There’s only one way of guaranteeing long-term success in the open market; ensuring that the rate at which you attract new customers is greater than your churn rate. A simple yet effective way of achieving that is by tapping into the power of customer referrals.
Believe it or not, no marketing ploy is as effective as a genuine customer referral. By converting your regular employees into strong brand advocates, you can increase your chances of not only retaining the customers that you have, but also of attracting new customers. Here’s how the concept applies to the unforgiving industry of auto repairs and dealerships.
Customer Referrals and the Automotive Industry:
There’s no denying the impact customer referrals can have on an organization’s future. A Forbes article explains how Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is the most effective form of marketing by touting the fact that 92% of consumers opt for a service or a product simply because their friends recommended it.
Therefore, if you operate in the automotive industry and can somehow turn your clientele into active brand advocates, you can potentially double your clientele. This can give you a significant advantage over your rivals because these positive reviews and recommendations will drive business from their hands and deliver them to your office!
How to Convert Customers into Brand Advocates:
That’s the million-dollar question. Many big organizations have organized countless research studies and devoted significant resources to find out how they can convert their employees into active brand advocates. While the results of these studies are largely inconclusive, here’s what they all had in common,
1. Ask Your Satisfied Customers:
The easiest way to tap into the power of customer referrals is by asking your happy clients to advertise their business for you. We believe this works well when you’ve offered them an exceptional service and have managed to exceed their expectations.
By striking the iron when it’s hot, you have a better chance of converting customers into brand advocates. That being said, don’t go overboard with your requests for referrals as this can be very detrimental to your business.
2. Announce Special Discounts:
Another simple way to increase your referrals is to offer exclusive discounts for the clients who willingly recommend your services to their friends. This can be achieved by adding a “I heard about this service from” field in your bill as it can make it easier for you to identify customers that are promoting your business.
Once you’ve identified your most vocal customers, reward them for their behaviors by giving discounts the next time they visit your auto repair shop. This positive reinforcement will spur them on to actively advocate for your services and will effectively turn them into a passive employee!
3. Use Social Media:
Never underestimate the power of social media. Given the fact that people spend a significant portion of their time on the internet these days, social media contact and promotion is your best bet of using customer referrals to increase awareness about your brand.
Make use of Facebook marketing and Instagram sponsored posts to create genuine buzz and hype about your products and (as mentioned above) reward your customers who openly advocate for your business.
And that concludes our list of how auto repair shops can use customer referrals to expand their clientele and increase their profits. While these techniques will help you attract more customers, retaining them for long periods of time is another issue altogether.
By far the simplest and most effective way of enhancing customer retention is by relying on auto shop management software. We at LANKAR provide automotive management software that makes the ridiculously complicated tasks of invoice matching, inventory control, and job scheduling simpler so that your business operates at higher efficiency.