Effectively marketing and advertising your service department is part of building your volume in this highly competitive market. Without strategic planning and the proper execution of a marketing plan, you could lose your customer base to the competition. So, how do you differentiate your business from the other service department right down the road?
1.) Offer Incentives Through Promotions and Use Coupons, Because They Work
Tap into the power of coupons for your existing and new customers. Marketing studies conducted by automotive marketing gurus say that people use coupons, especially for car repairs. Coupons can give you a great return, plus it is an ideal way to capture valuable information from your customers that you can leverage later. Make sure your coupons and printer-friendly and suggest that your customers share them with friends, business associates and family members on social media platforms.
2.) Referrals Are Pure Gold!
If you stress top-tier customer service in every aspect of your department, referrals will fall down like rain! Once you have satisfied a customer, make sure to ask them for referrals, especially right after the repair when they're still in that warm and fuzzy place. Referrals won't cost you much and a referred customer is a better customer, because they already believe in you based on what they've heard from a good friend.
3.) Make Customer Service Not Just a Priority, But a Mandate
Too many service departments start focusing on things that don't enhance their customers' experience. They are so concerned about attaining new customers that they don't bother to properly serve the clients they already have. It is much easier to retain existing customers, so make sure your customer service is seamless, accountable and transparent. When you promise something follow through and never leave any customer hanging.
4.) The Old Forms of Advertising Don't Work Anymore
Finding your customers via advertising is a little more trickier now, with so many different forms of media out there to choose from. Since the advent of things like DVRs, viewers can bypass TV commercials and Internet pop-up blockers can knock out your online ads rather easily. And if you're trying to use the old phone cold-calling technique, there are now a lot of call-screening capabilities out there as well. While many of the old forms of advertising won't work for you anymore, there is a plethora of other things to do. Targeted direct mail advertising is still getting good results and with so many new cell phone applications out there, it's a whole new world of strategic advertising.
5.) Tracking Your Marketing and Advertising Efforts
Is your marketing paying for itself? How many new customers are you attaining every month from your advertising? Most service departments don't have these answers, so make tracking a major priority. You're spending a significant amount of money on your marketing and advertising and maybe your direct mail is working, but your Internet advertising is lagging. Until you track your results, you're just guessing and guesswork won't help you to get to where you want to go!
Ed has been a professional writer for more than 35 years and his specialties include B2B reporting, blogging, ad copywriting, public relations and general editorial.