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Repair Shop Advice


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

US unemployment exceeds 10%. Community involvement is always good for business, and if your business isn’t struggling right now it’s more important than ever to give back. Click here for some ways to help those in need.
 


Friday, August 7, 2020

Do you ever ask yourself how you can make the most out of your auto repair shop’s Facebook page? Here are 11 different ways you can boost your shop’s Facebook presence (in a fun way)!

11 Ways to Boost Your Auto Repair Shop's Facebook Engagement

1. Birthday shout-outs to employees


Recognize your birthday gal or guy on your Facebook page with a photo accompanied with a simple birthday wish. If you really love birthdays, get a cake and have them pose with it!

2. Follow and then share posts from other local businesses


Encouraging local support within your community boosts the movement of #supportlocal or #buylocalselllocal. Other businesses in your town will be appreciative and reciprocate in your favor next time.

Support Local Business on Facebook

3. Go live on your Facebook page


Yikes! Going live sounds very real, doesn’t it? It’s okay, it doesn’t need to be fancy. Either you or another shop employee (with an outgoing personality) can jump on your shop’s Facebook live. This can be a once a month or once a week (whenever you want, really) type of thing.

Use this platform to share a tip or wish your followers a happy Monday or a happy weekend. Interview an employee and talk about their family, favorite car, favorite meal, etc… Use it to showcase the team and provide a look behind the scenes at the shop.

While being a positive face your followers see on their newsfeed, it also brings light to your shop’s culture.

4. Choose a “Customer of the Week”


This can be as simple as asking a willing customer to be publicly thanked on your Facebook page. If you were excited about the Facebook live, use a video to introduce the customer of the week. Otherwise, take a photo with them and write a short and sweet note of gratitude and share.

By sharing this, other customers will see themselves in the customer you’re promoting. It creates a relatable, curious and engaging Facebook post.

5. Create games – “Guess How Much?”


Encouraging your Facebook followers to play along can be a great way for them to engage and have some fun with your shop. An idea for you to try out could be the “Guess How Much” game.

Here’s how you play: fill a jar with candies, paper clips or virtually anything you can fit into a jar. Share the photo on Facebook asking for people to guess how many of X is in the jar. The kicker here is that the winner should receive some type of prize (they need an incentive to play, of course). Whether the prize may be a gift card, a coupon for an oil change or even the jar of candies itself, it will encourage people to participate!

6. Run a contest during the holidays


Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition, especially around the holidays when there is excitement already in the air?

A few ideas right off the bat could be during Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Encourage your employees and customers to share their best Halloween costumes on your Facebook page. This will get some great laughs and many eyes on your Facebook page. When Christmas rolls around, use this as an opportunity to host a virtual cookie decorating contest or even better, decorate your car with Christmas lights contest. Lastly (we’re sure there’s more holiday contests you may think of), Easter is an egg-specially great time to have an egg decorating contest.

Holidays are a wonderful time to boost the spirits of your customers, while boosting your engagement on Facebook. Always remember to comment and interact with those who are participating!

7. More contest-related ideas? Yes, absolutely.


Try something like this, “Comment on the post, tag a friend or share this post to be entered to win…”. The post you share could involve asking your followers to share what their first car was as a comment and tag a friend to do the same. By the end, you will hopefully have many people engaging with your shop. This will promote your shop’s post on many different newsfeeds. The intent of this type of contest is to gain more followers and boost your shop’s social media reputation.

8. Create a ‘VIP’ Facebook group


If you have customers who ask a lot of great questions about their vehicles or you just want to bring a whole bunch of car enthusiasts together, this could be perfect for you! Create a Facebook group, allowing your followers to join and participate in conversation. This group encourages followers to post questions with the intent of your shop answering them! The shop’s responsibility will be to engage with the questions and provide valuable advice to your followers.

9. Create a poll or survey


Beyond a typical Facebook post, you can create a survey or a poll. These polls can range from silly, to “would you rather?” or more service-related survey questions. This is a chance to have some fun and it’s very easy for your followers to participate with little to no effort (just a click of a button).

10. Boost your shop’s engagement level with pie


Do you like pie? Good, this may be a delicious option for you. Promote a post like: “if we can get X amount of new Facebook followers, [shop owner/shop manager] will get a pie thrown in their face” (or shave their head…depends how brave you are).

You may have seen this with other brands that you follow because it can be a great way to promote your Facebook page. It creates an exciting and risky feeling and people thrive off that. Word of advice: remember to either record a video or take photos of whatever you choose to do because people will be very upset if they miss out.

11. Giveaways


Some repair shops don’t like to do giveaways, but they are on the list because consumers love them, and they work.

Giveaways can be pretty much anything underneath the sun. They can also happen for any reason. Whether you’re celebrating the shop’s anniversary or it’s a Wednesday in August, giveaway promotions can be held at any time. If you need a few ideas to get started, try these: a free oil change, gift card for a local restaurant in town, gift card for gas, or a gift card to a local grocery store. People love free and they are motivated with giveaways.

Are you feeling inspired to give one or two of these a shot? Incorporating these types of posts every so often to your shop’s Facebook page will help you get the most out of your social media presence.

We do more than websites! We also manage Facebook profiles for our customers. If you’d like to learn more about how we help our customers with Facebook, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

What type of auto repair work brings the highest margin? 

The reality is that it depends on the shop.  For your shop, it will be the types of repairs you are best set up to handle well.  It’s the repair that your technicians are experienced and efficient at completing.  Often, those are the repairs that you tend to get in more than other shops in town.


Of course, most shops don’t advertise that they only do one or two types of auto repairs.  As nice as that might sound when they’re busy, most shop managers know a time will come when they’ll be glad they haven’t told everyone in town that they don’t do oil changes.

But when there’s not enough time in the day to get done everything you’re being asked to do, you want to capture all of the high-margin business you can and let the lower-margin stuff float away to competitors, unless it’s a loyal customer in need of help.

How do you do that?  Here are three things you can do to help bring in more high-margin business.

Be active – and specific – on Facebook

If your shop really likes brake jobs (as an example), let the world know it.  Post pictures of your technicians working on brakes in the shop – and talk about what’s going on in the picture.  If you offer coupons, make them specific to brakes.

If you’re efficient at completing brake jobs and getting the vehicles back on the road, promote how quickly you can get it done.  This attaches your shop’s name to brakes in the minds of customers. More importantly, when the Google spiders crawl the web, they’ll see your shop’s name connected to brake repair more often, and will then be more likely to show your website higher up in brake repair-related search results, helping bring those specific customers into your shop.

Seek reviews that mention your high-margin jobs

Excellent reviews are one of the most important parts of a great online presence.  Most people check reviews before they go to an auto repair shop, and while they don’t believe everything they read (everyone knows that some customers are crazy) people are going to believe a pattern of customer opinions, whether those opinions are positive or negative.

Google does the same thing. For instance, if your shop has dozens of positive reviews for A/C repair, your shop is likely to rank high when a nearby resident searches for someone to repair their vehicle’s air conditioning.  This makes sense – Google likes sending people to places where they’ll have a positive experience.

This is why it’s especially important to have strong reviews that mention your high-margin services.  If you’re doing an ideal type of work for a loyal customer, or for a customer who seems especially happy with the service they’ve gotten, ask them if they’d be willing to write a review for you on Google.  And make sure to ask them to mention the service you performed for them.  It will bolster your reputation among people and search engines alike.

Invest, and know where you stand

If you’re known for a specific type of service, it’s worth the cost and effort to make sure you remain the best in town at it.  If you’ve got the best-trained technicians and the most efficient equipment to complete the service, you’ll probably be able to offer it at a lower price (and still make an excellent margin) than someone who has to spend twice as long on it. And even if the competition tries to underprice you, the experience at your shop will be smoother and the work quality will be better.  That’s going to bring in more customers, allowing you to invest even more.  That’s how you get a competitive advantage!

We can optimize your web presence to bring in your most profitable work, too!  To learn how, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Your customers are all bringing you the same thing – a vehicle in need of maintenance or repair. That doesn’t mean their circumstances aren’t all different, especially in this chaotic time. 

The best way to provide great customer service is to figure out where a customer’s vehicle fits into their lives and make sure you’re supporting them. Click here for tips on how to do that well.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

When it comes to your web presence and search engine results pages (SERPs), it can be easy to confuse the many different elements. You may even be suspicious that Google does it on purpose so that normal people can’t figure them out. Today we are going to focus on one of those elements – the Local Pack – and why it’s so important to auto repair shops.

The Local Pack is the grouping of 3-4 businesses that shows up just below the map on the SERPs when you search on Google for anything that Google sees as local business services. It definitely includes repair shops, as well as restaurants, stores, contractors, libraries, accounting firms, barber shops – you get the picture. Here’s an example:

Auto Repair Local Pack

This is a search for auto repair in Wilmington, North Carolina. The blue dot with the circle around it on the map is the origination of the search – where the searcher was at the time they typed auto repair into the search box. The Local Pack is represented by the three shops you see below the map.

Here are some key points you need to know about the Local Pack:

The Local Pack Holds Prime Real Estate on SERPs

In many cases the Local Pack shows up just below the ads on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is almost always true when Google can determine that the searcher is definitely looking for local services like auto repair. So, you want to do everything you can do to maximize your shop’s chances of being shown in the Local Pack.

The Local Pack Is Made Up of Google My Business Profiles

If your shop doesn’t have a Google My Business profile, it will never appear in the Local Pack. If your Google My Business profile is not complete, includes the wrong category or hasn’t been updated in a while, your shop is much less likely to appear in the Local Pack. We’ve been emphasizing the importance of a Google My Business profile for a while now and this is part of the reason. When you show Google that you like to play by their rules, they are much more likely to reward you.

The Local Pack Gets Clicks

A comprehensive study conducted in late 2018 by BrightLocal showed that nearly 33% of searchers clicked on at least one of the listings in the Local Pack.

The Local Pack’s Most Important Factor Is Proximity to the Searcher

And here’s the rub…how close your shop is to the person who conducts the search is the number one factor in how likely you are to show up in the Local Pack. You can see this in the example above. Shop #1 and Shop #2 are both .5 miles away, and then comes Shop #3 at .7 miles away. This is also why when you search for auto repair in your shop, your shop comes up first!

How To Increase Your Local Pack Performance

You can’t pick up your shop and move it closer to the searcher, but there are things that you can do to increase the likelihood that you show up in the Local Pack. Check your Google My Business profile for these things:

  1. Make sure you choose the right category – Auto repair shop (or something more specific if you specialize).
  2. Make sure your name, address and contact information are correct.
  3. Complete the description – write about what makes your shop better and the services you specialize in.
  4. Choose the services you offer. Auto repair shops can choose things like brakes, air conditioning, engine repair, exhaust, oil change, transmission and more. Google will use these like keywords to match up to what the searcher puts in the search box.
  5. Get more great Google reviews!
  6. Respond to your Google reviews.
  7. Make sure you have a link to your website. Your website can significantly impact Google’s evaluation of your credibility and relevance.

Only a small handful of people at Google truly know all of the factors that go into how they determine what businesses show up in the Local Pack, but all of these seven steps have proven to impact the listings. And with 1 in 3 people who conduct a search clicking on at least one of the businesses in the Local Pack, the stakes are high and you want to do everything you can to ensure you get the best results.

If you’d like help optimizing your Google My Business profile for the Local Pack, contact us at 855-394-6397 or Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.

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