Automotive Repair Advertising The Key To Customer Loyalty. What can I do to get new customers to come back at full price?
This question has haunted auto repair shops forever.
What can you do to get new customers, who just came in from your automotive repair advertising, to get them to come back at full price?
THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION FOR SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER LOYALTY IS SOMETHING MOST SHOPS HAVE NEVER EVEN THOUGH OF – LET ALONE DO:
If you wait for the new customer to come in before you start thinking about implementing a customer loyalty strategy, you are already too late. At that point all you can do is deal with the quality of customer you have already gotten.
Is your shop in a neighborhood with nothing but high income people? If so, just keep doing what you are doing and you will most likely be successful.
However, the normal response to automotive repair advertising in an average market area is going to be around 40%. This leaves you with about 30% medium income customers and another 30% high income fine car customers. That top 60% is where you will make serious income.
WHAT MUST I DO TO ATTRACT THAT TOP 60%
First – you absolutely must not target to increase simple, blind car count.
What you do is change your unsuccessful methods and do something completely new.
Instead of targeting your direct mail with a median income list, you target the prospect by car make and year. The cars you make the most money on.
By targeting this way, you are 90% sure that the owner stepping out of that car will have more money than average and are more likely to spend it to keep their vehicle running to perfection.
At Last! You have finally found the customer who will increase your income. The customer who has the money to come back at full price!
Needy customers never come back at full price. They can’t afford to.
Only fine car high income customers come back at full price. They are not just your bread and butter. They are your steak and wine and retirement program!
If you bring in Prime customers with your automotive repair advertising, you have a 70% to 90% chance of getting them back at full price. (If they like you.) And, getting a higher first visit RO average as well.
If you bring in cheap customers, you have a 90% chance of never seeing them again. (whether they like your or not.) But this customer might not be all bad.
Why? Because if you do a free car condition inspection, (with each oil change) and they say no to additional work, you can actually be losing $20 to $40 per customer in staff and tech time. Add that to the price of your so called “Low Cost” automotive repair advertising, to see what the cost really is.
If you are bringing in mostly cheap customers, you can just kiss them goodbye once they leave. They don’t have the money to come back at full price.
You must create a new strategy BEFORE you send out your automotive repair advertising direct mail. It is the quality of customer that your postcards brings in that will make or break your business growth.
SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO INCREASED PRIME CUSTOMER LOYALTY? (Assuming that you treat all customers well and have great service and good customer loyalty techniques). You must make sure that the “NEW CUSTOMERS” who are coming in from your direct mail marketing program, are Prime Customers ONLY!!!
Advertising for mere, unsorted car count brings in a majority of cheap customers. Advertising by car make assures that almost all your new customers are Prime customers. The income difference can be astounding. The customer return rate at full price can be extraordinary. Automotive repair advertising that actually works.
The guy on the right (in the picture above) is what keeps the cheap coupon packet mailers and carrier route saturation marketing companies in business.
Why? Because these guys all bring in their cars in huge numbers to get your cheap oil change and freebies. So your car count goes up. On the surface that looks good. But your bottom line profits tell you differently.
But here’s the real kicker! THESE CHEAP – NO PROFIT – CUSTOMERS ARE COUNTED AS PART OF YOUR SUCCESS! When you look at Car Count as your target and goal for success and cost-per-card-mailed as you criteria for purchasing your automotive repair advertising – low income is usually your reward. That is why unspecified car count is meaningless.
The guy on the right doesn’t care how great a shop you have. He likes to kid himself into thinking that all repair shops are equally qualified to service his car properly.
But the “Holy Grail” for this guy is a top shop, almost giving away an oil change, and doing a great, free car inspection. He walks away from your shop armed with the perfect diagnosis of his car problems. He then takes it to Wal-Mart or uncle bob so he can do the right repairs at 1/4 the price.
When this guy gets your postcard, the first thing he does is flip the card over to see what kind of cheap coupons you have. Cheap price is all he cares about.
That is why he says NO to all additional work. And, you will never see him again until you send him another cheap oil change coupon. But why would you ever want to send him another one anyway?
But here’s the problem. With carrier route saturation mailings, you can’t even take this guy off the mailing list. So you get to keep seeing your least favorite customers coming in over and over again. And it costs you money every time.
The woman on the left does’t even respond to cheap advertising. Why? Because her desire is not the cheapest price. She is looking for a shop that is qualified to work on the car she loves, and will treat her with respect.
The woman on the left will look over your postcard to see who you are first. She will then go to your web site to check you out. She will make her decision based on the benefit to her car first – then look at price. This customer – right here – is the one we can win away from the dealership. This customer will increase your income.
Automotive Repair Advertising That Actually Works???
What Does The Word “WORKS” Mean?
If you are talking about low cost, carrier route saturation coupon packet mailers or Every Door Direct Mail – it simply means more cars. (As described above.)
No concern is given to the character or desires of the potential customer. The majority of these car owners do not have a fine car that they really love. All they want is to keep it running at the absolute lowest cost. Plus, they won’t come back at full price.
However! When you do your automotive repair advertising by car make, everything changes instantly.
Why? Because you can select higher priced vehicles by car make, model and year. Cars that you virtually know – from your own experience – will have a high income car owner behind the wheel. One who is willing to spend to keep their car running to perfection.
This is where all loyal – profitable – customers come from. Because they have the money and the love for their car, to come back at full price. These customers say YES when you tell them something needs to be done.
The difference with the Ad-Card program – is in the attitude of the Prime Customer we target and deliver. They often even have their personality or ego tied up in their car. They are willing to spend whatever it takes to keep their car running like new. Ad-Card brings them to your door.
More videos by Steve Louden including – How AMI (Automotive Management Institute) was started 28 years ago. Steve was a founding member (At The Bottom Of The Page Click On ASA – Part 1).
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