Auto Repair Marketing – 4 Auto Repair Advertising Ideas

So, you want to get more cars in your shop to increase your revenues is that correct? Auto repair marketing via the internet is a great way to get more local customers into your shop! Online marketing has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, and with phone books and Yellow Pages fast becoming obsolete, internet marketing is where the real profits are for auto shops. Here I want to share with you 5 auto repair advertising ideas that you can implement into your business to drastically improve the number of cars you service on a monthly basis!

1. You must have a website, and it needs to be designed using the WordPress platform. Most websites are basically just “flyers,” but with WordPress you can create great looking websites, integrate a business blog, install a form that automatically acquires leads for you, and integrate your website with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and other online marketing channels. Sounds pretty cool huh? The sad part is that typically an automotive repair shop will hire a web designer, and he will design a website as cheaply as possible and charge a large sum for the work. The web designer is not a marketing consultant, so instead of designing a marketing machine based on tested internet marketing principles, he simply designs a static site that is not conducive to internet marketing. I see it all of the time when I am look at people who are pushing auto repair marketing services.

2. One of the best auto repair advertising ideas revolves around social media. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook are really taking off, and smart auto shops are using these auto repair marketing platforms to promote their business and acquire new customers. The obvious question is “how can an auto repair shop benefit from Twitter and Facebook marketing?” Those sites are for kids right? Wrong! Facebook has millions of adults logging in on a daily basis, as does Twitter. By being on these sites, you are instantly in front of a large portion of your local or regional audience. Guess what happens when Sally needs a new transmission, brakes, etc. and she sees your businesses profile on Facebook? You have a new customer! Do a good job repairing her vehicle, and she comes back time and time again. This one person seeing your business profile on Facebook or Twitter could easily be worth thousands of dollars to your business!

3. Your website needs to appear in local search results on Google. It is not easy to get listed on the first page of Google and Yahoo, but with some good marketing it can be done. For instance, I am an independent marketing consultant in Atlanta, and I rank #1 on Google for the term “Atlanta independent marketing consultant.” In addition to this, I rank #2 on Yahoo for “Atlanta marketing consultant.” Trust me, having your website ranking highly for local keyword phrases can bring you a ton of new business! This is auto repair marketing at its finest! I have beat out over 2,000 websites to get those rankings, so don’t you think I could help your auto repair shop marketing efforts?

4. Another great auto repair marketing idea is writing information articles and press releases. I imagine you do not have the time to write articles, and certainly do not have the time to put together a well written press release. The good news is that you can get marketing firms to do this for you at a very reasonable price. I have written hundreds of articles promoting by marketing consulting business, and I can tell you it is an impactful and very affordable method to market your auto repair shop online.

These are just a few auto repair advertising ideas that you can add to your auto repair marketing arsenal. The best thing is to hire a professional marketing consultant who can come in and show you step by step exactly what you need to do to turn your internet marketing efforts into a cash generating machine for your automotive repair business!

What to Look for in an Auto Body Shop

Without knowing what to look for, choosing a quality auto body shop is tough. It’s important to select the right auto shop to ensure the vehicle is fixed correctly the first time. It’s also the best way to make sure the shop is honest and reliable. There are many important features of a good shop, including an experienced staff and certifications. It can also help to read customer reviews before making a selection.

A Certified Shop

A good body shop is certified by the largest auto organization. Facilities that gain the approval of the organization have proven their abilities as certification is often a lengthy process. To become approved, an auto shop must demonstrate it has the latest equipment, qualified technicians and a proper facility. It must also show it offers above average training to its employees. Larger associations always collect feedback from prior customers as well before issuing an approval. Auto shops can also receive certification from parts manufacturers and organizations like Autobody Alliance, which requires the shop to meet certain qualifications.

Qualified and Experienced Staff

A good auto body shop has qualified staff with a number of certifications. Certification from ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) is especially important. ASE is a non-profit organization that offers certifications to automobile technicians that show proficiency in their trade. Technicians may also have certification from car manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan, showing their knowledge and experience dealing with particular car brands. Some auto technicians also receive aftermarket training from Bendix, Moog, or NAPA. Most training requires a great deal of knowledge and experience and demonstrates a technician is a professional in their field.

Positive Customer Reviews

When possible, former clients should be consulted about their experience with the shop. Some resources to find reviews are online, making it easy to decide if a body shop has good feedback from the public. Reviews should mention that the vehicle was fixed properly the first time and work was completed in a timely fashion. Positive reviews should also discuss whether a warranty was offered by the body shop and if the facility was clean and orderly. A facility that has the approval of a large automobile association has shown a history of positive feedback from customers, although it’s always a good idea to check into a shop as much as possible.

Accepts All Insurance

Another important aspect of a good body shop is its acceptance of all forms on insurance. An auto body shop that accepts all insurance providers demonstrates it has experience working with insurance companies to settle claims quickly. A shop that is hesitant to accept major insurance providers is a red flag that something may be wrong. This is also a matter of convenience and makes it easier for the vehicle owner to select a shop they feel comfortable with.

Selecting the right auto body shop requires a bit of patience and consideration. For example, choosing the first shop available can be a disaster if the employees aren’t trained properly. A good auto shop is clean and up-to-date with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The shop should have positive reviews and a range of certifications for both the facility and technicians. It should also accept all forms of insurance, making repairs easy and convenient.

Auto Repair Sales – How to Sell $1,000,000 in Service

An auto repair sale is a popular topic with most shop owners. One million dollars seems like a magic number for a lot of shop owners. They’re either struggling to hit it, or they’ve made it and now they want two million or three million. Whatever the goal, fantastic auto repair sales performance is really quite simple (not always easy, but simple). To achieve outstanding auto repair sales performance you have to consistently do four things.

1. Listen carefully to the customer and quickly build rapport and relationship.

2. Ask for the largest possible sale while offering the greatest perceived value.

3. Get the work done. Quickly and correctly.

4. Lock the customer into a long-term relationship with your shop; repeating steps one, two and three at least three times per year.

In step one the key is quickly. To sell one million dollars (or more) in a year, everything is going to have to happen FAST! The rapport building process doesn’t have to take a long time. You can build a strong connection with a new client very quickly just by getting them talking about themselves.

Question: So, how long have you lived here?-What kind of work do you do?-How long have you owned the car?-Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation?-Tell me about your kids/pets… All these questions get the customer talking about themselves and give you plenty of opportunity to identify and comment on common points of interest or experience. None of this takes more than a few minutes, but during this process the vital process of trust building is occurring.

In step two, the key is asking for the LARGEST possible sale. Fear stops most salespeople from asking for the large sale. Instead they convince themselves that the customer will only accept a much lower figure; a figure that they (the salesperson) are comfortable with. This is why I spend so much time in the Advanced Service Writer Sales Training Class working on the closing question. The closing question is the key to overcoming the fear. With it memorized and practiced the fear subsides and the service writer is able to ask for much bigger sales than ever before. I’ve seen this tool add more than $300 per RO to a shops RO average. It is that POWERFUL!

The first two steps are pure auto repair sales step. Step three is a management step. The first two steps are all about the service writer controlling their actions. Step three requires them to motivate and lead someone else to action. The best way to do this is MBA “Management By walking Around”. It simply means you can’t forget about a ticket once it’s in the hands of the tech. You have to get out in the shop regularly (usually every 5-10 minutes on a busy day) and make sure that the work is moving forward. You have to quickly remove any obstacles to success such as parts problems, bad attitudes, or unexpected difficulties with the repair. This is a vital and often overlooked part of auto repair sales.

In step four we’re back to sales. The biggest missed opportunity in most shops is the opportunity to commit the customer to their next visit while they are checking out from this visit. All you have to do is tell them when their next visit is and most people will say ok. Notice I didn’t say ask them when they could make their next visit; I said tell them when their next appointment is. The key is assuming that they are going to return and doing them the favor of scheduling this. I teach several simple techniques in the Advanced Service Writer Sales Training Class that make getting this commitment very easy, simple and natural.

So, there you have it, the four simple (not necessarily easy) steps to selling one million dollars (or more) in service. If you consistently follow these steps the million bucks is yours! An auto repair sale isn’t difficult if you know the steps and have the tools.

Auto Body Repair – Does Bumper Repair Have to Be So Expensive?

There’s a very good chance that you have damaged the bumper on your car at some point in your driving career. Your bumpers are the most exposed parts of your car. They’re the most likely to be damaged. And…they’re designed to be repaired quickly and easily.

There’s also a very good chance that something much worse than having your bumpers damaged has happened to you: you almost certainly have overpaid by as much as double to have those bumpers repaired.

Body shops have two solutions to bumper repair: repaint the whole bumper (if the paint is damaged but it isn’t misshapen) or replace it (if the bumper has been cut, dented, or misshapen). There’s one option that they almost never consider: repair and repaint just the area that has been damaged.

When I owned a body shop I was shocked at how many healthy bumpers with minor damage (bumper rash on the corners, a dent with no paint damage, scratches across the face) were removed and discarded by body shops. The body shops were more than happy to toss bumpers that were 90% brand new because they could mark up the cost of the new bumper to the customer. And they were just as happy to paint the entire bumper for small scratches and scrapes covering just 10 – 20% of its surface area because the paint, primer, labor were all marked up as well. In sum, the tactic of body shops is to make jobs as large as possible because bigger jobs yield bigger profits, and it’s not the customer that’s paying…it’s the insurance company (don’t fall for that–you pay and then some over time when they increase your rates slowly). The average bumper repaint is about $450. A replacement is usually $800.

There is a sub-industry that car dealers use but the public is mostly ignorant of: the spot repair business. Spot repair techs specialize in bumper repairs. They can reshape, refill, recolor, and re-clear almost any bumper that doesn’t have damage done to the tabs that attach it to the car (that’s 80% of bumper damage, by the way). Contrary to what body shops will tell you, bumpers can be fixed, and just the area that has been damaged can be painted. This does require some skill. The painter must know how to properly scuff beyond the damaged area, blend in the paint, and apply the clearcoat so that the repair is undetectable.

What’s the average charge for a corner scuff, the most common of all bumper repairs? About $250. And here’s a HUGE bonus: most spot repair techs are mobile. That means they come to your home or office. A bumper corner can be sanded, primed, painted, and cured within 90 – 120 minutes. Ask your local car dealers for their “bumper repair guy.” There’s many in your area doing work you just didn’t know existed for prices and convenience that you would be silly to ignore.

Auto Body Repairs That Will Save You Money

Your vehicle can last you a long time if you take care of it. In our changing economy right now, you will want to make your current vehicle last a long time. That means you should care for it, keep up with routine maintenance, and take care of any repairs that arise. You may think that only engine or mechanic repairs must be taken care. However, it is important that you take care of auto body repairs as well. There are many auto body repairs that will really save you money down the road!

So many people underestimate the importance of getting paint touch up for their vehicles. Our vehicles paint usually gets small chips or cracks from road debris and other small things that may hit it. Paint touch up will cover those chips and cracks. It is best to take your vehicle to an auto reconditioning shop to get paint touch up since they have the technology to match your vehicles paint for the new paint. Usually it does not make the vehicle look totally better but there is a bigger reason why you get paint touch up. Your vehicles paint is a sealant for the auto body’s metal frame. It keeps it from contacting water and other harmful elements which cause rust. You really don’t want any rust to form on your vehicle, that will cost you more money and more time versus simply getting paint touch up with is quick and affordable.

Bumper repair is another repair that is often overlooked. It is important that your bumper be in the best shape possible, not all for looks, but because your bumper is what protects your vehicle from further damage and your passengers. So, if your bumper is currently damaged you run the risk of incurring more damage if involved in any form of accident which will cost you much more than bumper repair. Bumper repair is another repair that is quick and affordable.

One more repair that can set you behind financially if you don’t get done right away is windshield repair. A lot of times our windshields get cracks or chips from road debris that kicks up on the road. If the damaged windshield is taken in for repair promptly, it can be repaired. However if you wait too long you will have to end up buying and replacement windshield and paying to have it installed which is much more costly than a simply repair. Also some shops will offer a mobile service where they will come to you to repair your windshield.

All of these repairs can be completed at most auto reconditioning shops. They are all affordable and can be completed quickly! But if you don’t take care of these repairs quickly you will face the chances of paying much more later and being without your vehicle longer. So, save yourself money and get auto body repairs! Find an auto reconditioning shop near you who can help keep more money in your wallet and get your vehicles looking great!

Car Ding Repair

A car ding repair is easy to do if you have a good auto ding repair kit. Such repair kits are not so expensive; about $30 and it’s really easy to used. Such automobile ding repair kids can be purchased at most stores selling car parts or car accessories. The task you have to do is to pull or remove glue from the surface on all panels of the vehicle and most of these cheap ding repair items for sale today are really working for this purpose if the dents or dings are not too big. For small and medium dents or dings, ding puller devices provides a simple, cost efficient removal. Fortunately there is no need to access the underside of the panel.

We see a trend today that more and more vehicle manufactures are using light gauge sheet metal in the construction of vehicles. In fact, it is not difficult to dent many new cars by simply leaning against them. The nice things about these dent/ding out, glue puller kits are that they give the do-it-your-selfers and car amateur enthusiasts a professional option to expensive dent removal services.

There are also different kinds of ding or dent repair kit and each of them offers a tool for specific damage. So you must know which repair kit you need for fixing your specific problem. This is no big deal however, because the only thing you have to do is to tell the sales person in the auto part or accessory store what you’ll need to do and he or she will find the dent fix kit for your needs. To cover yourself completely, you can buy several of them, thus having a tool for any ding or dent problem your car might incur. If you purchase three different ding or dent fix kits, you’ll have what you need for all types of dent repair.

How to use these kits? Here is what you do:

  • apply a bead of glue to the pulling nib
  • affix the nib to the lowest area of the dent you’re going to fix
  • the ding repair tool slips over the threaded stud
  • a wing nut tool is threaded down pulling the metal up
  • as soon as the dent is pulled out, a couple of drops of a release agent that normally is included in the kit is applied to the glue and the pulling nib will come right off.

These dent fix kits are inexpensive and easy to use and they will not damage your factory finish.

Auto Body Repair 101

Most cars will need some type of auto body repair in their lifetimes. Whether its from a major collision or just a small dent from every day use, there’s a good chance your vehicle will need to visit the auto body repair shop at least once. If you do experience some damage to your car, it is crucial that you take it to a professional body shop for the repairs. Though most damage is easily visible, in some accidents, it is possible to have damage that is hidden. To get it done correctly and safely, it must be done by a professional.

The first step in the auto body repair process is to take your car in for a consultation. The repair specialist will assess the damage and prepare a detailed estimate. The estimate should be very detailed and list the cost for each part and the amount of labor charged. Original equipment (OEM), used, or after market parts may be used – it is important to know exactly which type of part they are planning to use in your repair. Auto body shops are also accustomed to working with insurance companies – they can handle your claim for you and contact the insurance company when needed.

Sometimes additional repairs are needed after they begin working on your vehicle. This shouldn’t happen often, but it is a possibility, even with a reputable and trusted repair shop. The shop manager should call you and explain in detail why the new repair is needed and why it wasn’t found during the original inspection and estimate. They should also offer to contact your insurance company with this new information and a revised estimate of the cost.

The final step in the auto body repair process is the paint job. A poor paint job will make even good repairs look bad. If you need only small areas painted, the auto body shop will carefully blend the new area with the old paint. Having only a small area painted saves big money, but you must have a professional do the job. Poorly matched paint will not blend with the rest of the car and affect the overall appearance of the vehicle.

Though we don’t usually think of auto body repair as important to the safety of the vehicle as we do when we think of engine repair. However, shoddy repair work can definitely affect the safety of the vehicle. Make sure to have your work done at a professional shop. Getting a referral is the best way to find a good auto body repair shop, but it also helps to look online for reviews and testimonials when selecting a auto body shop to do the repairs on your vehicle. Get the job done right and you’ll have many happy hours and safe hours of driving!

The Importance of Vehicle Safety Inspections After a Collision

Navigating the auto collision repair process can be bewildering and frustrating, especially for car owners who don’t know much about automotive repair. Not only do insurance claims need to be filed and negotiated, but the vehicle’s repairs and overall safety need to be addressed. There are many issues which may influence a car’s safety after it’s been in a collision, and it’s important that these issues not be overlooked during the repair process. To ensure your car’s collision repairs are comprehensive and thorough, it’s a good idea to have a post-repair vehicle safety inspection performed by a professional vehicle safety specialist.

Hidden Collision Damages

When a car is in a collision, the worst damage is often the unseen damage which happens to the car’s frame and internal components. These components are often more difficult – and costly – to fix, and if the insurance company’s repair appraisal is too low, some of these problems may get overlooked. Internal car damage may not be visible, but it can compromise a vehicle’s safety significantly.

Vehicle frame damage is one of the most commonly overlooked collision repair issues, especially when the vehicle was in a moderate to severe accident. A crumpled, bent or fractured frame compromises the strength of the whole vehicle, diminishing the car’s ability to safely withstand a second accident. Similarly, internal components such as frame rails are often damaged during a collision, but may be overlooked during fast, low estimate repairs. To restore the vehicle to its pre-collision safety, these internal damages need to be fixed.

Not All Collision Repair Shops Are Equal

Most collision repair shops offer the same set of services, but the quality and thoroughness of these services can vary widely from shop to shop. Some auto body shops work to complete repairs as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. While this tends to make car owners and insurance companies happy initially, quick, shoddy repairs can lead to more severe problems down the road – compromised vehicle safety not the least.

Auto body shops which perform thorough, high quality collision repair are more likely to dig below the surface to address damages which might have gone unnoticed. These types of shops can often be distinguished from other, lower quality collision shops by their accreditations. NAPA AutoCare Collision Center, A.A.A. Approved Collision Center and Accredited Better Business Bureau certifications are good indicators that an auto body shop will keep your and your family’s personal safety as their highest priority.

Post-Collision Safety Inspection Checklist

Before taking your car home from the collision repair shop, it’s important to make sure all your vehicle’s key safety features are working properly. Ask your collision repair shop to perform a 15 point vehicle safety inspection which covers the following:

– Fluid levels – need to be topped off and checked for leaks.

– Tire pressure – needs to be equal and at appropriate levels.

– Tire wear condition – excessively or unevenly worn tires are unsafe during inclement weather.

– Suspension – needs to be structurally sound, without any bent, fractured or missing parts.

– Belts – check to make sure these are all still flexible, properly placed and working.

– Engine coolant hoses – need to be secure and leak-free.

– Car battery – check for dirty connection or old battery in need of replacement.

– Windshield wipers – make sure these are not cracked or worn, to ensure good visibility during nighttime and inclement weather.

Car Maintenance – Will it Really Help Gas Mileage?

As gas prices continue to rise, the auto industry is out in full force touting the benefits of car maintenance. Many repair shops even have custom “fuel saver” services. While maintaining one’s car is indeed important, does it really save gas? Before we answer this, let’s step back and look at auto maintenance for today’s cars.

The first question we need to ask is – what does my car need (according to the manufacturer) for it to be considered “maintained.” Today’s cars no longer have distributor caps, rotors, points, and a variety of other ignition components – so these don’t need maintenance. Many vehicles now come with extended service parts such as 100,000-mile platinum spark plugs and life-time fuel filters. Oil change intervals have been extended to 5,000 miles or more. The 3,000-mile oil change is ancient history. Coolant flushes and transmission services aren’t needed until 100,000 miles if at all. Yet, even if we performed all the above services, will they increase fuel efficiency? Probably not. Unless your vehicle is misfiring (i.e., not running on all cylinders), you’re gas mileage is likely fine.

So what part of car maintenance adversely effects gas mileage for the average driver of a late model vehicle? Three things: tire pressure, air filters, and excess carbon.

Tire Pressure: Setting your tire pressure is free, and is the best maintenance service you can perform to maintain maximum fuel efficiency. It’s that simple.

Air Filters: Air filters can indeed get plugged after a considerable amount of driving and can then restrict air flow, which will not allow your fuel to burn efficiently. This can also cause excess carbon build-up, which can reduce miles per gallon. The good news: air filters are cheap ($15 to $30), are easy to install, and usually only need replacement every 30,000 miles.

Excess Carbon: There is another auto maintenance service that “can” help gas mileage. It’s called a fuel system cleaning service. Some repair centers call it fuel injector auto maintenance, or a fuel injection service. Simply, chemicals are added to your fuel system through a variety of orifices to clean out excess carbon deposits on your valves, pistons and intake manifold. This naturally forming carbon (in excess) is not good for gas mileage. Excess carbon absorbs gasoline, which would otherwise be used to power your vehicle. However, before you run out and spend the $150 + to have this service performed, there is one important consideration – the service will only work for vehicles that need it. In other words, yes the stuff works, but you’re vehicle may not have any excess carbon build-up. You wouldn’t wash clean clothes – right?

When you see those “fuel saver” services for $100 to $300, they’ll likely include an air filter, tire pressure check, and a fuel system cleaning service. If you’re wondering whether or not your vehicle needs it, ask yourself the following:

1) Do I use quality gasoline consistently? 2) Have I replaced my air filter at least every 30,000 miles? 3) Have I checked my tire pressure recently?

If you can answer these questions affirmatively, you’re probably ok. Buying cheap, no-name gas once-in-awhile is ok. Replacing the air filter and setting your tire pressure is common sense. Also, if you drive like grandma, get out on the highway and press the vertical pedal at your right foot “all the way to the floor” until your vehicle accelerates to speeds at which you’re not all too entirely comfortable. Then repeat a few more times. This will help clean out excess carbon – FREE – less the cost of fuel. Be careful. Watch out for cops.

In summary, follow your manufacturer guidelines for your car’s maintenance – not ones designed by those who stand to benefit most. Use name-brand fuel, set your tire pressure now and again, pop in an air filter, according to your car’s recommended interval, and don’t be afraid to drop the hammer now and again.

Auto Repair for Beginners

As a new owner of a vehicle, you must know about auto repair. This way, when your car breaks down, you what you have to do. Many automobile manufacturers and auto parts dealers provide their customers with tips on how to do basic auto repairs.

It is important that you familiarize yourself first with the parts and systems that make up your automobile. Knowledge about how these parts and systems work, and what their optimal performance levels help you master simple auto repair techniques. If you are aware of how your car functions, you will not have a hard time identifying where a strange sound is coming from and what part of your vehicle is affected.

By knowing the basics, you can perform simple troubleshooting procedures when your car breaks down, instead of sending it to a mechanic right away. You will not have to spend massive amounts of money just to hire a professional for a simple job you can do yourself, such as adjusting a few loose screws or cooling an overheating radiator.

As a beginner in auto repair, you must realize the importance of owning a basic service tool kit. This usually contains wrenches, screws and a jack. If your car stalls on the road, you will most likely need such tools to start it up again. Tools make auto repairs easier because they allow you to troubleshoot hard-to-reach areas.

If you want to learn more about auto repairs for beginners, you can try asking your favorite mechanic for some pointers. You can also try searching the World Wide Web for tips on auto repair. Through a search engine, you can access a wealth of information. Aside from research, you also have the option of signing up for short courses on auto repair.