These days, it’s more important than ever to ensure your auto shop can stand out from the competition. A whopping 75% of all aftermarket auto repairs are handled by independent shops, meaning your customers have more than a few options to choose from when they need these services.
Fortunately, your shop can take action to succeed in this crowded field. Especially by using modern technology, you can create a more convenient and straightforward experience for the people you work with. If you’re wondering how to run a successful automotive repair shop, here are five best practices for attracting new customers and retaining your current clientele.
A robust online experience for your customers is crucial, but you can’t afford to neglect the physical side of your business. Even if customers can schedule appointments online and get reminders via text, they will eventually have to visit you in person for auto shop services.
Lay out your garage efficiently to make life for your techs as easy as possible. This will help them work efficiently and provide quick, high-quality customer service.
When you’re planning to rework your shop’s layout, make sure to:
Any successful auto repair shop needs a healthy marketing strategy — and in the 21st century, you’ll need to go beyond traditional TV or print ads. While social media and search advertising are solid options, SMS text messaging is one of the best digital marketing platforms available today. Believe it or not, text messages have an open rate of 99% (and 97% of texts are read within 15 minutes).
Better yet, you can use text messaging for many different marketing needs, ranging from advertising new discounts to reminding customers that they have an appointment coming up. Sending this many texts manually would be much too time-consuming, so find a digital marketing platform that allows you to schedule and automate text messages in advance.
Right now, it’s not uncommon to see auto shops adding tablets and other technologies to their front-end operations. And while these advances can undoubtedly improve the customer experience, their impact on shops can easily go beyond that.
Consider adding tablets to your workflow to enjoy:
Today’s auto shop software can improve efficiency by simplifying your shop’s scheduling process. Ideally, you’ll want to find scheduling software that integrates with your existing POS system, provides notes functionality, and includes high-quality customer service and training from the company providing it — all of which AutoVitals can deliver.
Despite these perks, switching from the traditional auto shop scheduling board to an online scheduling system can be difficult for some technicians. To maximize buy-in across your workforce, be willing to communicate clearly with employees while focusing on the advantages this technology offers.
While most of these best practices focus on improving your auto shop in one way or another, it’s also wise to enhance your web presence. It’s no exaggeration to say most of your customers will see your website well before they visit you in person. Anywhere from 70 – 80% of people research businesses online before choosing them for the products or services they need.
Ideally, your auto shop website should feature:
To adopt all the best practices listed here, you’ll need access to a whole fleet of auto shop services. Web design, digital vehicle inspections, workflow management, and digital marketing all fall under the same umbrella of digital solutions for auto shops. However, these are all very different services — and you may assume that means finding separate providers to help you with each one.
The good news is that your auto shop can get all these services and more by partnering with AutoVitals. As the one and only complete Shop Success Solution behind profitable growth for independent auto repair companies, AutoVitals can boost your shop’s ARO while making things easier than ever for your employees and customers. Explore the services provided by AutoVitals by scheduling a demo today!