Times have changed. In the past, a local auto repair shop has a cult following from the residents. Everyone goes to the same repair shop with nary a thought to new ones that pop up in the area. Today, there’s a growing trend among auto repair shops. They’re not the usual messy, dirty, and greasy places of the past. They are now concerned about their aesthetics. It almost feels like you’re stepping into a new-era coffee shop. These auto repair shops are Instagrammable, and they cater to the new generation of car owners—the Millennials and Generation Z.
But aside from the shift in customers, there has also been a growth in competition. Auto repair owners cannot deny this. If you are not ready to expand your business and make sure that you are at par with these competitions, you are going to close shop much sooner than your retirement age.
Add More Services to Your Offer
The reason that you are losing to your competitors is because they are offering more than what you can do for your customers. People will always prefer businesses that can do more for them. They want a one-stop-shop for their car needs. If you’re only offering to look under the hoods of their cars, you are not giving them that extra service that they need. When clients go to your repair shop, they want a full range of car services.
What else can you offer them aside from repairing their car engines? You can offer auto detailing and restoration of car headlights. These are the most popular concerns car owners have about their vehicles’ exterior. Stop scratching your head about what you’re missing. The truth is right under your nose. Customers need more from you, and that means expanding your services to cater to all types of car owners and car enthusiasts.
There are no two ways about it. The business world is dependent on the Internet. If you do not have an online presence, forget about your business competing with others. You will be gone in a flash. A simple website and a couple of social media pages will get you right back on track. Put some time in establishing your presence on the web. Make sure you are engaging with your potential customers and the present ones, of course.
Invest in Content Marketing
Gone are the days when all auto repair shops needed to do was to hand out flyers to passersby. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a dominant force on the Internet. You cannot advertise or promote a business without optimizing your content for the web. SEO will get your web page on top of the search results. Why does it matter? More than 70% of web users will click on the first few links they find on Google’s search results.
Be Active in the Local Community
Auto repair shops are community businesses. Do you know what that means? It means your business is part and parcel of a local community. You are one of those household names that get mentioned when there’s a problem with your neighbors’ cars. They are comfortable with you because you belong in the community. But lately, it has been more challenging to connect with the community because of the competition on social media. Make it a point to join community projects and programs. Your community needs to know that you contribute to its growth.
Incentivize Referrals by Your Present Customers
As with any business, you should start incentivizing customers who refer others to your shop. It is the best form of advertisement no matter what industry you are in. More than 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations and reviews from friends and acquaintances. Word-to-word recommendation has a higher trust rating than advertisements and promotions. So, if you want to see a return on investment from your marketing budget, you need to invest it in your current customers.
Develop a Unique Brand
Auto repair shops have a hard time separating themselves from their industries. People see car repair shops similar to each other. What other offers can you make to be a standout? While there is no such thing as a perfect brand, you can find what works for your target market. More than the products and services, you can focus on the experience that your repair shop can provide.
There are a lot of challenges that the traditional auto repair shop must address. These challenges shouldn’t put you off in trying to grow your brand. The industry has become more competitive over the years, but it also presents fresh opportunities to make a difference.