For most auto repair shops, the daily focus is on fixing cars, not generating aggressive marketing plans. However, the auto repair industry is notoriously volatile. When the economy weakens, even faithful customers will put off bringing in their vehicles for service. Because of this, it’s a smart idea for auto repair shop owners to prepare for normal ebbs and flows by developing inbound marketing strategies for generating more cash when it’s needed.
A typical scenario is when a consumer needs auto repair service is that they pick up the phone and call your shop, and usually get placed on hold. A CNN survey showed 70 percent of callers put on hold in silence hang up within 60 seconds—of those lost customers, 35 percent won’t call back. when customers call a business—especially if their car has broken down—they’re typically not in a good mood.
What’s even worse for your business, is that customer basking in silence.When it comes to inbound marketing ideas to grow your auto repair shop, dealership, or auto parts and accessories, a quality on-hold message can help set your business apart.
Properly Brand Yourself
Most consumer have a lack of trust when it comes to automotive repair shops, and for this reason, you can change how your shop/brand is perceived by proper branding—especially through your messaging.
Your on-hold message can begin to build trust with the customer the moment you hit that hold button. You’re able to your prospects who you are, that your trustworthy, what you can do for them, your ethics and the way you go about business.
You can also include information in your messages to present your brand as a leader in automotive repair, by touting service technician knowledge and certifications, the fact that you use only OEM, warranted top quality parts, advanced diagnostic equipment, and the added peace of mind you can provide them leading warranties (eg. 3 years, 36,000 miles) etc.
“Educate Them About Your Advantages”
Sure, your on-hold marketing content can be used to educate callers about your services such as oil changes, tune-ups and axle replacements, but it also needs to emphasize what you offer the customer that sets you apart from the competition.
The customer wants to know how you will make his or her life easier, so educate the customer how you can help them get through a difficult, financially troubling time. That could mean free rides to and from work and home; free loaner cars; early bird and after-hour drop-offs; towing and more. contacts. Give the customer tangible information they can grasp and utilize.
For example: They’re calling in, they’re on hold, they’ve got soccer games for the kids this afternoon, let them know that they can ask you anytime for a free ride to and from work or home, or that you also have free loaner cars.’ Boom! You just solved a big problem for them.
Enhance the Customer Experience
Leaving somebody on hold for too long is detrimental psychologically for the customer’s perception of the business. According to a TalkTo survey, customers are less and less likely to wait the longer they’ve been put on hold. If the caller hangs-up before giving you the chance to serve not only did you lose a potential customer and a potential sale, but you’ve also lost valuable marketing dollars spent to initiate that call in the first place. This scenario is just bad all the way around.
The solution to this problem is messages on hold. Research firm Jefferson Deandrus, found when callers were presented with music on hold and messaging versus silence or a radio they would stay on hold up to three times longer giving you a chance to serve them, they were more likely to exhibit interest in products advertised, they were more likely to retain information, and they were less agitated.
When you provide a great customer experience, especially a great on hold experience, there is no doubt that it translates into revenue. How? It’s simple. Happier customers attract more customers, customers spend more when they feel valued, plus customers remain more loyal – and are less likely to stray. Focusing on the customer is never a bad investment.
Encourage On-Line Reviews
Because so many customers have had bad experiences with auto repair shops, positive online reviews can be one of the best ways to generate more business. Like with traditional word-of-mouth marketing, online reviews help potential customers feel comfortable about taking their vehicle to your shop. The more reviews that are published, the more comfortable they will feel.
You can use your on-hold messages to help influence, and encourage happy customers to leave positive feedback on Yelp, Angie’s List and other review sites. There’s a secondary benefit to generating lots of positive reviews, too. They will help you move up in search engine rankings, making your business more visible to potential customers who are researching online for a new auto repair shop.
effectively funnel people right to your front door. After all, their initial phone call is often what shapes the perception of your brand image, and in the decision making process of whether or not they will choose to do business with you.
Are you presently using on hold messaging at your auto repair shop? If so, what are some other strategies you use in your on hold marketing? We’d love to know, so drop us a line in the comments below.