Top Ten Tips to win new garage business in 2010

Despite the recessionary gloom there are new market opportunities just around the corner that many garages may not have homed in on yet.

For example, more motorists than ever are keeping cars longer and need trustworthy garages to keep them running sweetly; they may also need replacing soon. These motorists might have been used to selling their car before its third birthday and have little experience dealing with MOTs or car servicing that might have been covered by a 3 year dealership warranty.

Another big audience is that of women drivers who account for some 50% of all garage customers but often dread the ultra-male garage experience at MOT, car servicing or repair times. More than 20 million Google searches were being made for female friendly businesses during 2009; to see which local garages are promoting themselves as female friendly online, just enter ‘female friendly garage’ and your post town into Google to see how they are doing this.

New car dealerships need to attract garage service customers as well; this is an important way for them to retain customer contact, earn well in the process and introduce the customer to the car showroom when the time is right – every new and used car sale counts…

The following business tips are specifically designed to remind garages and dealerships how to maximise their business revenues during a downturn.

1.Put existing customers first, ahead of new ones they are cheaper to keep in touch with and they can influence others.

2.Emphasise a ‘value for money’ message no matter your brand, saving money is essential in a downturn.

3.Encourage a topical ‘maintain and repair’ culture running a well-maintained older car can be both cost effective and environmentally friendly (and it is the lifeblood of your garage business).

4.Explain why OE parts are better than cheaper alternatives just in case motorists might be considering saving money here without understanding the consequences.

5.Consider offering free or low cost emissions checks to reduce fuel costs.

6.Know and emphasise impressive mpg performance, low VED & insurance group ratings to help sell a used car quickly – low running costs are important in a downturn.

7.Do you review your products and services regularly can you add value for the same price or economise and charge less in future?

8.Make sure that you are always seen to be on your customer’s side. Never patronise, overcharge or try to sell services he or she does not need or want to buy.

9.Test ‘exclusive’ offers and loyalty incentives then measure the response. If at first this doesn’t work, don’t give up because it does take more than one message for the penny to drop and this might not be the right time for his or her MOT or car servicing yet!

10.Don’t forget the growth in online shopping and the need for search engine visibility here as well as your website, is your business name getting noticed by future customers in news PR, are you ever mentioned in blogs, on social networking websites or as a Twitter tweet?

For more information about female friendly business marketing services for UK garages, fastfits and car dealerships contact Steph Savill at FOXY Choice via fcsales@foxychoice.com.

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