Consumers live in an incredibly loud and fragmented world full of advertising messages. They receive thousands of messages every day from advertisers, mostly through digital platforms. Only about 2 percent of consumers view or take action on those. Think about how much smaller that percentage is for a niche product like collision repair. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The messages that tend to rise to the top are the ones that are personalized, unique and relevant to the customer. The reason for this is because consumers are seeking out companies that connect with them on a deeper level than just trying to get them to buy something. The returns and benefits of personalized marketing tactics (letters, relevant social media posts, community events, etc.) typically outweigh the benefits of standard marketing (email, SEO, text messages, etc.) 10 to 1. This is because personalized marketing allows you to address what is often called the “emotional motivators” of the purchase decision. These motivators are typically questions like: How simple will this shop make it for me? Will I be satisfied working with this shop versus the shop next door? Do they seem to care?
Your customer wants to find somebody they can trust and who they believe has their best interests at heart. Again, this is an emotional event and not something they do often. Finding comfort is a critical part of their purchase decision. This is further validated by our research, which shows that when you align with your customers’ emotional motivators, you can remove the weight the customer puts on questions like ‘What happens if you are not on my insurance’s preferred list?’ or ‘Why is your estimate higher than the estimate from the other shop?’ The reason why connecting the emotional motivators is so critical is because everybody wants to buy from people they like. Understanding these motivators requires a shop to take a different approach than relying on standard industry CSI.
Unfortunately, shops focus solely on things like online reviews to help solve this problem. What should be considered with this strategy is that online reviews become obsolete when everyone in the market has four stars or higher. While online reviews do play a part in the collision purchase journey, our research shows that less than 1 percent of collision customers use online reviews solely as the reason to choose a shop. Generally, we have found that people will consult a trusted resource first, then do research online and use Facebook or online reviews as a validating factor for their decision.