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Your auto shop website – an asset or expense?

Your auto repair shop website - an asset or an expense?

We help Auto Repair and Detailing centres to excel and scale fast. | The Garage Mentor

If it’s an auto repair shop that you’ve been cherishing during the last few years, certainly it became a part of your nature, your family, and your life… Because you’ve been taking care of it as your own child from the very first moment of its birth… And you’ve sacrificed so much to let it grow as a beautiful and healthy creature, just as you’ve done for your beloved ones 🤱. That’s why keeping the right environment for its growth is so important…

🤔 You’ll have to acknowledge that an inevitable part of your beautiful and healthy creature is the branded attractive & functional website, especially if you aspire to establish a class. And why do you need a website at all? Because it’s the vehicle that is going to take your shop to the future… and because businesses that own website look more legit and trustworthy right?

You’d agree that a reputable and classy repair shop (just like yours) must have all the assets and tools lined up and maintained in the proper manner. You don’t want potential clients to stumble across a bad looking and poorly performing website ( but not yours because your one looks sound 🤥 ), as it is going to raise immediate concerns about the actual quality of services that the owning company provides. But if you’ve been around for a while, you know that hints of uncertainty and doubt in your clients dramatically affect your ability to hit the end goals.

🤔 So how the hack should an auto shop website look so that it will attract customers and convey trust?… Oh, that’s a great question and I thank you for asking. With that said, fancy the next scenario – you’re going to explore a physical family-owned shop and its services that you’ve just discovered and you might need soon, but you aren’t quite sure if it’s a good fit for you. What is the first thing that you would expect to see when you open the shop’s door? What would impress you at that moment the most?… Speaking from my point of view, it’s the owner’s or staff member’s friendly smiling face in a welcoming environment. So, does it make sense that the first thing you would expect to see on their website is the same friendly smiling face amid its natural welcoming workshop environment?… It should, because the website is an online extension of the modern repair shop, so the first impression must be equal. And it should match exactly what you would see when you go to their physical place. They don’t want your first thought to be “Oh, did I just come to the wrong place?”.

Next, after a few nice words to build rapport, you will expect to learn more about the sort of work they do and the kind of services they offer 🛠🚗 . Regarding the website, you should find this in the first place next below the head section on their website when you, as a potential client, scroll down the page.

We help Auto Repair and Detailing centres to excel and scale fast. | The Garage Mentor

Your next concern would be if their shop will provide a quality service so that you feel certain and safe after you leave – here is their function and moral obligation to prove their trustworthiness, credibility, and specialty. At that stage, you will be interested to know more about their staff’s qualifications and expertise because for the clients (like you) matters to whom they are going to entrust themselves or their property. Then you’ll ask them questions about the quality of materials they’re going to use and the brands they work with.

Opposite to any assumption, the price doesn’t matter that much because you know that in most cases it’s tailored to volume and quality. If you happen to ask about the price in advance, it is because you want to get assured that they won’t speculate with your trust. And after you’re confident that they match your criteria and preferences, you’ll expect to hear that they’ll be able to handle the task within a reasonable amount of time and money. And then you are ready to shake their hand. 🤝

Since you found this shop with someone’s guidance or a paper map, when we talk about an online property a relevant map to let new clients spot where a particular business is situated is a must. That’s usually done with a Google Maps widget built on the webpage. And this necessary information should be right below the other information. Like in the live experience, after everything else fits in place clients will want to know where they can find you.

From the talk so far you can make your conclusion that the experience clients get on your online premise – your website, is supposed to be very similar to the experience they get when they visit your shop personally. They will want to see your friendly faces in a welcoming environment so be sure that you put your authentic smiling face on the website’s head image (but of course, you’ve already done that). And that’s what they gonna see when they open your shop’s physical door. Then everything else should match the real experience.

And any excess information must be removed because too much creates confusion 🤦‍♂️ or even reverts into the impression that you throw everything upfront to get attention because you’re desperate for clients. As an owner yourself, don’t rob your clients’ good experience that way just like you wouldn’t jump on them with tons of information when they appear in your reception area. And when I mentioned reception, now is the time to put in place your booking form that’s preferably asking for as many details as possible from your repeating and new clients… This is the case when your clients can’t attend or call for booking personally and it is going to be your online reception (request the details as you would on your physical reception). If you have that chance and option, prompt clients’ agreement to provide their email and join your email list, and there is a specific purpose for that. First, getting their email will let you establish a reliable communication channel (notify your clients to whitelist you); second, it will eliminate the need and the hustle for creating and maintaining a blog page. Practically, every short post or important company updates you could forward to bulks of subscribers of your email list or just post on your Facebook page. It’s for ease and saving time from a conversation on the phone for those who prefer so or spending a long time creating and uploading blog posts.

No fancy kinds of stuff should be on your website pages, everything should correspond to the live personal experience… unless you want to ruin your business. If you want to attract and retain clients then you should aim to shorten the distance from the first time. This means when clients come to your landing page or your shop, in the next 5 minutes they should be feeling comfortable and feel like they already know you. Who you are, what you do, the way you do it, what makes you special… is all that matters. People have had enough of prevalent businesses, services, and products. Uniqueness, stand-out, and humanity wins clients who will like and trust you and give you the chance to extract full ROI from your activity (in all its different dimensions).

👨‍🔧 Then, if you want to tell your story – how your business was born and how it developed in the years, what it is now, what part of your personal traits you’ve integrated, what’s your mission… add your ‘About’ page. But again, it should contain only information that helps clients get to know you better. It will be an experience similar to seeing the repair shop and its growth through your own eyes (as you would tell your story if they asked you). As an option, you can add a dedicated ‘Contact’ page with details like physical address, phone numbers, email address, and message box unless you’ve already done that at the top or bottom of your other pages.

I’m wrapping up this stuff because it got way too long although I tried to keep it concise… but grasping the concept is important.

Does your website act as an asset or does it act as an unwanted expense? If you are uncertain about your website’s performance, 

We help Auto Repair and Detailing centres to excel and scale fast. | The Garage Mentor

Vladislav Gerginov

The Garage Mentor founder and CEO

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