days when mass media ads and word of mouth were enough to spur a steady influx of customers. In fact, there's no reason you can't start implementing a few successful auto shop service marketing plan steps right now, but do you really have to do it alone?
Developing content on several social media, website, and financial services platforms might seem like a challenge, but the right tools can make it easier to adopt a cohesive marketing plan. Imagine if everything were rolled into a single and complete package. An e-commerce platform ties everything neatly together, helping customers to find you, book appointments, pay for services, and stay in contact. With a single login on any device, you can track your marketing efforts, communicate better with your customers, manage your reputation, and grow your business.