When we had our repair shop email marketing was not a big thing. Also, shop software that would email service reminders was not a popular thing.
But now, I honestly don’t know how repair shops can really do it all without collecting email addresses. Can you run a shop without yet? Yes, but you can do so much more if you do collect them!
Someone recently mentioned that the email address is not a “required field” in their shop software so that’s one reason why service advisors were not collecting email addresses.
Here’s the thing. You don’t really want it to be required. Why? Great question! Simply put: “garbage in, garbage out”
Trust me. I learned it the hard way. We made it a required field and ended up with:
- No email
- Customer doesn’t want to give email
Now, when that gets exported into your email marketing program, …. Now you see where I’m going? It comes out as errors in your system that you have to remove and/or clean up, so don’t require that as a field unless you like garbage.
For us, we had to follow Simon Sinek’s advise “Start With Why”
First, show them the “why”. Explain to your Service Advisors, and entire team, the reasons why collecting email addresses is so important to you – but also to them. Let them know that collecting email addresses will allow you to perform retention marketing to bring customers back into the shop. More customers are more revenue which is more money in their pocket, also. Collecting email addresses is just as important as the quality work they do which creates loyal customers. Loyal customers come back for future service because they trust you to do the job right. The email addresses allow you to reach out via email marketing to alert them to tips, future service needs, joining your social media pages, asking for reviews, etc.
Show them the “why” so they get the value and importance of it.
Make it worth their time. I really wanted to be a dictator and just tell them “it’s your job, do it”. I know better than that. Teamwork makes the dreamwork. We actually did an internal contest between our service advisors. First, we figured out what each one of them valued:
- Time off
- Cash money
- A gift card to a favorite restaurant, movie theater, etc
- Lunch with the whole team on their behalf/your dime
Incentivize your contest with that prize. Inform them that the Service Advisor who collects the most email addresses at the end of the month will win ___that prize___ that matters to them (and not a $5 gift card… something that matters) 🙂 Something that is worth them trying to get an email address from the customer.
Consider all objections first. Before you talk to them, imagine and address their objections so you are prepared. It’s always better to be proactive than reactive.
- “No one wants to give their email address”. Yes, they do. It depends on how you present it to them. Explain that you can ask the customer for their email address so you can send them photos of what they find in diagnosing the car. Present it in a different way – something that matters to the customer.
- “I don’t have time for that.” It literally takes just a second. That’s not necessarily a valid objection. Dig deeper to find out the real objection. It’s probably that they’re confident in their routine and process but just don’t have a good place to add that question in. Have an answer. Show them where/how it is most effective to add that question in. If you simply ask “may I get your email address” most people are conditioned to say “nahh, that’s ok”. Again, find the reason for asking and include that in a meaningful way. Look at your process. Where does it make the most sense to do the ‘ask’? Work together to find the perfect fit.
So think ahead at what the Service Advisor will feel is an objection to collecting email addresses. Have your response ready.
Email marketing is STILL incredibly valuable. Most shop software will send service reminders, etc for you if you have your email address. But in addition to the automatic emails being sent, there is a highly effective opportunity you can tap into with ongoing email marketing.
Don’t miss out on this chance to stay in front of your customers. Honestly, even if they DON’T ‘open’ your email, your shop name still showed up in their inbox. Remind them you’re there. Stay in touch. Collect email addresses!
If you need help or have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
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About The Author
In addition to being co-owner of Shop Marketing Pros, Kim is a Master Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact and a StoryBrand Certified Guide. Kim is a past shop owner and has served as President of ASA North Carolina.