In the normal scheme of things, an auto body repair shop has to have some form of advertising in order to make its services known to as large a population of prospective customers as possible. In the past, it was through newspapers, magazines and, of course, word of mouth. Word of mouth advertising is one of the best forms of advertising because it is an endorsement from a trusted person. However, as a business owner, you can’t sit around waiting for that trickle of customers to become a steady stream. And affiliating yourself with an insurance company or a car club is not an easy task. You have to show knowledge, experience, consistent quality and the right equipment to gain their business. Even then, a misstep or two could cause you to lose these groups’ endorsement or affiliation just like that.
Nowadays, marketing experts in the collision and auto body repair industry say that an Internet presence is a necessity for any garage business. As one experienced hand in the business explains it, marketing your auto body repair business on the Internet isn’t just a matter of putting up a website with an address and telephone number in it. It is a trust-building game where a person visiting your site can gather information about your services and see that your shop is a place where their vehicle will be pampered. The best sites have samples of past work, endorsements from a car organization or respected personality and a mix of articles that show the depth of your commitment and knowledge.
In many collision repair cases, customers will be limited to a few choices given out by their insurance company. Even if you happen to be on a list of accredited shops, you cannot sit idly by to wait for a phone call requesting a quote. Increasingly, customers will check out a shop’s online presence, which will be the first impression those customers will get of your auto body repair shop. Your web presence becomes even more important when you don’t have an insurance company’s accreditation to rely on for a steady flow of customers. Choose a web designer who will know what kind of images and colors to use on your site. It’s been found that different colors work for different regions and your designer must be aware of that. Search engine optimization should also be part of the package.
Another advertising avenue you can use is pay-per-click ads on a variety of websites, not just auto-related, to build traffic. This option is inexpensive and will put your auto body shop’s name in a lot of different sites, which can generate leads from several different places.