How To Stand Out In The Automotive Industry
Automotive services are essential to every community - from repair work to car washes, to MOT and servicing – especially as many drivers are now choosing to repair and maintain existing vehicles over the years, rather than purchasing new ones.
With already more than 40,000 motor garages in the UK, it can be hard to differentiate. And reports by IBIS World have forecast a steady stream of continued growth in the industry over the next five years too. But with some time, planning, and a little imagination, you can still stand out in your market, and continue to successfully gain new customers and keep them coming back.
Here are some of our top tips on how to stand out:
Delivering an outstanding customer experience is integral to any customer facing service. AndChec one of the best ways to ensure this – and to stand out as one of the best in the business - is to keep your customers well informed at every stage of the trade, from booking appointments to receiving status updates on the job.
This can be done through a variety of channels, including phone calls, SMS messages, and emails, depending on what works best for your business and your clients. But whichever you choose, they’re sure to appreciate the transparency and personal consideration.
Using notification software, such as Callr or Text Marketer, can make communication even easier. These programmes can send messages to your customers for you, quickly and consistently, and allow them to respond directly.
Go The Extra Mile
Giving your customers something extra when they work with you can make you far more memorable as a business, and add value to your service too.
One example could be offering free tea and coffee, or a read of current newspapers and magazines whilst customers are waiting for their vehicles on site. It’s a small touch, but it’ll make all the difference in making your customer experience just that much more comfortable.
Another suggestion could be to surprise customers by washing vehicles after they’re serviced which - considering the smiles on their faces when their clean car is driven out from the garage - doesn’t take too long, and doesn’t cost a lot either.
You could also consider offering your customers free branded merchandise items too. This will, of course, cost a little more; but handing out bumper stickers, air fresheners, or magnets with your company name on can work both as an added customer benefit, and as a form of extended promotion for you too.
Get On The Grid
Networking can work wonders for getting out there and making a name for your company. A great way to do this can be to cross-promote with other nearby related businesses, such as car dealerships, driving schools, or any relevant events that may be passing through town. With them, you can run joint promotions, such as a 10% discount on MOT servicing if the vehicle was bought at your partnered dealership.
This can also be a useful opportunity to learn from other small businesses and see how they’re engaging with the local consumer market too.
Another effective way of getting on the grid is to register with Google My Business; which is not only quick and easy to set up, but free too! This will index your business as a location, so it will appear in a customers’ search engine results if they are close by.