Highly Effective Marketing Strategies — Part Two
Marketing should be at the top of a repair shop owner’s to-do list. Last time, we took a look at a couple of highly effective strategies, which should definitely be part of your formal marketing plan. Click here to read that article. Today, we’re going to look at a few more.
Examine the Appearance of the Exterior and Interior of Your Facility
Take a hard look at the appearance of your building — both inside and out. Look at the arrangement of vehicles on the lot, the cleanliness of the grounds and building, signage, colors, landscaping, fencing, and company vehicles.
Since some of your customers will likely spend a fair amount of time on the premises when they bring their cars in for service, make sure the reception and waiting areas are customer-friendly. Use a checklist like the one below as a starting point.
Reception and Waiting Area Checklist
The following checklist should help you make sure your shop’s reception and waiting areas are customer-friendly:
- Is the entry door glass clean?
- Does the area convey a feeling of openness?
- Does the interior decór make both men and women feel at home (warm colors, plants, music, etc.)?
- Is the area (including the restroom) spotlessly clean?
- Are current awards/certificates and/or photos of customers with testimonials displayed?
- Are educational items posted?
- Do you display “trust” credentials and memberships (eg. AAA, ASA, ASE, BBB)?
- Are your shop’s payment options and terms clearly displayed, along with business hours?
- Is the furniture clean and comfortable?
- Do you provide meaningful amenities (business area, kids area, free WIFI, refreshments, reading materials, etc.)?
- Is the area free from excessive noise, employee traffic, and other distractions?
Evaluate Your Customer Database
Your customer base is one of your most valuable assets. If the customer and vehicle information has been accumulated and entered correctly, your database should yield valuable information regarding your customers’ driving habits and their vehicles, plus other useful information. Properly evaluated, it should provide you with answers to the following questions:
- How many customers — active and inactive — do I have?
- How many vehicles per year does each customer bring in, on average?
- How many visits to the shop does each customer make per year, on average?
- How much money does each customer spend each visit and annually, on average?
- What zip codes are my existing customers from? What about new customers?
- Which are my busiest months? My slowest?
- What is the distribution of vehicle makes of my customers?
- Which types of vehicles (cars, pickups, SUVs, etc.) am I servicing? What is the percentage of each?
Having the answers to these questions will give you enough information to move forward with setting objectives for your advertising campaigns.
Establish Advertising Objectives
A major part of your marketing plan should involve advertising. Therefore, it’s essential to establish objectives for all your advertising efforts.
For example, you may wish to focus on increasing your repeat business, reaching new customers, or getting back ones that have left. You may want to target female customers, or those new to the area. Or you may decide to promote the types of services your shop offers, or the types of vehicles you specialize in. You may want to try to increase business during traditionally slow periods. The point is, you can target your advertising better if you have clear-cut objectives.
Having determined what you want your advertising to accomplish, you’ll need to establish a budget. Check back next time when we complete our examination of the most highly effective marketing strategies, including how to establish your marketing budget.
In the meantime, enrolling in Guerrilla Shop Management is a great way to learn all about marketing for your shop and so much more! Call 800-755-0988 today, or click here to enroll!