How to stabilize auto repair shop car counts through better management of marketing and advertising. Increase auto repair customer acquisition and retention throughout the year. Decrease marketing spending and increase results.
Photo by KerryVaughan
To get off the car count roller-coaster you need to develop a 12 month auto repair marketing and advertising plan. This will help increase auto repair customer retention and acquisition during slow times and prevent spending your marketing budget when it is not needed. A monthly calendar will keep you focused on implementing strategies before they are needed. It will also keep you from wasting your marketing budget during times it is not needed. Even if you can't afford all the planned advertising at least you have a plan that can be modified and followed throughout the year. This will reduce spending when it is not need and get the jump on filling in those slack times.
Work on a precise, detailed auto service marketing plan. Advertising is all about delivering a message. You need to decide WHO that message goes to, what the MESSAGE is, and HOW you are going to deliver it. Build a profile of your best customers and find out how to reach them. Research what they like to do, where they shop, where they play, or where they eat. Build a database, experiment and test. Every piece of advertising should be tracked and measurable. This way you can identify what works and what doesn't. Different ad sizes, colors, layouts are all changeable and testable.
Better Advertising Pricing
When you plan ahead you can often negotiate better advertising pricing. Don't be pushed into bulk, blanket discounts that will be wasted during times when you don't need the advertising. Be selective and only purchase advertising that can be used when you need it. Sometimes it is less expensive to purchase advertising just for the times it will benefit you.
No $$$ Marketing
And remember not all advertising needs to cost you cash. Have some service reminder recall lists so your service advisers can telephone customers who are due for a service. Also have a recommended service recall list to ask for that work suggested on previous work orders. Most service advisers don't like making cold calls but it works. Maybe make a contest out of it by offering a $100 cash for the service adviser that sells the most from their recall list every week.
Repetition and Consistency
When your shop is busy you should have already anticipated this and cut back on advertising spending – but don't completely stop! One of the golden rules of advertising is repetition and consistency. Keep running that small ad in the local paper, or wherever you get results, to keep your awareness in people's mind. You will never be able to match the peaks and valleys perfectly but you will get better over time.
Improved management of automotive service marketing will decrease auto repair shop advertising costs and stabilize auto repair shop car counts. Auto repair customer acquisition and retention can be achieved through better targeted advertising. You don't have to spent dollars to get marketing results. And no matter how desperate finances get do not stop marketing. Plan ahead for success.