The automotive service market is quickly changing. With more electronics and computers on the dashboard and under the hood, fewer drivers are willing to venture into a do-it-yourself maintenance project. This trend is good news for service businesses but they have to make some changes to stay relevant in today’s digital world. Google recently published a study on consumer use of digital media and how auto service centers can increase business by using a new approach.
Google’s research shows that most consumers can’t name a brand for auto service and analysts posit this is because the businesses haven’t differentiated themselves. In general, consumers use the following online sources to select a service shop:
- Online search 30%
- Read online reviews 23%
- Checked out the shop’s website 22%
- Mobile search 13%
- Online videos 11%
Some 40% of drivers, even those who plan to have a service technician do an auto repair for them, also turn to online videos to understand the details of the repair. This research process provides a great opportunity for auto shops to build an online reputation with video.
After drivers use a specific shop for routine maintenance, they represent a future income stream. Yet, only 2% of drivers say they’re getting e‑mails or other reminders from these shops. A significant number are relying on their own service schedule (31%) or the odometer in the vehicle (22%). Capturing consumer information at the time of service and using it to later generate emails is an inexpensive way to strengthen connections with customers.
The Google research also shows that auto repair shops can capitalize on emergency situations by enhancing their mobile presence. At least 22% of searches that take place when a vehicle breaks down are for repair shops.
These kinds of marketing campaigns can help auto service centers differentiate themselves from the competition.
To learn more about routine automotive maintenance shoppers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.