13 October 2015
With just 277 repairs per shop on average in 2014, most body shops do have slack capacity – a lot of empty bays to fill on most days.
To market Body Shops and fetch a steady stream of customers to fill up those empty bays with vehicles, shop owners need to reach out and tell their stories to local customers. Here is a check list to get started with the basics.
Body Shop Logo, Signage and Business Cards
The first requirement of marketing your body shop is a distinct and memorable identity that captures the essence of what you have to offer. There are literally thousands of body shops, (42,000 to be exact) and it is quite likely that there are a few in your vicinity, competing for your business. It is even possible that a prospective customer two blocks away may pass you by without realizing you can help – if you do not advertise your presence well.
Choose your logo carefully. A regular body shop is different from a body shop that specializes in upmarket vehicles. Your logo should reflect your reputation, and should stand out in a highly cluttered market space.
Use your Signage to reinforce your logo and key differentiators – for instance, if you are good at delivering work faster than others, highlight that advantage. If your body shop hours are longer than usual to offer customers a more convenient time to bring in their vehicles, advertise it. If you have the expertise and equipment to work on aluminum, say so – only 20% of body shops have that capability.
Use your logo and key messaging on your business cards too. Once you have one card designed, all you need to do is just change the name and a few details.
Body Shop Website
The first thing that most vehicle owners do when they are in need of body shop services is to Google for body shops. More than half the time, they will be searching online from their cell phone or iPad.
Unfortunately, only 57% of Body Shop Owners have a website. Often, even these are old, badly designed adoptive websites that desperately need a makeover.
What a body shop owner needs is a professional body shop website designed to show up high in search results every time someone in their local area searches for their services. This website needs to work well on cell phones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs, which is why it should have the latest responsive web technology built-in.
Lastly, every body shop website requires pre-built professional content – content that will quickly answer the questions which prospective customers might have and nudge them to request an appointment.
To see an example, click here.
Don’t try to do all of your marketing alone. Instead, try networking. Go around your local area and hand out your business cards to related businesses. Connect with all the local gas stations, car dealerships, and accessories shops in your local area and nurture those relationships on a regular basis.
Make these connections a WIN-WIN for both of you from day one,by offering an attractive referral reward for every customer.
Check if it is possible to get incident updates from the local traffic authorities. Most likely, they are the first to know about the dented vehicles in your area!
Practically all your potential customers live inside hundred miles of your body shop, which makes social marketing an attractive proposition for your business. Spend time building up a distinctive voice and good connections in your local community.
Thankfully, safety and vehicle maintenance related tips are highly popular in the social space. Even a simple tip like "Don’t Text and Drive” can get you a lot of attention and social sharing. One thing to remember – always add pictures to your posts and tweets. They get 100X more attention than plain text.
Start Where Your Customers Are
With many marketing options available, body shop owners are often confused where to start.
Simple – start where your customers are, and right now they are all ONLINE!
To get started, click here.