With recent results published from NADA regarding the aftermarket shop owning seventy three percent of the service and repair business, I knew we needed to get proactive in searching out the aftermarket customers and try to begin to understand what drives their traffic.
My marketing strategy consists of using the OEM to stay in touch with my retained customers across three brands Nissan, Chevrolet and VW. I make sure that the offers stay fresh and all traditional channels of marketing are being used effectively. This has allowed me to maintain and grow an active customer database all why staying within budget. We use this as a way to keep our name and specials in front of our customers and routinely monitor what coupons are most effective and being brought back to the store.
Where we have put a lot of thought and really started to get proactive is in attracting the other segments of business.
#1 – Increasing conquest traffic. I looked at all customers that may have purchased our brand anywhere and go directly after them. This segment may include the do it yourself customer and the collision repair customer, it doesn’t matter, I want them in my shop. To attack these customers I will do quarterly mailers to different brands each month with accelerated specials to just get the car in the door. The special is updated regularly to keep it fresh. After reviewing the response of these customers I say the offer has to be aggressive to have the customer darken your door.
#2 - GEO Marketing – I have targeted the independents close to me that appear to have a solid book of business. I circle that area and market their customers with a special that says we work on all makes and all models. I have located the tire stores near me and sent their households the same buy 3 get one free plus we match any advertised price. Our program is somewhat new but just last month we have information that 156 customers have clicked on our ad from their phone. We are also able to see that 21 customers came in from that special alone.
In April alone I can account for 19 new VIN numbers in my system averaging $286 per repair. In addition our tire business is growing one hundred percent each month this year, and while we weren’t asleep last year in selling tires we have climbed to the larges in our zone.