We all know that marketing is important for your business – how else will people find out about you and your services? Having an informative and easy-to-navigate website, showing up in search engine results, being visible on social media, etc. all help potential customers find your shop. While a lot of these marketing pieces do have a cost, there are things you can do for free (or close to free) to help boost what you are already doing- and they all involve using your customers!
Word of Mouth
Some things never change, like people asking their friends and family for advice. Customers are more likely to spend their money somewhere that has been recommended by someone they trust. You are allowed (and encouraged) to ask your customers to tell their family and friends about your business!
Consider starting a referral program! Offer your current customers a discount, free service, etc. for sharing you with a new customer. This incentivizes people sharing your business with others with little cost to you.
Not only do Google Reviews help your customers share their great experiences with your shop, but they also help your SEO! Google likes to show people search results that people find helpful, relevant and have positive experiences with.
There are several ways you can ask customers for reviews. If you know they had a good experience, ask them out check-out. You can also send them emails after they come in to ask them about their service.
Looking for a creative way? When you a finished working on a car, leave a candy bar, mint, etc. with a note asking for a review.
Social Media Posts
People love sharing posts about themselves! Did you have a happy customer? Did you work on a really cool car? Was there are tricky/interesting repair? Take a photo with the customer and/or car, and (with their permission) post it on your social media channels! Let them know, so they can share. Their friends will see your work and build brand recognition.
Overall, it’s important to maintain a great relationship with your customers! Not only do they continue to bring you work, but they also work are your “brand ambassadors.” Whether it’s telling a friend, sharing on Facebook or leaving a positive review – every little thing helps point people your way!
A customer with a negative experience is the first to speak out against a shop – but that customer shouldn’t silence all the others that had a great experience (and here are some tips on dealing with those reviews). Talk to the people who visit your shop most, build a strong relationship, and don’t be scared to ask for their help. They will be the best free marketing you can get!