Overcoming Negative Perception In Auto Repair
February 03, 2020 / "Auto Repair Shop"
It can be hard trying to control the sometimes uncontrollable. Perceptions are tricky and easily spread, which is nerve-wracking for a shop owner. Unfortunately our industry has been plagued for a long time with the cloud of negative feelings that the general population holds about repair shops. It feels unfair, and the fight against it might regularly feel like a losing one, but there are ways to keep on fighting—and even win.
A key part in turning the tide of negative perception in the auto repair industry is to do it at your local level. Afterall, these are the people that mean the most to you as a business owner—the ones that have the potential to turn into loyal customers. It can be frustrating to try to convince those who are not already part of your loyal regulars to get through your door. But maybe you don’t have to do the convincing all on your own. You have that loyal base of customers that you can use as your advocate. Word of mouth and recommendations have always been key factors in decision making for forever, but it’s important to make sure you’re employing this business tactic to your own shop. With the digital age, people’s opinions reach farther than ever. Utilizing review platforms such as Google My Business, Facebook, and others can make sure the glowing recommendations your loyal customers give you are poised to be front and center when people are looking for a great shop to trust with their vehicle.
Once you hook those new customers, you have the opportunity to change those hearts and minds about the industry. Show them what a great shop looks like every step of the way. The biggest reason people have the perceptions they do about the auto repair industry is because they’re largely kept in the dark. The more they feel like they’re an active participant in their auto repair experience and feel like they’re ‘in the know’ - the more they’ll trust you. The more they trust you, the more they’ll recommend you - and the cycle continues on.
Many people who are disenchanted with the auto repair industry feel rushed and talked down to, which perpetuates their sour feelings. Through taking the time to explain to them, they’ll feel like they’re getting the experience they want.
This one isn’t unique to just the auto repair industry, but it can be a way to turn the tides to show your community who you really are. Show your humanity, put who you are on display in your community. People want to do business with those they trust, but that trust isn’t always built first as your customer. Some ways you could build relationships outside your shop could be to do one of the following:
- Participate in or sponsor local events
- Donate to local charities
- Partner with other local businesses
Changing perception can take time and a bit of patience, but it is possible. While it may feel like the broad opinion is still distrust in the automotive repair industry, you still have the power to change the mindset of those around you locally.