An ad for your store on the radio or in the local paper might look nice, but it might mean you’re not really running a very good business.
That’s because the best advertising a store can get is word-of-mouth from their customers, according to one industry veteran.
When Jay Buckley, chief of product management and technical team leader at Dayco, was going to teach a class, he would ask who in the room spends money on advertising to attract new customers. For those who replied that they do, he would have them go to the front of the class to listen to his message.
Buckley, an ASE certified technician and former store owner, would explain that if the store did its job well, their customers would have all the advertising they would need.
“Your customers don’t advertise for you,” he would tell them. “Honestly, I was always two weeks backup [in my shop] and most of the good shops are. And the reason is that their customers have advertised for them.”
In the same way, people ask for directions on a good lawyer or doctor, friends ask friends to recommend a store.
“Because people want to go somewhere that their friend or the local auto mechanic or someone in the industry knows is a good store,” Buckley explained.
And those who have been referred to your store already have a certain amount of trust with you before they walk through your doors. Their friend or relative recommended you, so you must be good.
“Customer [who come in from] recommendations are the absolute best clients you can get,” Buckley said in an interview with Auto Service World.
If a store has to advertise constantly to generate the number of cars, they are not doing it right.
“Your customers don’t tell everyone what a great guy you are, what a great mechanic you are, and what a nice shop you have,” Buckley said.