Auto repair shops have a huge advantage in making promotions work- they have services everybody needs, and the ability to know exactly what customers want and need. Any company that has ever done a promotions knows, from billboards to social media, it’s not as easy as it looks. But for smaller-sized business, like auto repair shops, running a promotional campaign can be as easy as knowing your customer base and knowing what makes your automotive business unique.
If you’re ready to jump into promotions and give your shop the kick it needs, consider these tips for when you create your next promotion:
- Know what makes your shop special. Since every business is different, highlighting what makes you unique and make sure those resources don’t go to waste.
- Know your audience. Your customers have specific needs so concentrate your efforts focused on them. For example, if the majority of your business comes from routine auto maintenance, offer promotions that give discounts with repairs like oil changes, brake maintenance, or tire rotation. You can either give a one-time discount, or create something like a punch-card, where customers get 1 free oil-change after they’ve gotten 10 at your shop.
- Figure out what you want to achieve with your promotions. Is your aim to gain new customers, increase awareness, or promote a specific service? Base the incentive of the promotion on your end goal.
- Timing is everything. Offer incentives when they’re most needed and you’ll gain a wider response. One way to do this is to offer discounts on repairs that are most likely to happen due to seasonal pressures, like offering discounts on certain brands of air filters in the spring, when pollen counts are high.
- Choose the best methods of promotion to achieve your goals. There is no single method of promotion that works for everyone, so you’ll want to consider which combination will reach your audience. If you’re targeting existing customers, tell them about the promotion when they’re in the store or share it on social media if they already “like” your page. To target new customers, consider running a PPC campaign online, targeting your local area.
- Create awareness of your promotion. Get on social media, create signs and flyers for the neighborhood, tell friends and family to spread the word, or whatever else it takes to make sure your target audience knows that you are offering a great deal.
- Get creative. Promotions need to be fun, exciting, and different to get the attention they deserve. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like the creative type, there are plenty of people who are. Get suggestions from your team or bring to help you launch something wonderful.
- Plan for glitches. Things might go wrong, but they don’t have to hurt success. Don’t have so much riding on a successful promotion that your shop takes a big hit if it fails or doesn’t go as planned. Keep things simple and treat your first few promotions as experiments.
- Use the current promotion as a way to improve the next. Use comment cards to get customer feedback and look for ways to improve. Ask customer direct questions about the promotion and take notes. Invite them to tell you what they’d do to make it better.
Having a small business puts you face to face with your customers, and when it comes to promotions, there’s no better place to be. Use your knowledge of your customer base and your uniqueness to create a really great promotions.