auto repair technician showing a woman a problem under her car

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6 Ways to Convert Car Owners to Customers Online

Today’s tech-savvy consumers value instant gratification so they start their searches for a repair shop on their computers and smartphones. These power users research auto repair and service options and decide which shops to engage with in an instant. Technology like interactive websites and smart shop management software help you enrich those relationships.

How can you turn those who do engage with your shop into regular customers to best position yourself for success online?

1. Offer Transparent Pricing

Current consumers check pricing during all stages of the repair process – before, during and after. Did you know that 81% of them do online price comparisons before making a purchase? Customers that check your price after they have already authorized the work do so after calling the competition.

Create transparency with your smart shop management software by providing photos and videos as you work.

So, how important is it for your shop to focus on price? Ads and sites that focus on price deliver 6 to 7 times better results than those that don’t.

Phrases that pay include:

• Straightforward and transparent pricing

• Upfront pricing

• We never overcharge

• Happy to provide a good estimate

Include RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator tool on your website to help you build trust with consumers up front to:

• prevent your customers from calling your competition.

• demystify price and enables you to make the conversation with your customer about quality instead.

• provide a range based on the prices at many high-quality repair shops and helps educate consumers about what’s involved in the repair.

• bring you higher web traffic and, as a result, higher ranking by Google for your primary shop website. This maximizes results for new customer growth.

Woman holding laptop while surrounded by messages about warranties and payment

2. Display Warranty Details Clearly

Provide details about your shop’s warranty on your website. For example, include the warranty length and what specifically happens if a part fails or the repair needs a do-over.

The length of the warranty makes a difference. For instance, a RepairPal study found that 46% of consumers would pay more for a two-year warranty than a one-year warranty. Meanwhile, 66% of consumers felt the length of the warranty is more important than it being nationwide. However, this changed only if they serve in the military or another highly mobile field.

3. Make Yourself the Convenient Choice

Today’s consumers are intensely driven by price and convenience. In order of importance, consumers prefer:

  • Shops located close to their home or place of business

  • Service options that make their experience more convenient

  • The appearance and general comfort of the shop and waiting area.

Your shop will win by providing clear directions to your front door on your website. Consumers also heavily value shops that open on weekends and offer late hours, clean bathrooms and loaner cars. Having their own wheels is a more attractive feature than rental cars or shuttles. Coffee, snacks and other waiting room amenities rank as least important since most consumers don’t intend to wait.

Exteriors of three auto repair shops

Good examples of repair shop exteriors

4. Get Customers in the Door with Pictures

For any shop with a web presence, potential customers first visually engage with you by the pictures you post.

Start with a really good, high-quality photo of the front of your shop as it appears from the street. When someone visits for the first time, they need to know when they have arrived.

5. Respond to Reviews

Consumers most rely on friends and family when selecting a new shop. Beyond that, consumers trust reviews, especially verified reviews from members of their own community. For example, apps like Nextdoor allow you to interact with your neighbors and fully share requests for referrals to businesses.

In short, statistics show potential customers choose businesses with recent reviews, which help them decide whether to do repairs with shops like yours. Even a negative review is a great opportunity for your shop to showcase your excellent customer service skills. So, reply honestly with civility about what happened. If a mistake was made beyond your shop management software, a customer will appreciate you owning it and will talk about making it right.

6. Communicate online via shop management software

People use their mobile phones for just about everything these days. They create an essential platform for reaching consumers in need of car repair on your website or within your shop management software. Make your websites mobile friendly and communicate with your customers via text and email.

Shops that don’t use multiple means of communicating with customers miss out. Research suggests that 50% of consumers appreciate being able to get updates via text while another 20% prefer email.

Text and Chat Within Your Shop Management Software. Customers LOVE It!

RepairPal offers consumers the option to create online appointments and send messages to your shop. Ensuring good consumer follow-through across multiple channels is one way the most successful shops are converting leads to long-term customers.

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