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Monday, 29 April 2019 20:45

AP Digital Shares How Body Shops Can Expand Their Customer Base Online

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Many collision repair shops wonder how to reach more customers to drive business through their doors. In this day and age, the customers are found online.

 

Brent Betts, AP Digital’s senior account manager, shared some of the ways shops can reach more consumers online by improving and monitoring the metrics on their websites.

 

“Business owners should understand what their website is doing for them and for their potential customers,” he said.

 

Some of the challenges shop owners face include frustration when the shop does not operate at full capacity, the desire to find customers outside current referral sources, increased competition from consolidators, motivation to beat the industry average growth of 5 to 10 percent annually, skepticism about marketing due to a previous bad experience, and a lack of comfort deciding what to do to increase their online presence.

 

Betts noted, “There’s always a gap in understanding the best ways to enhance your online presence because of the speed of technological advances. It’s good to Google your competitors as well so you know who’s being more aggressive online.”

 

Collision customers also face challenges: They don’t understand where to start but are driven by a sense of urgency. They also don’t understand the insurance process, preferred shops and how all of it impacts their repair.

 

“There’s a big gap with consumer awareness regarding certified repair programs,” Betts pointed out. “Also, trust is a huge factor for consumers. These challenges should guide your online strategy.”

 

According to Betts, in 2018, more than 1.54 million searches took place on Google each month for collision repair.

 

He pointed out, “The great news is that consumers are actively searching for your services!”

 

Since Google owned 86.2 percent of online search in the U. S. in 2018, Betts suggested writing what Google is looking for because websites rank higher if they answer all common consumer questions.

 

“Your website is the foundation of your online existence,” Betts explained. “Consider your website as a new side-door entrance to your lobby. What if your best estimator, appraiser or customer service rep worked 24/7? What if these folks could handle an unlimited number of customers at the same time? Your website is an opportunity vehicle.”


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