No matter what type of automotive business you own, you know customers won’t come to you for service unless they know you’re there. How you market your services and products plays a leading role in your shop's visibility and the number of customers that end up walking through your doors.
Whether you’ve already got a strong customer base or you really need to boost sales, trying out new marketing tactics can work wonders for bringing in new business.
Learn about marketing strategies every auto shop can implement to attract customers and increase sales.
1. Send Service Reminders Via Text or Email
Collect data from your customers (email addresses and mobile numbers) so you can send out personalized reminders when their vehicles are due for routine service. Personalizing the customer experience is important in any business, and auto shops are no exception.
Unfortunately, individualized, targeted messaging is often neglected in the automotive service industry, but that doesn’t mean you must follow suit!
Stand out from your competitors by sending:
● Text or email alerts about seasonal specials (tire changes before winter, A/C tuneups before summer, etc.)
● Discounted shop service with the purchase of an additional service (purchase a tuneup and get a $15 oil change)
● A free service with the purchase of another service
● Limited-time dollar or percentage discounts on specific services or products
When (or if) you decide to sell your automotive business, personalized communication with an existing, loyal customer base can be a very attractive selling point.
2. Send Out an Email Newsletter
If you’re gathering customer information for sending out text and email alerts, why not use the emails you capture to start sending out a targeted monthly newsletter?
It doesn’t have to be extensive, but you can use an email newsletter to alert customers to:
● New or upcoming services you’ll be offering
● New products in the shop
● Special discounts or promotions on products and services
You can use a written form to get your customers’ email addresses, or you can opt to use Wi-Fi marketing to gather them. Offering free wifi in your auto shop can encourage customers to spend more time in your establishment, and you can also target them in-store with wifi-based promotions while they wait for service.
3. Create Helpful Videos
Few vehicle owners have an in-depth understanding of their automobiles, and you can help prospective and existing customers by creating and posting informational videos online. If your auto shop has a website (it should!), you can embed them there or post them to a YouTube channel if that’s your preference.
Regardless of where you upload your video content, it’s an excellent way to provide helpful information about necessary vehicle services and capture an audience's attention.
4. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Mobile web searches have exceeded desktop searches since 2015. So if your automotive business’s existing website isn’t optimized for mobile, you need to address that pronto.
Today, mobile and desktop search results are separate, so when customers search for automotive service businesses on their phones, they’ll see results in the mobile index first. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t be anywhere near the top of the mobile index, if it’s even in there at all.
When it comes time to sell your automotive business, having a mobile-optimized site can make your shop a more attractive option to prospective buyers. Since they won’t have to address site optimization after they purchase, that’s one less thing they’ll need to do to strengthen the shop’s visibility in the local market.
5. Create a Subscription Service Plan
From auto shops that perform routine maintenance to car washes, creating a subscription service plan can be an excellent way to incentivize repeat business. This type of plan typically offers discounted routine services on a subscription, which allows customers to spread out their service payments over an extended period.
Once you get customers on the plan and pay a subscription fee, they’ll continue returning to your shop for all their future service needs.
6. Go Digital With Your Signage
Implementing digital signage in your auto shop is a great way to capture customers’ attention and provide valuable information while they wait for their vehicles to be serviced.
Many customers are skeptical of auto service businesses and are worried about being overcharged or sold a service they don’t need. Providing valuable in-shop information via a digital medium is an excellent way to build trust.
7. Put More Focus On Community Involvement
When it's all said and done, your community will do business with people they trust, know, and like, so finding ways to affiliate yourself with local organizations can help.
A few steps to invest in are:
● Helping out with community service
● Advertising and participating in local events like parades
● Being part of the local Chamber of Commerce
● Sponsorship for children's sports teams
● Having a charity event and donating a portion of the proceeds to a cause
● Promoting other businesses offering car clinics to help educate customers
8. Send Print Flyers to Residents in Your Area
Flyers are another excellent source for gaining attention to your automotive business, and if you haven't tried this traditional method, now might be a great time. The flyers are delivered directly to your communities mailboxes, giving them a hands-on advertising experience.
A professional flyer should include the following:
● A compelling headline that grabs people's attention
● Having a strong message that defines why your vehicle options are better than your competitors
● Additional content with images and eye-catching text
● Calls to action showing that you have a solution for the individual's need
● Professional design that is customized for your dealership
Looking to Buy or Sell an Automotive Business?
Buying or selling an automotive business is unlike any other transaction. All the variations and how different departments operate, relationships with manufacturers, and what defines the company's value can make it a complex process.
From understanding your business plan, having financing options in place, and what you're looking for in a business for purchase. Or if you are selling, know how to prepare your company by understanding your business valuation, having an exit plan, and understanding negotiations.
The biggest recommendation is to do thorough research and work with a broker like AutoCenter Sales because we have extensive connections in the automotive industry and are negotiation experts to get you the best deal whether you are buying or selling.
Let AutoCenter Sales Help You Close the Deal!
Whether you’re in the market to buy an auto shop or looking to sell your automotive business, the process can be a lot more complicated than you might assume. Let our team at AutoCenter Sales help you out! For over 25 years, we’ve been facilitating auto shop sales and acquisitions, and we have an extensive network of industry connections to help ensure you get the best deal possible.
To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 1-800-874-5793 or connect with us online, and we’ll be in touch!