1. Share Customer Testimonials
Most business owners would love to believe that their customers trust them and take them at their word. In many instances, this is true. But customers really trust what other customers say about a business or an experience. Think about it, it’s why people read product reviews or look to eat at restaurants with four- or five-star ratings. Customers are more likely to believe or take recommendations from other customers. For this reason, it is worth your time and energy to ask a few customers to provide you with a testimonial you can use to promote your shop.
Once you have a testimonial – and you are certain your customer is okay with you sharing it – make sure your testimonials are in an easy-to-see spot on your website or social media, like pinned to the top of your page. This is a terrific way to show your future (and existing) customers the great work your business does through the voice of someone who has experience with you and your services.
How do you get a testimonial? Consider offering incentives or raffle prizes to customers who offer you a testimonial. It’s also important to be interactive and thoughtful toward the people who appreciate your work. Plus, it’s good customer service to make them feel like their business matters. After all, they are providing you with a free advertisement – a testimonial from a satisfied customer – that you can share anywhere you promote your shop.
2. Maintain a social media presence on multiple platforms
Sometimes it can seem like social media only exists for cat videos and vacation photos, but if your shop doesn’t have its own page, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with a larger audience. Being present on social media is a great way to stay top of mind, provide business updates, and interact with the community.
When you create a business page for your shop, not only can you offer coupons and daily deals, but you can also interact with future and existing customers. Interacting with your customers shows you care about them and want their business. It’s also a terrific way to get your name out there and spread the word about your excellent services. You can share a poll online or give them a chance to share their experience at your shop. Giving your customers a chance to speak to you and share feedback gives your shop credibility and makes their interaction personal.
Another way to engage with your customers on social media is by sharing facts and tips. This keeps them engaged, informed, or even entertained. You can consider themed posts, such as Fact Fridays, Tip Tuesdays, or Daily Deals. These are just a few ideas to start with. It takes less than 10 minutes to find an interesting fact or tip from a reliable source and share it with your followers! Posting interesting and thoughtful information, especially on topics related to the industry, keeps followers attuned to your online presence and they may even consider your social media page to be a trusted resource.
Your presence on multiple social media platforms shows you care about your appearance and reputation. Maintaining a social presence also makes it easier for your customers to find you. Plus, you can take the opportunity to help your customers get to know your employees (Employee Spotlight posts!) and learn about the background of your business. Whether you opened a year ago or you’ve been around for a while, your customers are curious about your business!
3. Make sure to have a user-friendly website
It is incredibly frustrating to log on to a website that’s basically unusable or difficult to navigate. We’ve all been there – you visit a page that is difficult to navigate, the information you’re looking for is hard to find, and, by the end, you just log off and choose a different option. Even though you’re not in the web design industry, your website is an extension of both your shop’s brand and your customer experience. You don’t want your customers to be annoyed or frustrated before they even interact with you.
This is why it’s important to make your website attractive and easy to use: it’s a reflection of your business and capabilities. Is this fair? Not necessarily. Is this how things work sometimes (especially in a very online society)? Yep.
Nowadays, the easiest way to book an appointment or to make a request is through a company’s website, making it extra important to have your credentials, achievements, reviews, appointments, and any other bit of information customers might need on your website. Plus, it needs to be easily accessible to anyone who wants to bring their vehicle to your shop. When a customer logs onto your website, you want to make sure they know they will get the best service possible, and maybe even learn a thing or two about your business.
As a small piece of advice, if you’re ever in doubt, just keep the site clean, simple, and direct.
4. Be responsive and easy to contact
When a company is difficult to contact or unresponsive to queries, it sets a bad tone from the start. If a business doesn’t answer the phone or respond to emails or social messages, how optimistic can a customer be about the service? A key part of promoting your shop is communicating with your customers. If a customer calls and you’re not able to answer, make sure you return the call or respond to a message. It’s important to let your customers know they’re not just another call and that they are, in fact, important to you and your business. Quick responses to email questions or a voicemail will help ensure you’re not losing business.
You likely understand this, but when a customer needs to have their car fixed, they probably don’t have days to wait around for a call back from you. Also, it’s not only important to respond, but to be pleasant when you pick up the phone and be ready to answer the callers’ questions. It’s also a good practice to make sure your employees are knowledgeable and can talk about your company in a clear and insightful manner while also being able to answer customer questions or address concerns.
When it comes to interacting with customers, a strong commitment to the soft skills can go a long way toward promoting your shop and providing a strong customer experience.
If you’re looking for additional new ways to find parts and provide faster service to your customers, let us know and our experts can help!
5. Create a brand experience
It’s been said that a brand is not a logo, but a promise – it’s what your customers can expect from your shop every time they engage with it. It’s important that your shop provides – and delivers – on the promise it makes to customers. By making sure you have consistent signage, attire, and collateral (t-shirts, business cards, stickers, pens, key chains, etc.), you can establish a clean and consistent experience for customers.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to have full renovation or large rotating sign in front of the business. It just means using a consistent logo, having professional looking employees, creating branded stickers, business cards, and signage, all of this inspires confidence and trust within your customers.
People, especially customers, appreciate consistency; it makes them feel comfortable and confident. When someone walks into your shop, you want them to feel the same way the first time as they do the sixth time, meaning:
- They see the same thing: employees in matching, branded shirts, and hats
- Hear the same thing: Responsive, well-informed employees
- Experience the same thing: High quality, timely service
This is all about making the customer comfortable and confident – it is also likely to have a positive effect on your employees, too.
Deliver on your promises
While your marketing and promotion strategies can evolve, what does not change is your main goal: providing excellent service to your customers and growing your business. If your business strives to create a stellar customer experience – from the initial point of contact to the moment the customer gets their keys back – all while serving the community and your target audience, you and your team are already on the right track. With these tips in mind and your mission to achieve brand recognition and customer satisfaction, you have all the right tools to keep your customers loyal and your shop’s reputation sparkling.