Auto Shop Marketing Game Plan: Defeating The Competition


Auto shops must continuously look for new customers. People move regularly now, which means some customers will no longer be within driving distance of the shop. Those who are new to the area might not know the shop exists unless they drive right past it. How can an auto shop get the word out about what it offers so customers can easily find it?

Benefit from the Internet


Millennial turn to the internet for most things today, so every auto shop needs to have a website. In fact, several years ago, AutoTrader conducted a study which found the internet to be 20 times more influential than other media sources with this age group and Gen X’ers. Auto shops cannot rely on traditional advertising today, or they will miss out on a major segment of the target audience.

However, a simple website won’t do. This website must be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and readily found when the driver enters a query on a search engine. Furthermore, the driver must be able to view the site on their mobile device. If help is needed in creating a website that achieves these goals, turn to

Follow Up on Needed Repairs


When a vehicle visits the shop, inspect it carefully. Let the driver know of any repairs that may soon become necessary. If they decline these repairs, make a note of it. Call them in a few weeks to see if they are ready to schedule this repair. Remind them that it is best to have the work done before the repair is needed. If the part does break, it could damage other vehicle components in the process.

Most customers prefer to visit the shop that initially noted the need for an upcoming repair rather than taking their vehicle somewhere else. Furthermore, they appreciate that the auto shop is following up with them, as they may forget the mechanic recommended this repair. This shows the auto shop cares about their needs and saving them money.

Auto shops find following up on needed repairs helps to increase customer loyalty. The driver feels like a respected individual rather than a name and number. They appreciate this and return to the shop when the vehicle needs additional work.

Send Maintenance Reminders


An auto shop should also send maintenance reminders to drivers. Basic maintenance tasks are often overlooked unless the vehicle is set to alert the driver when the time comes to have these tasks completed.

By sending a reminder to the driver, the auto shop generates business. The driver also benefits as they can get this work done and extend the life of their vehicle. They appreciate these reminders just as they do follow-ups on needed repairs.

Create Engaging Content


Many drivers get behind the wheel, start their car, and take off. They don’t understand how the engine works or what the torque converter is in the transmission. As long as the car gets them from point A to point B, they are happy.

However, they also want to know how to keep repairs to a minimum. An auto shop can provide this information on the website in the form of a blog. For instance, the shop can share tips to prepare the care for cold winter months or the grueling heat of summer. The driver may visit the site to read these posts and remember they need to bring their car in to be serviced.

A blog is only one way the business can connect with customers. Establishing a social media presence is another outstanding way to do so. The auto shop can share a car care tip every day or do a joke of the day. The key is to remain visible on the internet so the business remains in the mind of the driver. When they need work done on their ride, the business name will immediately come to mind.

Be Present in the Community


One way to stand out from competitors is to be present in the community. Sponsor a local little league team or an event being held in the area. Bring workers together to volunteer at an event, a soup kitchen, or something of that nature.

When employees take part in these activities, have them wear shirts with the company name. In addition, ensure they have business cards to pass out if someone wants to learn more about the business. It is also beneficial to have a poster or backdrop with a QR code. An interested driver can scan this QR code and be taken directly to the shop’s website.

An auto shop might wish to allow employees time off for volunteer activities. They can then share pictures of the employees taking part in these activities and provide information about the organizations they are helping.

Ask that each organization also share pictures of the employee engaging in the volunteer activities on its website. This helps to get the word out to drivers who may not otherwise be aware of the shop’s existence.

Establish a Referral Program


Encourage customers to refer a friend or family member to the shop. When they do, provide them with a token of appreciation. This may be something they can use in their car, such as an ice scraper, or it might be a free service, such as an oil change. However, this token does not have to be related to the vehicle.

When a customer refers someone new to the shop, give them a gift card that corresponds to the amount spent by the person they referred. For instance, if the referral spends less than $100, give them a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop. If the customer spends $250, increase the amount to $25. Each auto shop must determine what its customers would appreciate receiving.

Auto shops can no longer assume customers will show up. While every car needs regular servicing, the internet allows drivers to compare their options quickly and easily. Benefit from digital advertising opportunities while still using conventional marketing methods. Those shops that do so find this combination allows them to attract new leads while satisfying those customers they currently have.