Bill DeBoer uses Hubspot as his auto repair CRM

Build Your Own Marketing Empire with an Auto Repair CRM

How do you know if your marketing is working to generate the right leads for your shop? Bill DeBoer wondered the same thing until he took charge by creating his own auto repair CRM strategy using Hubspot.

Now, he has cut costs and tailored his customer relationship management (CRM) approach and paired it with his shop management software.

As a result, over the past four years, he has grown his:

  • ARO from $250 to $450
  • Car count from 160 to 260
  • His techs from two to three

And he expects more great things to come.

How Shop-Ware works with Bill’s auto repair CRM

Bill started using Hubspot in 2014 when DeBoer’s Auto in New Jersey served two purposes: selling and servicing cars. He gave up sales in 2016 to focus exclusively on fixing cars.

He also completely changed his approach to marketing. Previously, he had used outbound methods to attract customers by using these types of ads:

  • Newspaper
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Billboards

Now, he uses Hubspot’s inbound marketing software so people are drawn to him based on evergreen content he creates and owns. This way, he has set himself up as an expert offering advice and earning customers’ trust.

For example, he freely shares automotive resources such as:

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Pre-Owned Vehicle Pricing
  • Free alignment and tire checks
  • The Best-Kept Car Care Secrets
  • Videos on various types of services
PreOwned Finder adds to DeBoer's auto repair CRM engine

He also writes blogs that range from common questions to his favorite recipes, like:

  • Why Do Auto Repair Shops Charge for Diagnostics?
  • Top Five Reasons Your Check Engine Light Comes On
  • Green Goddess Potato Salad
  • Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken Thighs

Before Bill switched to Shop-Ware in 2018, he used Winworks, which didn’t communicate with Hubspot at all. Now, he has the application programming interface to share data with his automotive shop software.

In 2021, Shop-Ware partnered with Zapier, which connects shops like Bill’s with more than 5,000 business and marketing apps. Its ‘zaps’ create these channels without having to write code and saves shops even more time.

Bill Deboer praises how Zapier's program works with automotive software and his auto repair CRM

Leveraging his auto repair CRM to earn repeat business

For example, Bill keeps track of clients who come in for a specific service, such as an oil change. If they haven’t returned within the expected time, he creates a Facebook ad and targets those personas specifically with gentle reminders.

Out of the 40 people targeted on his list, usually four come back to his shop. His staff reinforces the message to come to HIS shop via emails, texts or phone call reminders too.

Rather than offering a hard sell, he talks about the benefits of changing your oil regularly or offers a discount. He does the same for transmission service, clients with high AROs and other specialties.

“We build better lists so we can make better offers,” he says. “We know people see the ads and click on them. We serve them up content too so the message isn’t just a hard sell.”

Auto repair CRM data sorted by ARO
Auto repair CRM sorts data by time since last client visit

None of this could happen without ever-changing customer data flowing between Hubspot and Shop-Ware shop management software.

At times, he uses Google, Instagram or LinkedIn ads as well, depending on which yields the best results. Based on those campaigns, he can see the number of website visitors who actively engage with his shop.

“You can see your ad spend and return on investment based on what you’re booking,” Bill says.

He points out how much this could help a multishop operation since they have even more data points to enter and maximize. He finds the cost for Hubspot’s premier package to more than justify his savings in other marketing costs.

“We take our customer relationship management and we really put it on steroids. We customize the messages and put them in our voice.”

Using Shop-Ware for more than an auto shop customer relationship management

Bill describes himself as an early adopter who is always ready to embrace the next tech to advance his shop management.

He also noted these benefits from Shop-Ware integrations:

    • A new customer added to Shop-Ware receives a welcome email via HubSpot.
    • His online calendar allows customers to freely book their own appointments.
    • Customers get a follow-up text with marketing information and surveys after a service.
    • Approval rates for shop recommendations rose by 25% on average.
    • As a result, shop productivity and the number of five-star reviews also rose.

“Shop-Ware communicates with modern platforms,” Bill says. “I’m expecting even more integrations to grow my auto repair shop in the future.”

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