June 28, 2016

Increase Customer Stickiness In Your Modern Auto Repair Shop

Most repair shop owners have felt the impact of today’s longer service intervals.  Customers that would previously visit a shop four times per year are now returning only once or twice over the same period. While these longer service intervals tend to drive up the value of individual repair orders, it’s not nearly enough to offset the loss in bay traffic. So, how can modern auto repair shops increase customer stickiness?

In the past, the secret to attracting new customers was summed up by the old adage: location, location, location. A term that once referred to the physical location of your business has evolved to what Google webpage you land on when a customer searches for nearby repair centers. It’s clear that waiting for repair jobs to walk in the door just isn’t cutting it. Nowadays, shops must focus on retaining existing customers and finding creative ways to attract new ones. Luckily, in our world of smart phones, apps, and the internet, there’s no shortage of tools you can use to stay connected to your customers:

1. Targeted Email Campaigns: Don’t let all that customer data you’ve collected gather dust! While it may seem like keeping track of all your customers, vehicles, and their preferences is a full time job in and of itself, with the right shop solution it doesn’t have to be. Repair shop apps with built in customer management tools like ShopLite can help you easily create targeted marketing campaigns to attract new customers, increase your visibility and build brand recognition.

2. Connect On Their Terms: The ubiquitous smart phone is our go-to tool for almost every task. Leverage this preference with a mobile enabled shop solution that can send service updates, notifications, reminders, and customized deals directly to your customers through today’s favorite medium.

3. Inspection Sheets: Customer loyalty isn’t arbitrary, it takes dedicated nurturing. By providing detailed inspection sheets during every customer visit you can build trust and strengthen customer relationships through transparency. When your customers know you are looking out for their best interests, they’ll be more likely to return to you for their next service and sing your praises to others. Mobile inspection sheet apps like CarCheck are even more effective, allowing you to send vehicle status reports directly to your customers.

4. Scheduled Maintenance: With today’s longer service intervals, scheduled maintenance is critical to modern repair shop profitability. Tools like ShopLite’s Visit Planner and RepairBuddy’s OE maintenance calendar can help you plan future visits, develop a healthy service cadence, and keep your bays full all year round.

The bottom line is that modern repair shops can succeed as long as they have the right tools for the job. Look, you wouldn’t use gorilla glue to seal a head gasket, so why would you use a shop management solution lacking customer outreach tools to drive bay traffic? To learn how you can cost effectively attract new customers and keep current ones loyal, check out ShopLite for repair shops.