You may be curious about the value of sharing auto repair shop success stories on a podcast. You may even be curious about what a podcast is. In a nutshell, a podcast is like a radio show. It might be an interview or a topical presentation, but the neat thing is that it can be listened to when it’s a good time for you and without all the radio advertising.
I’m sure you’re aware of the exponential growth in smartphone usage and all the way they connect us to our world. Well, smartphones are also a great tool for listening to podcasts. Whether running errands or trail running, you can use your smart phone to listen to a presentation when it works best for you.
This might be a little-know fact, but virtually every car and truck manufacturer includes podcast software in their new vehicles. Think of the benefit to your shop if your customers can listen to one of your company’s podcast episodes while commuting to work in their auto. While you may not be ready to launch your own show yet, one of the main offerings planned for this Auto Shop Connection website is interviews with auto repair professionals like you. What better way to showcase your shop and give value to prospective customers who are looking for quality maintenance and repair for their vehicles?
Why share auto repair shop success stories?
It has been noted by many marketing professionals that we buy from people, not businesses. We buy from people personally recommended by our family, friends or acquaintances, or recommended by social media reviews. When a person “knows, likes, and trusts” the personnel or services provided by a company, they will share that recommendation with their family and friends.
Sharing your auto repair shop success stories and introducing yourself or your employees is a great way to introduce your company to your community. Podcasting is reaching beyond referrals you get from your current customers and using social media to reach new prospective customers. By taking advantage of a system that is easy to access, runs 24/7, and costs nothing, prospective customers can learn about your company anytime that works for their schedule. Even without a firsthand referral, they can find out about you before they use your automotive services.
Your story of how you started your business, including mistakes and successes along the way, make you a real person and introduces you and your employees to individuals searching for a good shop they can feel comfortable with. Sharing your story lets prospective customers discover if you seem like someone they could like, someone they can trust to take care of their car, which is something mailers or internet marketing can’t do.
While its best for them to come to your shop and experience your service firsthand, why not let a podcast share your company’s story, introduce you and your employees, and pave the way for that first visit.
Social media is one way the word about your company can be spread, but it requires spending time online to mingle, build your reputation, and get to know new prospects that may be persuaded that your shop is worth a visit. While it has its benefits, few auto repair shop owners have the time it takes to successfully utilize social media as their primary marketing tool. Future articles on this website will present the benefits and applications of when social media makes sense for an auto repair shop.
Our mission at Auto Shop Connection (ASC) is to provide a way to share your story. Though your shop’s voice won’t be the only one, helping you share about your “great organization” and its people can differentiate your company from others so you stand out in the crowd.
A fundamental point about marketing is this . . . without a good product, you can spend all you want on marketing and still miss out on long-term success. This simply means that marketing can bring in short term business, but then most successful businesses provide great service from employees who develop trust relationships with their customers.
No city, no matter how large, has an unlimited supply of new customers. The solution for long-term success is to provide service that brings people back time and again over years. When you do that, word spreads and prospective customers hear about you. This word-of-mouth is the best kind of marketing because it’s a happy customer telling family, friends, and co-worker about you. Make sure your company has processes in place that encourage your customer to share referrals.
Podcast episodes are an easy way for customers to spread the word about you. They can share your podcast name with anyone they think might benefit by finding out more about your shop. When the new prospect listens, you are speaking directly to them. It’s almost like you are face-to-face, but because it’s automated, it can happen any time, even while you’re away on vacation. What could be better than that?
We all know mobile phones and tablets are the greatest communication device of our time. Using mobile phones to listen to audio while doing something else is becoming the new multi-task mania that will likely intensify as time progresses. Podcasts are a great ways to multi-task. Our Auto Shop Connection podcast will let auto repair professionals tell their story to interested podcast listeners.
How sharing will benefit your business
As described above, the ASC site will share your story once we record it. We will be optimizing and sharing our podcast and onsite information with social media and other online methods. Podcasts are listed on iTunes and Stitcher for iPhones and Android phones, respectively.
When a podcast listener goes to these or other sites to download a podcast to their phone, they have the convenience of listening whenever they choose. An educational or helpful resource can add value to their life and be easily accessed during many activities like driving, gardening, exercising, or just relaxing and listening to content with almost no advertising interruptions. A successful podcast is one that is somewhat entertaining, but also shares information that adds value to their life.
All automotive manufacturers are (or will be) installing Internet access to their vehicles, and partnering with Apple, Google, and other companies to provide Apps in the vehicle’s radio system. The App will allow you to play podcasts without using your smart phone. Consumers will be able to listen to automotive repair tips while driving in their automobile.
If your business offers podcast episodes with valuable content or tips, you have direct access to potential new customers. They hear your voice sharing helpful information and identify it as coming directly from you. That can go a long way towards developing a “know, like, and trust” connection.
7 Benefits of Sharing Your Auto Shop Stories
- Listeners have the opportunity to get to know you and your employees
- Listeners can find out your primary focus, like Volvo, Toyota, Honda, etc.
- Highlighting your auto repair specialty . . . brakes, air conditioning, or electrical
- Sharing your affiliations, such as AC Delco, AAA, O’reilly or Napa auto care centers
- Pinpointing your location in your community so you can be easily found
- Providing options for the best ways for someone to connect with you
- Making mention of your participation in community activities and charity events
Tell your authentic personal story and help your business grow
If you are on Facebook, Instagram or other social sites at all, you are probably aware of how people like to share about themselves and their family. You may also find enjoyment browsing these sites to learn what others are doing. We are naturally curious. Maybe to a point of being nosy!
Sharing how you started your auto repair business and other details about your life make you real and even authentic to listeners. It can help them understand how much you care about providing exceptional service for their vehicles.
Sharing personal information about yourself can help listeners learn about your values, ways you participate in your community, and why you go the extra mile to take care of your employees and your customers. If you like to hunt or race, some listener might identify with you, which makes a connection. Your family activities also connect you with others in your community.
As a part of my story, I confess that I’m not quick to talk about my life, so I understand having reservations about opening up. But while I tend to be more reserved and quiet, it’s not that I am unwilling or afraid to share, I just don’t naturally go there so I need a nudge to get going. By being open to sharing your story the rewards can be significant for your business.
Podcasting with voice only or video adds a more personal touch than social media. There is no better way to connect with customers and prospects than podcasting.
Let your employees tell their stories
Letting your employees contribute by sharing their story enhances the value of your business. What I mean by this is that what one person hears and relates to, another may not. While a potential customer may not feel a strong connection to you, they may identify with one of your employees and be motivated to find out more about your company because of that employee.
If you are managing your auto repair business as an owner, your employees are the ones in direct contact with your customers. By talking with the service advisor they already heard introduced in a podcast, the foundation is laid for a relationship that can quickly grow to become one based on trust and one that lasts.
So don’t shy away from letting your employees share their knowledge and expertise. They may be your best resource in connecting with prospective customers via podcasts.
Differentiate your business from all other auto repair shops
This step is one of the most important pieces of any marketing plan. Planning a strategy to present why you are different from other shops is key to getting the word out about your company. Many people view most repair shops as being the same. Your job is to let them know how yours is different and why they should come to your shop rather than another.
Speaking directly about how your shop is different in your own words is the best way to do this, with the exception of speaking face-to-face. This can be done with audio podcast recordings or video presentations with photos or active video of your shop and company employees.
One of the best ways to differentiate is to share your auto repair shop success stories. Talking about how you helped a specific customer with a specific car problem will make your company more real and authentic.
One of the last reasons it’s so important to differentiate your business from other shops has to do with one of the hardest elements of a marketing strategy. Since most vehicle owners already have a shop they use, its tough to get them to change shops and come to yours. If they are somewhat comfortable with their current shop, significant motivation is required for them to try your shop, an unknown entity at that point.
Anything you can do to help encourage consideration of your company is valuable. Hearing you or your employees speaking, essentially to them, via podcast episodes may be just enough incentive to encourage them to give your shop a try.
When the new customer comes to your shop the first time, to essentially try you out, it will be important that they have a great experience . . . one that exceeds what they’ve experienced at their current shop. You want them to feel like they know you and your employees. They should enjoy getting to know the employees at your shop and they should feel like your employees like working with them. You want them to be so happy with the service or repair experience that they know they will contact your company the next time they need work. Feeling good about the pricing and quality of the work your employees have done during their visit will go a long way.
If your company is able to connect with the new customer at this level, you may have won them over as a lifetime customer. There is a good chance they have a lot of family members and friends that they’ll be excited to tell about their experience at your shop.
Build trust before they come in by sharing stories of your success and introducing them to your company with the hope that they will visit. During these audio presentations you may want to offer an incentive to entice their visit so you can have the opportunity to impress them with your company.
Are you interested in learning more about how to start sharing your auto repair shop success stories? If so, sign up to become a member shop and start connecting with customers in your community.