Next, Betts discussed the challenges faced by the collision repair customer. Such challenges included not understanding where to start in the post-collision process during a time when urgent action is required; not understanding the insurance process, direct repair shops and their influence’s impact on their repair; trust in repair shops; and the major gap in consumer awareness regarding shop certification programs. He emphasized that these challenges will guide a body shop’s online marketing strategy.
He then presented a slide displaying online search statistics for body shops. Notably, more than 1.54 million searches take place on Google for collision repair monthly. There are about 201,000 searches for “body shop,” 110,000 searches for “body shop near me” and 33,100 searches for “collision repair.”
“What’s great about these online folks?” Betts asked. “They are actively searching for the services you provide … When they’re looking for collision repair, looking for a body shop, it’s because they actually need your service."
He then moved on to where consumers start their online search for a body shop. He said Google is always tracking consumers’ needs, as its number-one objective is to display the best results for the search term on its first page.
“Google is watching you,” he said. “It’s watching everything you do---on your site, with paid ads, on social media, with videos that you post … it’s all looked at by them. So when you put your strategy together, you have to make sure you meet your customers’ needs [and] you have to make sure you’re playing along with the rules of what Google wants you to do so you can win and show up higher in search results.”
He emphasized that a shop’s website is the foundation of its online existence and that shop owners should view it as its digital shop---or the new side-door entrance to its front lobby.
“What if your best estimator, appraiser or CSR worked 24/7?” he asked the audience. “How much more business would you get out of that? Well, that’s impossible, but your website does this. And what if there were folks who could handle an unlimited number of customers at a time? That’s what your website does.