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Mapping the Automotive Customer Journey
Do you want more customers for your auto repair shop? Of course you do! Unless you’re planning to go out of business shortly, you never want to turn down a new customer. However, getting that customer can be easier said than done. Do you know where your customers spend their time, both on and offline? Do you know how to reach them most effectively when they’re in those places? This article will show you how to effectively map the automotive customer journey so you can speak their language.
How Well Do You Really Know Your Customers?
You need to become an expert on your customers, and this goes beyond recognizing their names and vehicles when they come into your shop. You need to learn what other businesses they frequent in your area, what social media networks they use, where they search for information when they have a question, how they communicate with their friends, and more. Fortunately, you can find the answers to these questions fairly painlessly by just building real relationships with your customers. The more you know about each one as an individual, the more you know about them as a group. These small bits of information add up to a big picture of your customer base and will help you map your automotive customer journey.
Meet Them Where They Are
When your customers think of automotive repair, you want them to think of you, no matter where they are or what else they’re doing. This doesn’t mean you need to drop thousands on radio airtime or massive billboards, just a strategic investment where you know your customers will be. A Facebook ads campaign could be a good place to start if many of your customers are active on social media. If they spend more time reading the local paper, maybe an ad there would be a better bet. It all depends on the information you gathered in step one and on knowing what will work best for the type of customer you’re trying to attract. That means the methods that work for you won’t necessarily be the same as your friend down the street – and that’s OK!
Data is King
As you may have guessed by now, the key to making this all work is data, data, and more data. The more you can know about your customers and their habits, the better. But all that data is useless unless you can organize and analyze it. Depending on the size of your shop, you may be able to make do with a simple spreadsheet. If your operations are a little more complex, it might be time to look into a CRM option. Whatever you decide, your goal will be to craft a coherent story about all the different touch points your customers have with your business. When do they tend to first come across your brand? How, when, and where do they learn more? What actions do they take? Who do they tell about it? What ultimately pushes them to take the last step and make the call or drive to your shop? Once you’ve answered all these questions, you’ll be well on your way toward mapping your automotive customer journey.
Looking Toward the Future
Now that you’ve done all this work, you’re done, right? Not so fast. Although you’ve mapped your customer journey based on how it stands today, it may change because people change. Your customers may develop new habits, you may adjust your business model, or the entire landscape of the auto industry could shift. It’s important to revisit your automotive customer journey at least once a year to make sure that the information and research you’ve done still holds true. If it doesn’t, you owe it to the future success of your business to make changes so you’re always spending your money in the most effective ways. While you’re doing that, it’s also important to revisit your credit card processing provider about once a year. Have your rates gone up since the last time you checked? Are you unhappy with the service they provide? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, please reach out to us by calling us at 408-295-8360 or dropping us a line on our website. We’d love to help change your perception of the credit card processing industry.
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