Rewards & Referrals

Easy-to-use rewards program with a built-in innovative referral tool

The Guide to Auto Repair Lead Gen (800 x 600 px)

The Guide to Auto Repair Lead Generation

November 16, 2023

Every auto repair shop has customer turnover as people move away or give up their cars when they get older. By constantly bringing in new customers, you keep your bays busy and your shop profitable. However, it takes planning to generate leads for your auto repair shop.

Rather than relying solely on word of mouth, you can create effective campaigns that integrate with your shop’s systems. After all, you have some of the tools right at your fingertips. Like an impact wrench or oil-filter wrench, you just have to know how to use them.

We know you’re probably already doing some of these. But we want to make sure you tap into all nine auto repair marketing strategies! 

1. Prioritize Quality Service

This should go without saying, but some shops may feel tempted to cut corners to save costs. That approach backfires every time!

You know that customers tend to share stories about the shop that ripped them off or didn’t do a repair right. You never want to be THAT auto repair business. 

Instead, make top-notch service the foundation for attracting and retaining customers. Go that extra step to make them understand what you’ll repair by offering a digital vehicle inspection. Set up quality control measures, like wiping away any remaining grease stains so every car looks pristine. It all sends a clear signal that you care.

Finally, make sure every staff member understands the value of exceptional customer service in generating referrals. Simple acts like explaining why they need certain regular services creates impressions that last. 

2. Tap Into Online Marketplaces

Sure, you sell clutter from your home garage on Facebook Marketplace, but it can also fill up your pro garage. Every day, thousands of potential customers use online marketplaces, such as Craigslist or Why not insert yourself in the conversation with savvy social media marketing?

To make the most of it, follow these tips:

  • Use engaging photos or videos – You know the videos that make you stop and watch. Now, use them as a guide for your own fun.
  • Create great headlines – You could go with a boring “We do oil changes.” However, tap into a prospective customer’s curiosity with “How to change oil like a pro.” Then add a time-lapse video.
  • Respond to all messages – You cannot just post an ad then ignore it. People may have questions and won’t appreciate silence. Interaction pays off.
  • Join multiple sites – Spread your message around to different sites and areas around you. You never know where your next big customer browses.
  • Boost specific posts – Invest in a boosted post to get in front of more people. Target a specific demographic as the app shows you the cost of each variation.

3. Capitalize on Word of Mouth

In short, turn your satisfied existing customers into brand advocates. Who better to talk about how reliable service than the people who benefit from it?

To get started, offer loyalty discounts or referral rewards for inviting their friends and family to come to your shop. This happens more naturally when service reminders and other texts pop up on their phones while out with their peers. 

With Autoflow, you can set up a program that suits your shop, using data you collect every visit anyway. That way, you stay in touch and celebrate when they get enough points for a reward. All this reinforces your brand awareness and value. And that is worth talking about!

4. Send Out Regular Newsletters

How better to validate your expertise than to highlight it humbly on a regular basis? Overall, your content should focus on how to make customers’ lives safer and more convenient.

For example, customers may not realize snow tire season has snuck up on them again or when to book a coolant flush. By using data from previous visits, you can segment and target accurately to deliver the right message at the right time.

Once you set up your digital marketing systems, you need to deliver consistently. However, each email marketing message should arrive with:

  • relevant subject lines 
  • personalized content
  • your brand clearly visible

5. Write Informative Content

Before you panic, you’ve got this! You know so many helpful tips and examples that you might as well share them.

First, write down a list of the topics and questions that customers ask about most. You may amaze yourself at the length of the list. Think about seasonal trends and processes that you understand well, but may go beyond a customer’s knowledge.

Openly sharing information builds customer trust via content marketing. Further, they will remember who taught them. Now, you’ve set yourself up as an automotive industry expert who is easy to find. 

While the wording may come easily, make sure you provide engaging visuals, such as infographics and step-by-step guides. Turn to free apps like Canva to enhance the quality of your presentation with easy-to-create graphics.

6. Ask for Reviews

Okay, you’ve already asked customers to tell their friends and family how great you are. Now, let’s extend that reach to a wider circle. 

More and more, people turn to online reviews to choose where to spend their money. Seeing a series of five-star reviews will convince them to trust your shop as a credible place to seek services.

So, how do you ask for a review? You simply add it to the text message thread that accompanies an invoice. Happy customers who just paid a bill are most likely to click again to drop a review.

Of course, if you get a complaint, act quickly. A prompt and professional response will impress future customers and win back the person who had a less-than-stellar experience. Learn from each experience and keep on improving.

7. Partner with Other Businesses 

Teamwork pays off – inside your shop and with adjacent businesses. In other words, find like-minded businesses to amplify your expertise with their customers as well.

For instance, you could:

  • Host local events, such as Tech Days, with auto parts stores or car dealerships to encourage high school students to explore the trades
  • align with a female-focused business to invite more women to learn about cars
  • pair up with the pizzeria next door for cross-promotions

Each one introduces you to a new audience. Even better, the trust in the other business rubs off on your auto shop, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors.

8. Offer Incentives

We’ve already talked about promotions like loyalty cards. However, you can still win over new business with additional offers, such as discounts and referral bonuses. Heck, we know one shop that keeps customers happy by leaving a bowl of full-sized chocolate bars in the waiting area!

Don’t be shy about promoting all these goodies with automotive marketing. Showing financial benefits beyond solid car repair speaks volumes, especially for cash-strapped folks. Next, reinforce the need to take action to seize the opportunity.

Whichever approach you use, make sure to have clear terms and conditions to avoid misunderstandings. For example, state that a new promotion extends to new customers only, so you don’t erode your overall profit margin.

9. Optimize Your Landing Pages

Finally, turn every visit to your website into a chance to convert a human browser into a customer. Smart sites optimize their landing pages to win over people who discover you thanks to local SEO (search engine optimization). 

Meanwhile, you use compelling and informative information to deepen your relationship quicker. For instance, A/B testing shows which pages they visit and in which order after they Google your business. Further, requests to provide an email address get them to share data that will help you connect with them again later.

Above all, make sure your site’s user-friendly designs also load quickly before frustrating anyone. This matters even more on the mobile version of your site. Ideally, you want to improve visitors with a seamless user experience.

Well, that’s the full list!

As you can see, auto repair lead generation follows a series of steps. In fact, it works just like any repair order as it tunes up your business.

Most importantly, you can turn to your loyal customers to help you win over others. Also, take your expertise and data, then use it to get more drivers to trust you. By partnering with others, you engage people in ways that pay off for your shop.

Most of all, applications like Autoflow deliver many of the tools you need to get the job done. Turn to our team  today by booking a demo. Soon, you’ll kickstart your efforts to generate quality leads that convert into new customers.

Chris Cloutier

Chris Cloutier

Architect/President at Autoflow

The Desire for Continuous Improvement

As an auto repair shop owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, Chris Cloutier realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time.

Click here to

Chris Cloutier