How Auto Shop Software Quickly Turns New Customers into Friends…
Loyal Clients Who Refer Their Friends
Auto shop software turns new customers into friends easier and faster than ever before. Many auto repair shop owners are turning their shop management software into an innovative strategic marketing tool because they know that loyal clients are more likely to refer their friends to a shop where they have a relationship.
Until the recent development of automated, direct, customer contract and “drip marketing” programs, the process of turning new customers into loyal customers could take months to years.
In the past, automotive repair centers relied on time to build relationships that turned new customers into friends. Because of the extended service intervals on today’s vehicles, the need to visit an auto repair shop is becoming less and less frequent. This means it could take several months or even years to develop the degree of customer loyalty necessary for customers to freely refer their friends and family to a particular auto repair shop.
Thanks to automated programs like those offered by companies like Kukui and Demand Force, the process can be dramatically shortened. In fact, in many cases, brand new customers will refer their friends and relatives after taking their vehicle in for just one actual shop visit.
When you combine an outstanding auto repair shop experience with an immediate and ongoing follow up contact campaign, many consumers feel a special bond much more quickly than in the past.
What are follow ups?
A follow up can be in the format of a phone call, a txt message, a series of emails and of course lets not forget cards sent by mail.
How Will Using Marketing Follow Ups Help My Business?
Contacting your customers within the first week of their service will instantly set you apart from most shops. Normally a call is best for this first contact, it is a good way to show the car owner that you stand behind your work and that you really do care that you did a good job. It will also allow you to be aware of any issues before they become a real problem.
Assuming they are happy with your work you can then text them or email them asking if they will leave you a positive review on Google/Yelp/Facebook. Reviews online are becoming more and more important to shops looking for new business, use your present customers to help you find new ones.
After that we get into the follow ups that you are probably more used to, oil change reminders and special offers can be sent periodically, Service reminders can be lined up to go out annually or maybe as often as twice a year.
How Often Should I Email?
Once you have their contact information you can reach out as often as you feel the need, you can send them information on your Charity events, you can send Christmas cards or emails. There is a definite art form in contacting people enough and with good enough deals so you stay top of their mind but not so often that they just ignore you.
The question is, “How soon and how often should the follow up contacts occur?” Here are some points to consider.
- It’s never too soon to thank someone for choosing your auto repair center out of all the other choices they could have made. This could be via phone call (as mentioned previously) or email
- While there may be a threshold in terms of how often to send follow up messages, that threshold is less of a factor if what you send them is relevant, interesting, brief and on point.
- Consistency is more important than frequency. Send out follow up messages on a regular basis.
- Always offer the recipients the option to opt in and opt out of the follow up campaign (this is the law and carries large fines if you do not do it) as well as providing a way to modify the frequency or types of follow ups they desire.
- Consider offering the client the opportunity to provide feedback about their auto repair experience directly to you, make sure that any emails you receive are read and replied to. When they interact, it becomes a more “sticky” experience and you’ll be more top of mind when they or their friends need your service.
- Always ask them to tell their friends and family about you if they’re happy, but to tell you if they’re dissatisfied in some way.
Manual or Automation?
Making that initial follow up call is something only you can arrange. Some shops will get a simple list of every customer who was in the week before and have someone/anyone call them. This is because it can be time consuming to dial 20/30/40 or more people and Service Writers and shop owners are always busy.
Wouldn’t you like to hear of problems right from the horses mouth? Do you think a junior on minimum wage cares more about your clients and has the ability to manage the interaction with them better than you or one of your service writers?
We all make time to talk to people who bring their car in the front door, it makes sense to talk to them after we have done the job and show them you really care.
However, after that initial call, automation is the way to go. Imagine how much time it would take to email every one of your clients individually! You know when you are doing oil change or service specials, you know the time until their next annual inspection and you know when they may need an air con or anti freeze top up.
Auto Shop Software by Profitboost seamlessly integrates with Kukui who offer services far beyond simple email and text follow ups. Turning the data you put into the system into
Because it’s easy to use, it will be used consistently. This is how Auto Shop Software quickly turns new customers into friends – loyal clients who refer their friends.