One of our most successful auto repair website design is for Al's Auto Care in Brick, NJ. A replacement for a cookie cutter website from a well-known auto repair marketing company that just wasn't working. The owner, Chris, was frustrated by a long-term decrease in car-counts even after trying every type of auto repair marketing available. With a little assistance from Robert Maxim Website Solutions he identified his website as the weak link in his auto repair marketing. What he needed was a focal point for all his marketing that would communicate the rich history and fabulous reputation of his business and pull together his great online reputation. As Chris said "it's the web site that compels them to call us!"
More Than Just a Website
The decision to create a high quality auto repair website was based on Chris's observation that marketing response actually DECREASED when their old website went online! Chris recognized that even though his marketing efforts were increasing hits on the website, proof that his advertising was working and prospective new customers were checking his company out, the new customers just weren't phoning. The conclusion was that his website was not giving people a good impression of his business and basically turning them away. He needed a website that would communicate the professionalism, highly skilled technicians, and customer trust that his company had built up over the previous 40+ years.
The Story Makes It Work
Robert Maxim Website Solutions worked with Chris to create an auto repair website design that truly represented their business image, tells the story of their lengthy and interesting business history, presents an informative marketing message about their great service, and provides interactive customer relationship tools that encourage people to contact them. And we succeeded spectacularly if the results so far are an indication!
The new website went online November 26th, 2011. Due to the website using the latest Web Standards in its high quality construction and our track record of producing high quality websites, Google fully indexed the new website within 48 hours. The new website immediately showed an improvement in traffic and new customer conversions. Not only was there an increase in the time people spent viewing the website (an indication they were finding what they wanted), but the phone started to ring!
Here is some feedback that Chris provided just three weeks after the website went online:
Wanted to give you some feedback on the web site. The phone is ringing and tow trucks are trying to fill our lot with busted cars... my service writer thinks I am a genius, lol.
The web site and other internet efforts have made things very, very busy, it looks like we may double our Dec 2010 sales, and 2010 Dec was not so bad!
We have already done more in Dec 2011 (as of Dec 18th) than all of Dec 2010 combined.
I thank you for doing such a fine job and for your passion and understanding. Customers are telling us constantly about the web site, all positives!
I know there is still more to been done, and I look forward to future. A change from last year this time, I was suffering declining car counts and felt like I was failing at my job, and I was....
Hope your Christmas is a good one, you have certainly helped make ours merry!!
Thanks Chris and the Crew @ Al's Auto Care
Why The Website Works
And some more from Chris a few days later after I asked about why he thought the website was working so well:
"I have been doing marketing for the shop for the last 17 years, and have tried any and everything, most things were not very effective. Direct mail WAS very good but always expensive, and got more expensive and less effective each and every time we did it, until finally around 3 years ago I stopped doing it altogether, that produced one thing: even less cars.
In June of this year I put my mind to this issue and asked myself this one question: 'How do I find services?' The answer was easy: GOOGLE!! I love Google and Amazon.
So I began to study Google, claimed my places page and realized that 'reviews' were the key to how I chose what businesses I used, so I asked some clients to give me a Google review.
I then set out to place my business in every directory that Google placed on the key word pages that I searched. I made sure Al's was in every web directory I could find, and I am still doing it, takes a lot of time!
Next was using Adwords, that helped some. Recently I opened an Adwords Express account as well, and that really made a noticeable difference.
I believe it's the web site that Compels them to call us!
And yes I am now working so much at the shop I am behind in my web site stuff! Thank you!!"
Bad Economy You Say?
And some more feedback on January 25th, exactly 2 months after the new website went online:
Yeah I finally got positive feedback yesterday, from THE Boss, my wife! Since May (2011), when I began working on my web presence, she has been critical of the amount of time I have spent on the computer, NOT understanding the amount of work it would take to get us rank Highly...
Yesterday a new client asked my wife if "we had a relative who worked for Google" because she saw us all over the searches she did... :))
And yes its been busy at the shop, this may be the busiest January ever, in 17 years. Bad economy??"
People still need to get their vehicles repaired. Sure there may be fewer of them but there is still a lot of auto repair business out there. The difference between the auto repair shops who thrive and the shops who will die is marketing. And effective marketing requires a specialized auto repair website that creates a 'trust factor' that converts people into loyal, long term customers.
Proof In The Feedback
The feedback provided by Chris is strong evidence that having a website that truly represents who and what you are is essential. For any business a website is now THE “focal point” that supports ALL marketing. It is THE most important part of your marketing bar none! If you don't have a website that can convince people you are the “type” of business they want to do business with, AND run by people worthy of their trust, no amount of advertising will help you. In fact, as Chris found out, having a poor website can be worse than having no website at all!
New Shopping Process
Just think of the process people use to check out any business they are interested in. First, they find out about your business from advertising or a “friend's” recommendation. Second, they do an online search for your business name. Then they check out your website (your website should have the number one spot for any search on your business name... or your website has SERIOUS problems). If they like what they see on your website, they then search for reviews or what other people are saying about your business. If your “social reputation”, or what people are saying about you, matches the “feeling” they get from your website there is very high likelihood they will contact you. If your website has done a good job you don't have to “sell” them as they should be already convinced you are what they need!
Everyone is now using the web to check out what they want to buy. No matter how you connect with people it is what they find on the web that will convince them they should do business with you. And, as Chris at Al's Auto Care found out, a website is the key element in connecting you with new customers and a successful auto repair marketing plan.