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Who Is Your Ideal Client ??


Shopcat

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Ted Turner said it best, “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise”. As summer gives way to fall, marketing becomes more important. Many shops slow down on their marketing as business slows down. This is exactly the time to invest in continued marketing. It’s an opportunity to market while your competition is not. Many shops do reactionary marketing because they don’t have a formal plan. This type of hit and miss approach can be a waste of precious marketing efforts and dollars.

 

Developing a personalized marketing plan will be well worth your time and effort. About 80 % of auto retail dollars are spent at 20 % of the available shops. The reason is these shops understand exactly who their clients are and they market to those clients with a very organized and focused approach.

 

The first step to a great marketing plan is to know your target market. You can begin by using your operating system to run reports that reveal your client base. Look at things like who has spent more than $500.00 with you in the last year. What kind of vehicle do they drive? Where do they live? What is their zip code? If you are active in your shop you can probably think of ten to twenty great clients off the top of your head. Have your service advisors put together a list of their favorite clients too. Assemble all the information into a master list. Look at this list and determine what these clients have in common. What type of vehicles do they drive? Why do they use your shop? Use the information to develop a survey that asks the questions you want answers to. Begin targeting your specific clients.

 

Here is an example of a survey to get you started, but it’s important to tailor it to your shop:

 

 

Dear Valued Customer,

 

Here at “your shop’s name”, we are constantly striving to provide the very best customer service. If you could take a moment and share your input, we would greatly appreciate it.

 

What is the most important thing you consider when deciding where you will get your vehicle repaired?

  • Price
  • Warranty
  • Professional, friendly staff
  • Other ____________________________________________

What radio station, tv channel, and social media do you prefer?

  • TV channel ___________
  • Radio Station _________
  • Social Media __________ (examples, Facebook, Twitter, Google +)

Have you or would you be comfortable referring family or friends to our shop and why?

 

Name the top 3 most important things you expect from a repair facility?

 

If you would like, we can add your name to our in-house mailing list. From time to time, we have specials for our customers only. This information is for our use only.

  • Name and address _________________________________________
  • Email address _____________________________________________

What could we do to improve our business and make your experience better?

 

 

Thank you for taking some of your valuable personal time in order to help us understand your needs better. If you have any other input, or if I can be of any assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Sincerely,

“Your Name”

“Your Shop’s Name”

 

 

You and your staff should only give the survey to good clients. You do not need any input from undesirable folks. My next article will cover how to use this information to develop an action plan and ACCELERATE YOUR SUCCESS !!!

 


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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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