Do you enjoy your auto repair advertising? Does it get your juices flowing thinking about writing another phonebook check? And what about those coupons? How fantastic are they?! I can just see the smile on your face as you think about paying some random company for the pleasure of losing money on each car coming through your bay!
Let me guess – there are not a lot of things making you want to skip off to the shop these days. And why should there be? Most customers seem angry, ignorant or price shopping… you have a gaggle of technicians needing constant monitoring… and to make matters worse you just found out that “Golden Newspaper Campaign” you fell in love with is really going to cost $3,500 a month!
Situations like these make me understand why so many repair professionals have a perpetual dent in their office doors… right at head level. So what’s the fix? You could throw money at it, but when you’re expecting to see a 4/1 ROI and you’re seeing 0/Massive, what would be the point?
The fix is actually easier than you may think.
Auto Repair Advertising Win #1: What Happens When Your Customer Calls?
This can be a cheap fix, and is frequently the most overlooked advertising solution by the majority of small business owners. Who picks up your phone? If they don’t sound intelligent, if they’re not warm and friendly, or if they’re a machine… kiss that new business good by!
Try playing a customer, call your own shop and see what happens. If you find your location lacking in certain phone finesse it may be time for some new tactics and training.
FYI: Do you have an answering machine or service? If not you should get one. Your customers are calling and not having the ability to leave a message is one of the biggest pains ever. (This pain is closely followed by NOT getting a return call!)
Auto Repair Advertising Win #2: What Do You Offer?
Advertising is expensive enough, but what makes it even more costly is not offering something people want. Think about it – if you’re sending out postcards telling the world about something nobody even needs how solid do you think your return will be?
Your quick fix is to ask your customers. Next time you’re chatting with someone pick their brains as to what would make them want to come back. Ask lots of those questions to lots of those people. You’ll be amazed what you discover!
Asking what people want and then selling it to them is the most fundamental form of business! Don’t guess. You don’t have to. They may not know right off the top of their heads, but if you start to ask questions, probe a bit, you’ll begin uncovering the truth.
Auto Repair Advertising Win #3: Your Website Looks Like What?!?!
You are online to get the word out. Right? You want that violent majority of local consumers thinking of you when they dance the Google… Yes? Let’s say they find you – what does your website offer?
You should have information ready to go when your customer comes clicking. Check your page… now look at your phonebook ad… now check your page… now look at your phonebook ad… do they look similar?
Remember: “normal people” neither know, nor want to know anything about their cars. The only time a person, outside of an auto enthusiast, cares about their vehicle is when it’s broken! Then what they drive becomes the sole focus of their universe.
Please also keep most of those ‘normies’ see auto repair as being ‘shrouded in mystery’. So if they do find you online… if you’re not Johnny-On-The-Spot with the info they may just click over to your competitors.
Auto Repair Advertising Win #3.5: (Bonus Round!) If you’re looking to cut down on your advertising budget, maybe trim some fat, but are worried about losing potential customers I have 2 places where you can start the cutting…
3.5 A – Get Out Of The Phonebook! It’s decreased in readership to a degree which makes it totally useless. And now with the availability of inexpensive, and vastly more effective online tools, continuing this spending is just like flushing the toilet.
3.5 B – Stop Using Massive Newspaper Ads! Like the phonebook, newspapers have decreased in readership to the tune of about 86%+.
Auto Repair Advertising Wining Game Plan: Put The Whole Thing Together
When you choose to implement these ideas it should look something like this:
Dropping the phonebooks saves you money –> Money saved is used towards answering machine and customer service training for reception –> the new business generated by having a ‘friendly front end’ allows you to ask more customers what they would like from your shop –> by paying attention to what they say, you not only improve your advertising offers, but you’re also able to improve your Internet presence… and in less than 3 months you dominate your local market and open a national chain…
Okay, the last part was a bit much, but it’s not too far fetched once you start to realize effective advertising doesn’t always have to cost a fortune. In fact, if you would like some other ideas, I’m offering Free Online Courses which you may find interesting. (Just click the link the bio box below)