You have the best auto shop for 100 miles around, and everyone knows that. You have so much word-of-mouth business on your plate that you have a three-week waiting list. In fact, the only people who can drop off their cars for emergency service are close relatives. Because you’re happy with your business the way it is, and you have no desire to grow, you don’t feel the need to make changes. If that describes you and your auto shop, read no further—this article doesn’t apply to you.
But if you want or need to get the word out about your auto repair shop, acquire more customers, increase your revenue, provide more responsive service to your customers, and grow your business overall, read on to learn how an up-to-date, professional-looking website can support those goals.
Chances are that your auto repair shop already has a website, but it may be bare-bones. It’s time to change that. In today’s uber-connected world, a high-quality website with a pleasing, professional design is not a nuisance but a necessity.
Supercharging your website is surprisingly affordable and will be a growth engine for your car care company. Here are a few ways a modern, professional website will be a solution for some of your business challenges: it helps you set your business apart through branding and showcasing your strengths; it provides organic advertising; it increases customer engagement and convenience, and it drives revenue through e-commerce solutions.
Branding is all about how you want your business to be perceived. You want to keep things consistent across all points of customer contact to firmly establish what distinguishes you and your shop from the other guys. Be humble, but showcase and celebrate your strengths and unique offerings.
What should customers know about your repair shop and what kind of experience they’ll have when they bring in their cars? Do you provide shuttle service within a certain radius? Do your mechanics have a total of 100 years of experience? Are you especially knowledgeable about servicing certain makes such as Audis? Do you have a guarantee? Do you provide discounts? Are you woman- or minority-owned? Do you offer free coffee, donuts, or healthy snacks while customers wait?
And how about the worth-a-thousand-word pictures? Use them to highlight an interesting story—by nature, human beings crave stories. Facts tell, but stories sell. Share details on your website (with the client’s permission, of course) about how you went above and beyond to get customers’ cars back on the road so they could meet a time-sensitive objective.
Of course, a robust website is all about converting tire-kickers into actual customers and keeping current customers happy and secure in their decision to trust your shop with their auto repair needs. Your website can help accomplish these things by offering all-important social proof in the form of testimonials.
Written testimonials are fine. But when they’re augmented with pictures, as described above, they’re even better. Better still are videos since they engage more senses.
Sure, prospects can find reviews on Yelp or, increasingly, Google Maps. Pay attention to those reviews and respond to them. You can even lift them for inclusion on your website. However, those reviews are parked on someone else’s internet real estate and are out of your control. Make sure customers see your glowing reviews on your own piece of the Web.
If the testimonials section of your website is non-existent or anemic, make it a priority to develop it. How? Ask! You can send out a satisfaction survey and solicit comments, or you could even ask for a short video testimonial if the customer is willing. Your website builder can offer you more information on this.
Another way a website helps with your advertising is through SEO or search engine optimization. As you post relevant blog content or provide in-depth answers on knowledge hub pages to questions your target customers are asking, your shop will likely climb in the search engine rankings. That’s important because a 2014 study found that 67% of prospective customers will click only on the first five Google results, with a massive 95% of them clicking only on results from the first page.
Improving your site speed and optimizing your site for mobile can also improve your SEO. Work with your web development team to make these technical improvements to your site.
All of the website optimization ideas above will help increase customer engagement. Also, make sure you’re asking questions, listening to answers, and providing feedback. Women, who have traditionally been treated less than respectfully at many car repair shops, will especially appreciate an interactive aspect of your website. Both men and women will enjoy a seamless experience on your website. With a few clicks, they should enjoy the convenience of being able to make online appointments. Think about—and ask your customers—whether there are other things you can do to make their lives easier. For instance, how about a reminder when they’re due for an oil change?
Through e-commerce solutions, your website can open up new revenue streams for your auto repair business. How about offering gift certificates or a car care kit for the holidays? Would your customers want to sign up for a basic car care class or pre-paid oil change vouchers? Financing repairs may be another avenue worth investigating. Again, ask your customers what they’d be interested in. Their answers may surprise you.
Hopefully, you’ve now gained a better understanding of what an auto repair website with professional, cutting-edge design can do for your business. Some of these action items you can handle in-house, but for best results, you’ll want to work alongside professionals.
A professional, beautifully-designed, SEO-optimized website built just for your auto shop will help you set apart your business, ramp up customer satisfaction and convenience, steer new customers to your business, and offer monetization options. Having a professional handle your website building and design minimizes stress, maximizes results, and comes at a well-worth-it price point!
What are you waiting for? Get started with us today and move your auto repair business into turbocharged business territory!
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