It is mind-blowing to think you can post a video online, and within minutes you can have thousands of views from all around the world. With social media growing more and more every second, anything can go viral. There are many great things I can do with my cell phone to keep our customer up to date with what is going on in our repair shop. We are addicted to social media, and we pick up our phones over 50 times a day to check in with the world. If you are not using social media to grow your customer base, you should. You can use many different platforms to build customer trust form free vehicle inspection in your community to a call-in radio show or Facebook Live. It is also just as important to communicate with our customers face to face.
Getting your shop involved in your local community is a great way to build trust in your current and future customers. For example, I perform free car inspections for our local YMCA during their Heath and Wellness Festival. I found this was a great opportunity to meet future customers and introduce them to our shop. This off-site inspection creates a no-pressure environment where potential customer can get to know about our shop and also have their car inspected in the process. When performing these inspections, I get a lot question pertaining to their vehicle. I make sure to take extra time when answering these questions, and show them examples on their car so they can understand. In an off-site environment I have the time to answer the customer questions and show them examples on their vehicle. A customer is more likely to approve repairs once they fully understand the need for the repair. This can be done through pictures, video, or actually showing them on their vehicle. This will also help the service writers sell the repairs with little resistance or doubt. During the inspection I talk to the customers as I would in a job interview. In reality you are being interviewed for future business. There are many repair shops in our town, and I use this opportunity to introduce them to our shop.
|Performing free vehicle inspections at public events and festivals is a great way to connect with potential customers in your community.|
I also volunteer my time at our high school vocational school. During car care month the vocational school provides auto inspection at no charge to the community. The students perform the inspections, and I make sure the students are being safe. I am also there to answer any questions the students or customers have. The students really look up and respect the time I volunteer to the school. I was once a student at the school and know how important the program is to the growth of the automotive industry. In order to protect and prolong our industry, it is important to help educate the future technicians. In three years these students will be graduating, and we want our shop to be the first shop they apply to.
During these free car inspections I don't check every single part or fluid on the car. I just do a basic under the hood inspection of the fluids and filters. In addition, I like to check the cranking battery voltage, tire pressure, and tire wear. The local YMCA is just over one mile from our shop, so I use this opportunity to invite customer to stop by our shop to visit after the inspection is completed. If your shop wants to start a free vehicle inspection day it does not take much — just a few hand tools and a location. I like to bring some screw drivers, voltmeter, tire gauge, and a tire depth gauge. If it is going to be sunny day or chance of rain it is nice to have a pop up tent. I can perform these inspections by myself, but it is a lot faster to have a helper. When finding a location I would recommend finding a location in your community that is close to your business. You want the people that are going to stop by to be in your target customers. The first year doing inspections at the YMCA with no advertising I only had six cars in three hours. The up side was four out of the six are now returning customers. This year with advertising and promotions our goal is to have around 50 vehicles.