Obviously, there’s more to making a customer a raving fan of your shop than just sending them a follow-up message, but how you craft that message paired with their experience in the shop can keep them coming back.
How Does a Customer Retention Management System Work?
Finding the Right Customer Retention Management System for Your Shop
How to Use Your CRM
While some CRM softwares can integrate with your digital advertisements, the goal of your CRM exists in its title: customer retention. We talk a lot about the difference between acquisition marketing and retention marketing, and this topic is all about retention. Retention marketing strategies are the touches that occur to keep a customer a customer. It’s everything that happens from the point they book their first service with your auto repair shop to the days following their vehicle pick up. There are plenty of message options available that are automated in your CRM, but the following are the keys to having a basic retention strategy:
For example, after someone’s first experience, you may want to send an open ended question to ask how everything went.
This allows for easy communication and usually provides a space for feedback to be given if needed.
Once someone has had a few appointments at your shop, you can send them a review request.
If they’ve chosen to visit the shop three or more times, they are in a good space to know, like, and trust you, and can leave a thorough review.
Justin Jackson, Mechanic Advisor’s Senior Director of Marketing, suggested also including deferred work reminders:
routine service and/or have a pending declined service.
AutoFlow VP of Marketing Jeremy Glassco’s number one tip was,
a) an automated drip marketing campaign running behind the scenes
b) a mass message blast, we would strongly recommend that you take
the time to get the automation set up first.
follow-up in place with messages that will be timely, personal, and
segmented with a specific call-to-action for the customer.
With these tools, your customers have easy access to contact you and you are staying top-of-mind by following up with them, especially for reviews and feedback. As a shop owner, you must understand the importance of customer reviews and how they can impact your business. Having positive reviews from customers on Google and Yelp can help boost your online presence, increase trust in your brand, and attract more customers. Automation is key when it comes to getting more customer reviews because it makes the process easier for both your shop and your customers. It often takes several “asks” to encourage customers to leave a review, but the beauty of your CRM is that it can automate the process.
The unsung hero of your CRM is the benefit of using it when your bays may not be as full as you’d like. If your CRM and your shop software system are up to date, you can likely send out what we call a “slow-day text blast” to any customers who haven’t been to the shop in a while. Slow-day text blasts are a great solution for auto repair shops looking to increase customer engagement and sales. With text blasts, you can segment your customers to see which groups are more likely to respond and take action. You can also filter by money spent, new or existing customers (by visit), and other criteria to ensure that you’re targeting the right audience. Additionally, relying on your marketing team to help guide you in creating the best message for your campaign will ensure that your message is effective and reaches the desired audience. While this won’t fill all of your slots, it’s a good way to get a few extra appointments on the books and cars in the bays.
One of the most important aspects of making your CRM successful is making sure it’s working for you. This means understanding the platform and using it to the best of its abilities, but also personalizing your campaigns so that your customers want to open and answer these messages. If you know anything about us, you know that we’re big on your customers knowing, liking, and trusting you. Many shop owners may be quick to turn on the campaigns in their CRM without looking too closely at them. If your campaigns sound like they come from a computer, your customers are not being engaged with authentically. Take the time to view which messages are running and edit them so they sound like you or your service advisors. Customizing these messages as well as segmenting them by last visit date, ARO, or vehicle brand can further personalize your campaigns and improve your response and retention rates. A/B testing on your text messages is a great way to determine what sort of content and calls to action that your clients respond best to.
When we get a new client, one of the first things we ask is what their process looks like when bringing a new customer into their auto repair business. Incorporating a retention marketing plan with your CRM brings your process to the next level in brand building, reputation management, and creating raving fans out of your customers! Retention marketing paired with great customer service is key to keeping your customers coming back. While your CRM may have a dedicated representative for your account, we also suggest reaching out to your marketing team to make sure that your messaging is consistent with your other marketing.