5 Easy Things you can do Online to get more Customers in the Automotive Industry

by Edward Young

June 05, 2018

5 Easy Things you can do Online to get more Customers

What you can do to get more customers in the Automotive Industry

There aren’t many workshops, bodyshops and dealerships that wouldn’t want more customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the industry or have a well-established service, there are always things you can be doing to grow your customer base.

Here are some tips, tricks and insights that will help you as an automotive service provider that could give you the edge on your competition and win you some more clients.

1. Reviews

Thanks to Facebook and Google reviews are now one of the first things somebody sees when searching for a local company. If I’m looking for a local service, the first thing I do is look at the reviews and that’s the same for a lot of people now. Here are a few things you can do to increase your online ratings:

  • Customer service is key. Going the extra mile always gets a notice and people will be more inclined to go out of their way to leave you a positive review if you go out of the way to help them.
  • If you don’t ask you don’t get. There is nothing wrong with pointing a customer towards your Google or Facebook reviews. A great way to do this is by putting the URL for your reviews page and a note saying ‘please tell us what you think’ on some business cards. Leave them at the front desk and hand them out as customers leave.
  • It’s a two-way street. Make sure somebody is engaging with the comments and reviews left online, whether good or bad. A thank you for a good review and an apology for a bad review show your potential customers that you care about your clients.
  • Don’t forget about the others. Google and Facebook may be the go-to review platforms for businesses but you mustn’t forget that Yelp, Bing and Yahoo all have review systems as well. If you don’t have one already get a listing on Yelp, you’ll be surprised how many people use it.

2. Social Media

You probably hear people harping on about this one a lot so I’m not going to re-write the book here. Here are some ideas that you may not have heard of though:

  • #Hashtag. They are now used by pretty much all social media platforms not just Twitter. Even LinkedIn are leveraging this useful tool to categorise posts. Make sure that when you post online you include a few topical hastags, it’ll increase your post coverage and help target specific audiences. #carrepair #salisburymechanic
  • Get local! Hundreds of local groups are popping up all over Facebook and the clever businesses are using this to their advantage. If people are seeing you engaging in these groups, then they are more likely to think of you when they next need work on their car.
  • Show and tell. Words are great but pictures and videos are better. A local garage just came up on my Facebook feed because they posted a photo of a bird they rescued in the workshop that had got stuck in there overnight. Although the news wasn’t directly related to servicing vehicles the post gained a lot of traction and I would be surprised if they don’t make a few customers from the extra publicity.
  • Ask Questions. Get more engagement by asking questions online. People like to share their opinions and experiences, use this to reach new people. What’s the most reliable car you ever owned? Budget tyres or performance tyres?

3. Values

All businesses should have a set of core values that shows potential clients why they should use your services. Things such as: What makes your company different? Why do you do what you do? How are your customers treated? Get these values out there! Have signs in your customer waiting area and reception, remind people on social media and include it in your marketing media.

4. Get Local

Narrow down your audience! There is no point somebody in John o' Groats seeing your adverts and social media posts if your service is in Cornwall. Localisation is the key to converting clients. Search engines and social media are extremely clever, if you make sure to include your location in your posts and webpages then you’ll be put in front of the right audience. Simply ending a post with #London will get you in front of the London audience.

I touched on local social media groups earlier but I want to explore it a bit more. More and more companies are using this to their advantage and getting the edge on the competition. If you can get yourself into a local car enthusiasts Facebook group, then you have the potential to massively increase your client base. By answering questions and engaging in conversations in these groups you’ll build trust and respect ion the local community which in turn equals not just more clients but more loyal clients as well.

5. Listings

Treat the internet like the Yellow Pages. Yes, the physical Yellow Pages died a long time ago but now we have an even better tool. Online listing platforms are still very popular, get your company on them and you’ll be sure to pick up some more business. Here’s a list of some popular ones:

  • Yelp
  • Yell
  • Thomson Local
  • Waze
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • Google
  • AroundMe
  • Yellow Pages Online
  • UK small business directory
  • The trade finder
  • 192
  • ListedIn
  • Your local newspaper website

Another important thing to consider are Sat-Navs. You can now get your business address added to sat-nav databases. There are a lot of them so using an online tool like 1&1 List Local will manage all this for you and make sure you are findable by everyone.

If you want any more information about this or any subject relating to automotive safety, don’t hesitate to get in touch.