Social media has given your customers a loudspeaker and you need to monitor what they are saying about you. The Internet provides consumers with limitless vocal power – both positive and negative. Size doesn't matter in this game. Big or small any company can have their reputation damaged by rumors, service complaints, and even malicious competitors. You need to be proactive about building a solid online reputation that can withstand the inevitable service failure complaints of everyday business operations.
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Auto Repair Marketing
Articles and writing about auto repair shop marketing.
Local search business listings in Google, Yahoo, Bing search engines are vital to auto repair service shops. The more information about your company out there, the greater chance people are going to find you. It only takes a few minutes to create a listing and where else can you get great free advertising like this!
When auto repair shop repairs fail customers react in three basic ways. In all cases there is a very high likelihood you will lose the customer. With proactive follow up communications dissatisfied customers can be uncovered, problems fixed, prevent future service failures, and if you recover well, you can prevent losing the customer.
Customers are more willing to forgive service problems if they are recommended to your auto repair shop by a friend. Are you actively asking your customers for recommendations? Robert Maxim has a number of tools to encourage personal recommendations and help build a loyal following of great customers.
Should you charge environmental fees?
It's all in the presentation
Auto repair shops spend big bucks to dispose of waste generated from repairing vehicles and it is only fair business practise to pass this expense on to the customer. However shops need to be careful how the expense is presented to their customers. Using a separate environmental fee on invoices can have a serious negative impact on the shop's reputation. Instead of highlighting your shops concern for the environment, itemized fees may make your customers feel like they're being gouged.
Power Of The Collective Voice
On-line Social Networking is a recent phenomenon that has exploded in popularity. One outcome of this new virtual community is a collection of shared consumer experiences. Participants are using these collective reviews of products and services to make informed buying decisions. Auto repair shop owners should be participating in these online communities to promote their businesses.
Be careful that uniqueness and service specialization doesn't put you out of business. If you become so specialized or unique there may not be enough customers to support your business. This may seem obvious but many operators seem to be unaware of the basics of marketing and business management.
Give them what they want
Are you worried by all the competition in the auto repair and service market? Are you losing customers to big chain and specialty shops? What is it that people are attracted to? The answer is uniqueness. Consumers are willing to pay more for what they can't get elsewhere. Are you providing what your customers want?
Are you a low price leader?
Leaders and losers
To thrive in a price driven market you need to to be a low price LEADER. Some auto repair shops know they're leaders. Some think they're leaders. Many don't know they're losers. Consumers know the difference and quickly find the leader. What are you?
A different way of thinking about advertising
Traditional auto repair shop advertising has got it all backwards. Typically you spend huge amounts of largely wasted money attempting spreading your message to everyone. If your lucky you attract a few prospects who are reluctantly interested in what you are offering. The problem is that almost everyone has become numb to the daily bombardment of hit-or-miss advertising. We just plain ignore it. Maybe what you need to do is forget trying to communicate to EVERYONE and make it easier for the TRULY INTERESTED prospects to find YOU.