If you’re a mechanic or auto body shop owner, you know how important it is to retain customers and offer the best service. This is especially important for individually owned auto shops that have to compete against chains like Valvoline and Jiffy Lube.
To make your auto shop stand out among the rest, you need to make your shop the best in town. Below, you’ll find out tips and tricks on how to bring your shop to the next level.
Invest in the right tech, tools, and equipment
You don’t want to fall behind just because you’re still using outdated tools and equipment to service the cars of your customers. To get ahead of the curve, make sure you invest in the right tech, tools, and equipment to improve efficiency and quality. Some items every auto shop needs to invest in include:
- Invoicing software, to book customers, complete invoices, and take care of your finances
- Air compressor for paint jobs, inflating tires, and powering grinders and sanders
- Repair procedures, for collecting OEM collision repair information to expedite the repair process
- Inventory software to keep track and manage all of your moving parts and assets
- Work order software to keep track of progress, and collect and analyze data
- Glass removal tools to remove windshields and windows safely
- Code reader to read and identify error codes
Offer clear and competitive pricing
Many consumers are skeptical of going to auto body shops. They fear they’re going to get swindled and end up shelling out hundreds of dollars when all they wanted was an oil change. To earn your customers’ trust, be upfront about your pricing, and be competitive.
Rather than saying, “call for a quote,” list on your website how much common auto repairs and maintenance will cost, such as oil changes, tire rotations, brake replacements, and so forth. Being honest with your pricing will go a long way and ensure customers that they chose the right auto shop.
Up your marketing game
As with any business, you need to market your shop in order to grow your brand and reach a broader audience. Rather than posting an online ad claiming your auto body shop offers the best service in the area, find unique ways to increase foot traffic to your shop. Some marketing ideas for auto body shop owners include:
- Offering coupons, discounts, and package deals to new and existing customers to increase the likelihood of them coming in. For example, you can offer a free car wash with an oil change or a buy three get one free deal for first time tire buyers.
- Provide loyalty cards to returning customers where they can receive one free oil change after getting ten.
- Create an email campaign and send newsletters, product information, and updates about your shop
- Send reminders to clients to post reviews to your site about your service
- Ramp up your website’s local SEO to make it more visible online
- Provide gift cards to customers who refer new customers
Harness the power of social media
Another aspect of marketing is using social media. In the digital age we currently live in, social media can be a powerful tool to make your auto shop stand out among the rest. Using a social media management tool, you’ll be able to connect with customers, post photos and information about your shop, and respond to any feedback.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all powerful platforms that can bring your shop to the next level. You can create contests, raffles, and challenges to promote our brand or provide educational material to further connect with your community.
Creating a YouTube channel is another option worth considering. With YouTube, you can post videos to inform your audience. For example, you can create a video that teaches users how an engine works and all the critical parts, or a “how-to” video on how to change a tire if you’re stuck on the side of the road.
Hire the best mechanics
Lastly, you want to make sure you have the best mechanics money can buy. No one wants to get their car repaired only to find out the problem they went to get fixed resurfaced again. When searching for the best maintenance team, use a job recruiting site and post a thorough job description that highlights all the qualifications, auto shop skills, and experience a candidate needs. This will ensure you have the most certified staff working on your customers’ cars.
Making your auto body shop the best in town can be achieved with a few simple steps. While it won’t happen overnight, working on your customer service, investing in modern tools and equipment, and marketing your shop will help bring more customers through your door.