ClickMechanic discusses marketing for garages

ClickMechanic discusses marketing for garages

Andrew Jervis, CEO of ClickMechanic, looks at the various ways garages of all sizes can engage with marketing and what benefits it can bring.

With more than 42,000 motor vehicle maintenance and repair businesses in the UK, competition is stiff and standing out from the crowd is vital. As the automotive industry is increasingly shaped by ever-more advanced technologies and evolving rapidly with the introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles, garages across the UK find themselves at a critical juncture. It has never been more important to communicate with customers effectively and efficiently to help them navigate the complexities of car maintenance today.

Great customer support and marketing can make all the difference between being a good garage and a great one; connecting with new and existing customers, increasing brand awareness and defining your products and services. It can help ensure your garage is the first thing customers think of when their vehicle needs servicing, leading to enhanced customer retention and ultimately improved profitability. However, some businesses struggle to leverage marketing effectively, often due to a lack of understanding of its nature and potential advantages. To address this, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Attracting new customers and keeping hold of existing ones

Traditionally, motorists have chosen their favoured garages based on a mix of geographical convenience, peer reviews and price points. However, thanks to our increasingly digital lives, there is more choice than ever for owners of the UK’s estimated 38.7 million motor vehicles in the UK. While word-of-mouth and traditional marketing remain vitally important, it’s good to consider other strategies such as creating a customer email database, loyalty programs to reward repeat business, and seasonal promotions. Small gestures, such as giving away branded air fresheners, can also go a long way in creating a memorable customer experience. You might also want to ask customers to leave you glowing feedback on social media and websites such as TrustPilot and Google Reviews.

Staying relevant in a crowded marketplace

Over the last few years, we’ve seen consumer habits and the way drivers interact with businesses change; with so much competition among garages and mechanics, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. Used effectively, marketing can give you an edge over your competitors, boosting brand visibility, online searchability and customer loyalty. In a crowded marketplace, local reputation is everything. Actively engage with your community through social media and local events. This not only enhances your visibility but also strengthens your connection with the local community, making your garage the go-to choice.

Building brand authority and trust

Trust is a precious commodity for customers of the automotive industry, who value the feeling that they are being treated fairly and transparently. Garages with bad reputations are increasingly visible as customers take to social media and search engine reviews to voice their frustrations, whereas years ago they had relatively little power to amplify their dissatisfaction to peers. Customers often make decisions based on emotions rather than just logic, so good marketing can make all the difference, It’s important to create a robust identity for your brand and be consistent with it to improve your credibility among potential and existing customers.

Ensure that your branding is professional and consistent across all touchpoints, from your signage and website to your social media profiles and printed materials, reinforcing a sense of reliability and professionalism.

Improving accessibility through search engines

Many of us couldn’t survive without search engines in our daily lives, from answering lingering questions to finding contacts for businesses from florists and bakeries to garages and car dealers. Few people go beyond the first few results the search engine brings up, so being top of the pile for certain search terms is absolutely essential in this key battlefield. Online enquiries for vehicle maintenance as well as MOTs and servicing are increasing year-on-year, so garages and mechanics seizing this opportunity will be sure to help their businesses thrive.

Start with a user-friendly website that details your services, location, and contact information. Ensure your garage is listed on Google My Business, and actively seek customer reviews to boost your online reputation. The Google My Business feature is a powerful tool that allows you to showcase essential information, including your garage’s location, operating hours, contact details, and the range of services offered, providing prospective customers with everything they need to make an informed decision. Doing so greatly increases your chances of your garage being among the first results when customers search for terms such as ‘garages in my area’ or ‘mobile mechanic’.

If you don’t feel ready to get your first website built then using online platforms such as ClickMechanic will enable you to reach customers booking online without having the upfront outlay and cost of building a website.

Where do I start?

Marketing can have a range of benefits that all help lead to increased profits. If it’s something your garage is considering, it’s important to be clear on what it is you want before you get started. It might be that you want increased brand visibility, you want to be part of relevant conversations in the industry or you want to change how your customers perceive you.

Whatever it is, you need to define your goals and the key measures that will determine how successful your marketing campaign has been, whether it’s the number of new followers on social media or the number of new customer reviews on your business listing. Decide what the ultimate end goal is and work backwards, finding the best methods to achieve the objectives and dedicating the appropriate resources to making it work.

Join online automotive communities to further establish your garage’s presence and expertise. You may want to consider ClickMechanic’s free-to-join online community of vetted and certified mechanics, providing access to a vast pool of potential customers and revenue streams. Mechanics are increasingly recognising the value of getting bookings via the ClickMechanic platform, embracing it as an effortless method to connect with new customers in their area and increase their income. ClickMechanic handles all the marketing side of things, from providing quotes and customer support to processing payments, allowing them to focus on their true passion: fixing cars.

Want to know more? For more information click here.

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