How Technology Can Help Your Auto Repair Shop Gain & Retain Customers
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Posted by Paige N. on August 10, 2017 in Acuity Focus

Like almost every industry, auto repair has been disrupted by the use of technology. Vehicles are becoming more personalized, networked, and higher priced.  Many are equipped with technology that can assist a driver in the case of an accident and refer a customer to your shop based on your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) certification. According to McKinsey & Company, the number of networked cars grows 30% each year. And while cars are certainly more empowered digitally, so are your customers. They expect you to be connected to them via their communication of choice, whether that is phone, text, email, or social media. It has been reported that 50% of customers use digital devices to purchase automotive services, according to eMarketer. With the number of vehicles and customers connected to technology, how can you best leverage it to build your automotive repair business?

 

  • Consider which OEM certifications your shop should obtain. Review the benefits, such as being a candidate for a virtual referral, and return on investment for each certification. Luckily, some automakers have been trying to sync up their requirements to make it more cost effective for shops to participate in multiple certification programs.
  • To gain business from OEMs and customers alike, you need to have an updated web page with reviews tied to your social media pages. This will get you closer to the top of web search results. What does updated mean?  Here are a few tips:
    • Ask your customers to write reviews of your services online.  When OEMs look for repair shops as a referral for a customer after an accident, they look for shops with credible, positive reviews. Link the reviews to your social media pages.
    • Make the information on your webpage relatable by focusing on being inclusive, showing both men and women customers. Highlight your employees and community on your web page.
    • Fill in all the contact information on your Facebook page, including email address, phone number, street address, and a description of your services. Make sure this information is also on your website.
    • Post interesting articles on your social media pages.  While running specials or offering coupons online is great, also incorporate other articles—and not just about your business. Tips for vehicle safety or gearing up for summer road trips are always a good place to start.
  • Keep your customers connected while their cars are being repaired.  Walk a customer through the repair process beforehand, and then keep them up to date on where you are in the process through email alerts, text messages, or social media notifications.  These types of communications help your customer feel engaged in the process and can help alleviate any unexpected costs at the end of the process.

 

Technology can provide your auto repair shop many opportunities to connect with customers on a more personal basis while offering them superior service and peace of mind.

 

References:

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/10/14/how-technology-is-disrupting-the-auto-repair-busin?slreturn=1499282339

http://www.eliteworldwide.com/social-media-tips-for-auto-repair-shops.html

http://www.searchautoparts.com/aftermarket-business/opinion-commentary-distribution/achieving-maintaining-oem-certifications-will-b

http://www.autobodynews.com/index.php/john-yoswick/item/13196-shop-owners-share-the-pros-and-cons-of-getting-oem-certified.html

Yoswick, Jon.  A Volatile Redundancy.  AutoInc.  March/April 2017

 

This post was written by Deidre R., a Product Analyst in the Commercial Lines Marketing Department at Acuity. Deidre’s experience also includes nine years as an Account Manager at an insurance agency. She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, and her master of organizational behavior from Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her hobbies include volunteering and event planning for a local women’s shelter, yoga, crafting, reading, and biking. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and dog.

Paige N.
Paige N. came to Acuity in 2015 as a commercial lines underwriter. Through her time in underwriting, she worked on a wide array of accounts, many in the service industry, including: automobile repair shops, apartments, beauty shops, and everything in between. In addition to her underwriting experience, Paige worked in advertising and is studying to obtain the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designation. Thanks to her father, Paige drives a manual transmission and finds driving a manual much more fun than an automatic!


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