You are here

Decrease Your Auto Repair Marketing Budget

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have you been throwing lots money at auto repair advertising with dismal results? Business growth has stalled? Here are five simple questions you can ask your customers that will save you auto repair shop advertising money and build customer referrals.

Stop Doing That!

Some say the key to business success is finding out what works and do more of it. Sounds simple but it is MORE important to find out what is NOT working and stop doing that! One of the easiest ways to find out what does and doesn't work is to just ask your customers. They know what they like and what turns them off.

Ask Your Customer

Most auto shop managers avoid asking their customers what they think about their products or services. I often hear the comment “why go looking for trouble?” But this bury your head in the sand mindset seriously limits business potential and opportunities to stay ahead of your competition. If given the chance your customers will tell you how you are doing.

Just Ask Them

It is very rare that a customer does not want to participate and provide feedback. But you need to be proactive and ask them. And you need to make it easy. A customer satisfaction survey on your website can make asking feedback questions simple for both the them and you.

Its All Good

Positive or negative customer feedback is very valuable. Be brave! If your service is not meeting customer expectations then get busy and fix the problems. There is no excuse for bad service. If your doing a great job then leverage your happy customers into referrals of new customers. Personal recommendations are far more successful than spending big money advertising to strangers. And referrals usually bring in higher quality customers!

The most important question you can ask is whether or not a customer will recommend your business. If they are pleased enough to recommend you, you can be assured of their repeat business and much easier (less expensive) access to new customers.

Top Five Questions

My top five customer satisfaction questions (and why you need to ask them):

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to refer a friend or colleague to us, where 1 is ‘Not Likely’ at all and 10 is ‘Extremely Likely’?

This is THE most important question you can ask your customers. If they are not willing to recommend you to their friends your business is just not going to grow without spending a HUGE amount on advertising. This number, your Net Performer Score (NPS), can be viewed as a good indicator of the health of your business.

This net promoter score can be used to gage the loyalty of a customer relationship. The score indicates if your customer is a strong referral source. Customers are categorized into one of three groups: Promoters (9-10 rating), Passives (7-8 rating), and Detractors (0-6 rating). Promoters can be easily encouraged to provide referrals resulting in a very successful auto repair marketing effort.

2. What is one thing we do really well for you?

This question provides two key pieces of information: what is important to your best customers; and what you need to focus on to ensure that you continue to meet their expectations. The answer to this question also provides clues to why you are better than your competitors. This gives you an opportunity to exploit these strong points in your marketing. Use answers to this question to improve your customer service and to make sure that you keep delivering on your strengths.

3. How did you hear about us?

This question tells you which of your auto repair marketing methods are working. You MUST know the Return On Investment (ROI) of every marketing dollar you spend. If your new customers are coming from word-of-mouth referrals you should make it as easy as possible for them to refer you and stop spending on advertising that doesn't work!

4. What is your main reason for doing business with us?

Understanding customer motivation allows you to improve the marketing of your services to existing and potential customers. This question will point out the main reasons customers choose you and allow you to more accurately target your auto repair marketing.

5. Is there anything we could we do better?

Don't allow your weaknesses to be your competitors' advantage! It is common knowledge that business owners don't like customer surveys due to negative feedback. Yet this question provides some of the most valuable information your customers can give you! You need to know your service failures or weaknesses so you can fix them and prevent competitors from using them against you. With the ease and power of online reviews you MUST resolve any negative customer feelings and protect your online auto repair shop reputation.

Bottom Line

Any feedback about your business is valuable in the goal to improve customer service and built a sustainable business. These five customer satisfaction survey questions can help you create an auto repair shop marketing plan that has a balance of strategies for attracting new customers as well as retaining existing clients. From these questions you will get a clear idea what areas you need to improve in your service and what things you need to keep doing.


About The Author

Doug Fentiman is an auto repair shop website marketing specialist and owner of Robert Maxim Website Solutions. He provides an inexpensive, easy to use, website based marketing system that is designed from the ground up for automotive repair shops. Doug helps shop owners build profitable businesses by attracting quality customers.

Copyright©2015 by Doug Fentiman. All rights reserved under USA, Canadian, and International law.