The repair industry is changing and with more competition out there you need to make sure you are keeping up and maximising your garage’s potential. Your customers need to be able to find you and you need to make sure they choose your garage over others in the local area. We have put together some top marketing tips for you to help you market your business:
Make sure your customers can contact you
The most important thing is making sure customers can find your garage and know how to contact you. If you have a website, make sure your telephone number is visible on the home page so customers don’t have to hunt around. Ideally it shouldn’t be a mobile number as this reduces credibility, so if you don’t have a landline look at purchasing an 0800 or 0345 number that points to your mobile. Either an email address or a contact form is fine to include, but it’s important to be able to respond quickly. People are busier than ever these days, often juggling children and work and many find it easier to send a quick email rather than leave the office to make a call.
People search for garages on a lot of different websites, so it’s important to be visible in as many of them as possible.
Google is arguably the most important, as your business can appear in local searches. To make sure your business is listed, set up a Google My Business (https://www.google.co.uk/business) account. Not only will this make your garage appear in local search, it also offers a free website and domain name and the ability to see who has visited your website and how they found you.
There are a number of listings sites customers can use to find a garage in their local area. Some are free such as Yell.com and Yelp.com and others charge a fee such as www.trustmygarage.co.uk and www.bookmygarage.com. Trust is a key factor in a customer’s decision making, so take full advantage of review functionality.
Social media is a great tool for engaging locally with potential customers and making them aware that you are there, ready to help them with their vehicle repairs and maintenance. Many towns have community pages and groups on Facebook where people ask for recommendations for local services. Join these communities and offer your services whenever a relevant request comes up. Some community pages also have days they allow local businesses to advertise so make the most of these opportunities to promote your garage. Perhaps have some offers ready to attract customers and keep you top of their mind when they need a repair or require some maintenance on their car.
Create your own company page on Facebook and Twitter and encourage customers to link up with you. Here you can share offers to encourage more business and post reviews from customers to show why you stand out from your competitors.
You probably receive leaflets through your door daily for various services such as window cleaning, not to mention take-away menus. You may well throw them in the recycling for the most part, but for someone who needs a repair, service or MOT, a timely leaflet on the mat might just do the trick. For a couple of hundred pounds you can have some leaflets printed to advertise your garage. Post these to homes in the local area to increase awareness.
Connect with local dealerships
Contact larger garages and dealerships in your area to see if you can partner with them in any parts of their business. For example, when they have and excess of work they could pass some onto you and vice versa. Or if you specialise in a certain type of vehicle or repair you could offer those skills. Dealers without their own repair centre may have a list they recommend to customers which you could ask to join. They may also have a contract with specific garages for pre-sale maintenance, MOT and servicing.
In summary, spend some time identifying what you offer over and above your competitors and make sure you promote this to let everyone know why they should choose your garage for all their vehicle needs.