As with many other things, car owners can now turn to their smartphones for the task of finding an auto mechanic who can take care of their auto repair needs. Services like RepairJungle and RepairPal allow customers to receive online estimates for auto repair services via a mobile version of their site so customers can process requests from anywhere.
Apps like the RepairPal app for iOS and Android devices provides customer reviews and the ability to locate a shop nearby. The app breaks down estimates by parts and labor costs and even connects you with roadside assistance.
Auto repair shops aren’t usually highlighted on the major review apps like Yelp or Around Me. But a majority of consumers will take proximity and user reviews into consideration when they choose a mechanic and decide to make an appointment. Many times, these two qualities are more important than offering the lowest price. So it makes sense for shops like these to embrace mobile technology to reach a wider audience and offer them the information and ease necessary to aid them in their decision.
Apps allow shops and businesses such as these to promote their services through a marketing medium they are used to: Word of mouth.
The only difference is that the recommendations come via the Internet. Shops who are able to provide quality service for a lower price can use mobile apps to draw in business from other parts of town. Parts of town that may be wealthier, which makes a difference.
As John Mallette, owner of Burke Auto Body and Paint explains, “Where you get screwed in our business is labor hours.” His Long Beach shop charges 40 dollars per hour. But he has heard of shops in a nearby wealthier part of town, Newport Beach, that charge as much as 90 dollars an hour for the same exact service.
Making the Most of Online Services
Despite the fact that more people than ever use the Web to research everything before becoming a customer – including their auto mechanic – some businesses and shops still don’t advertise on the Internet, as hard as that may be to believe.
Online advertising can be extremely cost-effective. Consider the fact that services like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads charge only when someone clicks on the ad. Compare that to the cost of running an ad in a local newspaper or magazine and you begin to see the advantages.
In addition to cost, online marketing campaigns tell the business about customer intentions, behaviors and the effectiveness of their marketing campaign. There is much information to be gained.
All businesses stand to gain a great deal from harnessing the power of online marketing through commercial apps, social media and search advertising. All it takes is some time to get familiar with the tools – but it’s well worth the investment.
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