4 steps to build brand loyalty for your auto business

Rev up customer loyalty

As an auto business owner, you know how important it is to build brand loyalty. There’s a lot of competition out there, and you want customers to choose you over another shop. Once they choose you, you want to build brand loyalty so they come back again and again.

How can your auto business build brand loyalty?

We’ll give you the steps you can take to use social media, review sites and email marketing to rev up interest, build brand loyalty and steer customers into your shop. Then, we’ll break down how to keep that brand loyalty and keep your customers coming back.

Get personal. Stay personable. Personalize your customer service, customize your content and let your customers know that you care. 

Coming right up, the 4 steps you need to build brand loyalty for your auto business.

  • Personalize your review responses
  • Build brand loyalty through customer service
  • Steer your content in the right direction
  • Use email marketing to build relationships

1. Personalize your review responses

It’s key for auto businesses to build brand loyalty on Yelp and Google.

When customers are looking for the right place to go for a major repair or a quick oil change, they’re reading your reviews, first.  

What will make them choose you over another business?

What your potential customers want to see, first and foremost, are positive reviews from happy customers. But, what’s also extremely important is that they see thoughtful, personalized and genuine responses to all positive, neutral and negative reviews. In those responses, they can see that your shop is run by an owner who cares about their customers and wants them to have an excellent experience every time.

Here’s how you can personalize your review responses.

Address people directly

When someone writes you a review, it’s important to respond in the most personalized way possible. Including the customer’s name at the start of your response is a great way to show that you care about each individual that you interact with online, which can build brand loyalty.

Pick out details they mentioned in their review

Pick out specific details, then highlight them in your response. Pointing out details shows that you really read their review and that you care. 

Correct any misunderstandings

This is your business. You can defend something that you don’t think is fair, or that you don’t think occurred. Just remember to stay professional and polite. 

Apologize if necessary

Sometimes all an unhappy customer is looking for is a simple apology. You can always acknowledge that you’re sorry your customers had a less-than-perfect experience at your business. 

Invite people back to give you another try

If a customer was disappointed with his visit, invite him back to give you another chance. It shows that you’re confident that experience was a one-off, and you know you can impress him next time. 

Ask questions

A review can be a good place to start a conversation. If a reviewer mentions they had a bad experience with a particular mechanic, ask who it was. Ask what day they came in and what time. Then, you can assure them that you’re handling it in house to ensure that your customers are enjoying every visit at your shop. 

Here’s an example of a personalized response to a positive review. Notice that in the response, the owners are very personable. They reply using Paul’s name and pull out specific information in the review, “We’re glad you and your father have both always been happy with our service.”

Here is an example of how a dealership handled a negative review in a professional, polite manner.

The owner apologizes, says he’s disappointed that that reviewer had a negative experience, and invites the reviewer back again to give the business another try. 

Every review that comes in for your auto business is an opportunity to build brand loyalty. Respond to your reviews knowing that it’s not only for the benefit of the reviewer, but for anyone coming to visit your page. Seeing your calm, cool and collected responses might be the reason why new customers drive over to your shop instead of another shop in town.

2. Build brand loyalty through customer service

Be there for the feedback, questions, complaints and concerns from your customers.

When today’s consumers reach out to your auto business through social media and review sites, they expect a quick response. 

90% of customers reach out to brands on social media and consider it the first place they’d turn with a question, issue or complaint.

This means that each and every mention, comment and wall post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence a customer’s opinion of your business. And, it can impact if that customer comes by for a visit.

  • Monitor your Facebook for any reviews, mentions, comments or wall posts 
  • Check your Twitter for any DMs, tweets or mentions
  • Get eyes on your Instagram comments and DMs
  • Respond

Try to respond within 48 hours to both positive feedback and questions and concerns. Even if you just say, “Thank you!” to a nice comment on Instagram, reply to a tweet or like a Facebook post, interacting with your customers across social media is a great way to impress them and show that you’re listening.

3. Steer your content in the right direction

Build brand loyalty and bolster your brand authenticity on social media. 

When customers are researching auto shops on social media, they’re looking for a team they can trust. After all, potential customers are thinking about leaving their vehicles — one of their biggest investments — in your hands. And, they know when they bring their vehicle in for any service, they’re about to spend some money. Help them understand that your business is the best place for their car and their business. 

Here’s Hovey Motor Cars in San Antonio, TX giving potential customers a look at who is running their business. Content like this helps build trust and loyalty.

Tell your story

Share content on your social channels that tells a story versus sells a product. This kind of content can include team member spotlights, educational tips and tricks, feel-good stories and engaging polls and questions. Telling your story can help you build brand loyalty.

Here are some tweets from Kenneth’s Car Care in Kenwood, TX. which shows a varied mix of content. They showcase their history in the industry, great service and trustworthy team: 

This tweet shows off their history and tells the story of how and why they got started.

 

Here, they let the world know that their service is top notch: 

And, this tweet puts their trusted team in the spotlight, showing potential customers the kind of people they’ll be working with when they bring their car in to their shop: 

 

Educate through social media

As a auto business owner, you’re an expert in your industry. Boost loyalty with your customers by sharing helpful tips and tricks about driving, car care and maintenance with your customers on social media. This educational information will help keep your customers informed even when they’re not in your shop and will build brand loyalty. They’ll see your business as one that wants to help its customers even when they’re not in the shop. 

In this example, Dan’s Auto Repair in White House, TN shares an article about driving tips for summer road trips:

Dr. Tire Inc. lets their followers know the best times to rotate their tires:

You can see how sharing helpful information can make customers more loyal to a brand. They know they can go to the experts at a trusted company for all of their questions and car care needs.

4. Use email marketing to build relationships

Stay top-of-mind with your customers with a good email marketing strategy. 

Email marketing builds brand loyalty. The people receiving your emails have opted in to receive content from you. They want to stay connected with your brand and their looking for deals and discounts. Give the people what they want! 

With a coupon or a reminder about a summertime special, customers who already love and trust you will come back again and again. And, they’re likely to recommend you to their friends since they can easily forward an email along. 

We hope you use these strategies on social media and review sites and in your email marketing to rev up trust and build brand loyalty for your auto business!

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Caroline Barker
Caroline Barker is Sr. Manager, Brand and Communications at GoDaddy in Austin, TX. She oversees the branding, social media, and digital marketing strategies for GoDaddy Social. Her work has been published in POLITICO, Mic, Allure, Small Business Trends, Business 2 Community, and The Self Employed. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.