There is no doubt that online and social channels are quickly overtaking traditional media in terms of how people get access to information. Shop owners can no longer ignore digital media when it comes to running and marketing their business. But how should you use digital marketing to get the most out of your investment? Here are four ways to leverage digital marketing to grow and manage your business.
Build a Simple & Effective Website
Your website is the central component of your digital marketing plan. A growing percentage of customers make buying decisions by conducting online research, and a company without a website will certainly miss out on those opportunities to capture new business. In addition, new and existing customers now expect their service providers to have a website and online presence, and their customer experience may be negatively impacted if you don’t deliver.
A quality website should be easy to navigate, with an attractive and consistent brand look and feel. Your contact information, shop locations, hours, and other basic information should be highly visible. Use defining, searchable keywords like “auto body shop” or “collision repair” to help boost your search engine rankings. Stay current by regularly updating content, and monitor web traffic and analytics for a clear picture of who’s viewing your site. You should also consider optimizing your website for mobile devices as well, as customers increasingly surf on their smartphones and tablets.
Use Lists & Reviews to Your Advantage
Your website shouldn’t be the only place that customers can find you online. Tools like Google Places and Carwise.com can help you get found online. Ensure that your online listings are complete and accurate, with the most detail possible, to maximize your online capture rates.
As a CCC ONE user, you’ve got access to Carwise for free. You can build your profile from within CCC ONE and gain access to customers that are searching for collision repair shops like yours online. And if you’re an Update Plus user, you can share customer reviews and repair status on Carwise, too.
Build an Engaging Social Presence
The key to an engaging social presence is to determine which channels work best for you, and then maintain that presence with regular updates. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or other relevant media, it’s important to stay current by publishing interesting content regularly. One of the worst things you can do is start a page or account and then fail to maintain it.
Social channels are also a great two-way street for connecting with customers. Make sure you respond promptly to customer inquiries, and take advantage of the opportunity to interact and speak to your customers. You can also put signage in your shop and in your traditional marketing that lets customers know where to find you online.
Take Advantage of Automated Tools
There are several automated tools that can help you maintain your online presence and communicate regularly with your customers. Tools like HootSuite, HubSpot, and Constant Contact provide online marketing engines and support that can help manage your social media posting and email distribution. They make it easy to market to your customer base and stay in touch. And if you’re already using Carwise, you can add a plug-in to your website to automatically display customer reviews on your website. It’s a great way to make your website more interactive and generate trust with current and potential customers.
Modern customers are savvy, and often appreciate—even expect—regular communication from service providers. CCC ONE Update Plus Status is a solution that does this automatically for you. It sends periodic text and email messages from drop-off to delivery to remind customers how well their car is being taken care of. And with Update Plus CSI, you can automatically send customer satisfaction surveys and identify the factors driving CSI.
With these tips, you can establish an online presence that enables you to interact with existing customers, encourage repeat business, and increase your capture of new customers.