Digital technology can be a real struggle for auto shops—curse that evil “Yelp” website for exposing your systematic overcharging of maintenance checks! Really though, there are plenty of great digital tools that can help your auto shop be more efficient and market itself better. Here are 7 digital tools you need to use at your auto repair business.
1. Social Media
So far as business goes, social media is a tool that’s easy to use but difficult to master. You should definitely set up pages for your auto shop on all major social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post content that’s both helpful—like informing people about specials or pricing—and also content that’s fun—maybe a car-related joke or something that’s a little punny.
Avoid paying influencers to promote your brand. Influencers are expensive and they really have little usefulness in promoting auto shop stuff—although you could always pay a model to pose on top of a vehicle while eating a dripping cheeseburger. But then you’d be misleading customers.
2. Marketing Software
Social media aside, there’s a lot of great marketing software that can help you plan digital marketing campaigns. Here are a few things that marketing software can assist you with:
- Customer tracking
- Email marketing tools
- Data analytics
- Identifying leads
Just remember that the most effective form of marketing for an auto shop is word of mouth. Communities tend to identify the auto shop that has the best service at the best prices, so don’t think that marketing software alone is going to boost your profits or your reputation. But it could certainly help.
3. Management Tools
If you’re running an auto shop business, then your most important digital tools are undoubtedly your management tools. First and foremost, you’ll need to schedule your staff. Use an employee scheduling app to make sure your auto shop is well-staffed every day that you operate.
You should also look into getting collision repair management software. This type of software will help you track repair claims and estimate costs for your guests. This is a great way for your auto shop to maintain efficiency and also to provide a better service to your customers.
4. Website Builder
A website is one of the most important digital assets for any company, including auto businesses. There are a few things that every auto shop website needs to have:
- Fast loading times
- Secure connections
- Clean, visually-pleasing aesthetic
- Simple organization
- Contact tools
- Payment tools
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to build a great website thanks to the plethora of website builders available. Most website builders are subscription-based so you only have to pay a small sum each month.
5. Task Management Software
As a business owner, you may have unique responsibilities that your staff won’t have to worry about—but you’re also probably going to be a little bit involved with working on cars. There’s a lot on your plate and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Use task management software to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. You can also set tasks for your employees, as well.
The best kind of task management software allows you to set workteams and projects so you can organize all the different tasks that need completion.
6. Client Database Software
Client database software are software programs that help you manage all of your clients. It’ll hold their contact information, which you can use to track their vehicle repair history at your shop, and you can also use it to do email marketing or to send reminders that it’s time for their vehicle to be serviced.
7. Virtual Private Network
Nowadays, the most important kind of security is digital security. Think about using a virtual private network in your office. This is essentially a private network that conceals other internet users from seeing which websites your office is accessing, and helps to prevent against cyber threats, like hacking. Most VPNs are subscription-based and don’t cost very much to use.
As an auto shop manager, you should be most concerned about making car upgrades. Use these digital tools to help you with marketing, staff management, and client management so that you can focus on what really matters.
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