Does Your Auto Repair Shop Need A Website?
How your auto repair shop is losing customers without a website
So you've started your auto repair shop.
Everything is going smoothly. Your customers are happy, you've got a brilliant team, and profits are rolling in. You're pretty established and you're the go-to guy for repairs in your area.
Not so fast.
Although you have happy customers, you've had the same customers for years, and you only get by on referals. Your team, although brilliant, could use some new members, you hope to grow and expand, maybe get a second shop, but you don't know how.
The answer is simpler than you think: a website.
A well designed auto repair website
I know what you're thinking. "I've had this business for over 10 years without a website and I'm doing fine!", "I'm still a small shop, maybe I'll get a website later...", "I have a Facebook or a Google maps listing, that's basically a website", or my favorite one: "this website stuff is too complicated."
Of course, your repair shop may be working great for now. The problem is, more and more of your customers are moving online for searching their needs. Your competition is online, and I'm not talking about Canadian Tire or Walmart, I'm talking about your independant "Joe Blow's Repair" type mechanics, the type of repair shop YOU are.
Point is, When people look for independant repair or auto body shops like yours, they don't see you and go in for service, they look for them online, maybe see some reviews, see some pictures of your shop, see your prices, and then make the decision to schedule an appointment or visit you.
Below are 5 main reasons why you need a website, and how to set one up:
5. Google maps won't always serve you well
When your customers do an online search of auto repair in their city or town, they'll likely look at the results in the first page rather than go through all the Google maps listing one by one.
And guess what typically appears on the first page? Bingo! Your website.
Now if your customers were to look through Google maps, It's no saying where you're going to end up in the front pages.
For example, Google maps listings are almost purely based on the number of ratings you have, and the quality of them. This means it doesn't matter if you provide the best service, if you're a new auto repair shop with no reviews, you'll be put at the bottom of the list
If you have a website, on the other hand, you wouldn't have to worry about being a new or old repair shop, or the number and quality of ratings you have, your customers will see your website regardless. Although ratings and customer support are still important, a strong website can surpass them.
Imagine scrolling through this
Now imagine scrolling through this (notice how it's much easier to find independant shops)
4. Your customers expect a website
Did you know 83% of customers go to a company's website for information? They're been so used to doing things online, in fact, that some will even expect to book their appointments online via forms.
Although you don't have to go as far as putting an appointment form on your website, you can still see the effect a website has over your business.
And that's not top say you can get away with a one page website listing only your hours and contact information, customers expect a good website too! Most customers expect a multi-page, mobile friendly website with lots of information about your business After all, you do want your website to be more informative than your Google maps listing. You can read more about making your website better here
3. It provides social proof
When your customers come you from refferrals or from seeing reviews, that's social proof. Although reviews on Google maps, Yelp, Yellowpages, or Facebook can play a part in poeple coming to you for services, you don't have control over those reviews.
I'll tell you a story about how lack of review control can hurt your business. One of my clients who owned a tire shop told me he had a "customer" leave a negative review for her friend on Google maps. The reviewer said her friend received terrible service at his shop and she is leaving a review on her friend's behalf
Obviously, you can see the problem here. My client tried his best to look for her in his customer records, but found nothing. He even contacted Google to take the review down; they didn't do anything. Eventually, he went to court to settle the review.
As you can see, a lack of a website leaves irate customers, or sometimes random people, to leave negative reviews about your services elsewhere with impunity on the internet. When people see those, they'll steer clear of your shop.
When you have a website, your Google maps listing or Yellowpages won't be the only impression your customers get of you.
Take a look at this website we designed, there's a testimonial slider, and only the good testimonials go in! Check out the rest of the website we designed!
2. Let people see your portfolio
What's better proof of a good repair than a picture of your job well done! Your customers may rely on other people to gauge whether to accept your services or not, but nothing will be more convincing than a good before and after photo of what you can do. Whether thats fixing up those nasty dents, outfitting a hotrod or muscle car, filling in a chipped windshield, or giving a total makeover.
Having a website allows you to display your portfolio and abilites. You might be thinking, "I can do that with Facebook." Which is true, but it won't have the same effect as a website, each time you post, your older posts gets pushed down until nobody bothers to scroll down and see it anymore.
Everybody likes to brag a little, even your customers enjoy it!
1. It's easier for people to contact you
If you want customers, you'll have to have a variety of ways for them to contact you, obviously, if they don't know who you are, they can't visit your shop and use your services.
You already have a Google maps listing that has your phone number, that's a good start, but not enough. Many customers don't have the time to call and ask about services, or they just don't like being on the phone. So they'll look for an email. If they don't find one, they may just give up scheduling an appointment or asking questions all together, going over to an auto shop that does have an email.
If you already have an email, it's probably on your Facebook or some other directory like Yellowpages. Problem is, Yellowpages don't have email listings, and If Faceook, you have to click on the "about" section to find it. Not may people know about this, so your email may never be found, point being, you have no control where your email appears, but you do on your website, it could be tucked away in the bottom of your "contact us" page, or it could be in plain site on the homepage, your site your rules.
Would you look at all that! Email, phone, fax, postal code and location all on one page. Even the homepage has contact info
Setting up your website
Now that you undsetand the value of having a website, it's time to set one up. Not so fast, what about the cost? What level of computer wizardry do I have to know? Which companies whould I use? Don't worry, we'll answer all those below.
3. It's not as hard as you think
These website builders are easy to use regardless of how good you are with computers or technology. No need to learn code or hosting to get your website up.
Ugh, just thinking about that gives your brain the heebie jeebies
2. It's not as expensive as you think
A website can cost upwards of $10,000! That's probably more money than it took to set up your shop! Don't worry, you're not Canadian Tire or CAA, your website won't cost nearly as much. In fact, we just mentioned some free website builders above, so you don't even need to pay for a website.
There are some drawbacks though, nothing is really free, these free website builders will heavily infiltrate your domain with their brand. What this means is their brand will appear all over your site.
You may think this is no big deal, but your customers do. They see branded domains as unprofessional, and are less likely to take you seriously.
Free versions can also be quite limiting in other ways, for example, your site may not be viewable on a mobiel phone, which is how most people browse the web nowadays. It might only be able to hold a certain number of pages, so you won't have as much information. Worst of all, they are hard to cusotmize, leaving out more info about your shop.
You can either use the paid version of the website builders at a low cost, but it still won't be as customizable, or you can use a web designer and have your website up at a higher cost, but more customizable.
Can you imagine spending $10,000 on a website? Some cars don't even cost that much!
1. You don't need to use Yellowpages
Maybe you did some research on having your website designed, and thought of using Yellowpages, after all, they do deal exclusively with local businesses like your's, so they must know how to design a website, right?
Not so fast. Although you may already have a Yellowpage listing, you may want to reconsider getting a website from them. Did you see their prices page? $110 a month, and that doesn't include the initial fee! Wow, and you thought this website stuff would be inexpensive!
Don't get me wrong, Yellowpages is a great directory for your business, and their websites aren't even bad, but is it worth the cost? Sure it can be justified if they made 100%, A+, cream of the crop websites, but there are so many other web design companies that can design a better or similar website to Yellowpages with the same feature they offer, and cost much less.
Who should I really use then?
"Alright, you've crossed out most of my options, now who do I choose to set up my website with?"
The best answer is: your choice
Seriously, I don't know anything about your repair shop, only you do! Your number of employees, services you offer, location, all down to the last square feet of your facility, only you know.
So take your pick, and choose wisely, you don't want to make any mistakes, take a look at our redesign guide for more info.
If you're still wondering, we do offer website design for auto repair shops, tire shops, auto body shops, and many more. We're confident in our abilities, so we'll design a free demo website first, if you like it, we can go through with the design, and you'll only pay when the website is done. If you don't like it at any point, you won't pay!
Take a look at our homepage, there's a lot more info there.
Published by Richard Gao
I do website inspections for free, just email me at [email protected] and I'll do a website inspection and give you free tips for improvement. If you like what you see we can start your re-design right away!