Detailers who have a website have a massive opportunity to make more money. That’s because:
- Your business is photographic, and the web is visual. What better way to win people over than by using photos?
- Affluent customers are more likely to search for services online. Busy car owners will be searching for your services online. You’ll also want to attract new customers who have never had their vehicles detailed before. New customers can become regular customers. And, those new customers most likely went online to find your business and they liked that the web allowed them to quickly compare the prices and reputations of many different shops.
Yet, for some reason, many detailers don’t have a website, and those that do, sort of use them as a “virtual business card” and just present what they do, how they can be contacted and their business hours, but they don’t offer any reasons why their business is the best in the area.
If you’re getting ready to start a website or if you already have one and want better results, here are the three smartest things you can do to attract a lot more customers.
Tip 1: Introduce yourself and include a photo.
Did you know that people are more likely to hire businesses once they get to know the owner? It’s true.
Here is the most common mistake I see while surfing the Internet: Websites that don’t present the owner, only fancy cars. Your customers aren’t hiring shiny expensive cars, so why do detailers compulsively post photos of BMWs, Ferraris, and Porsches? They’re hiring you, a human being whom they must trust with the second most expensive thing they own. So let them know who you are and why they should hire you. Also, include a nice photo of you, preferably one in which you’re wearing a uniform and one in which you’re in action detailing a car.
Case in point: Our customer Jason Plummer of Northwest Paintless Dent Repair added a short video introducing himself to his website visitors. As a result, business is up, and customers frequently say to him, ”I saw your video and found you to be trustworthy. So I called….”
Tip 2: Build a Google “power listing”
If your customers love you and appreciate your services, ask them to tell more than just their friends. Ask them to recommend you to half of your entire city via Google.
Here’s how it works:
- Create a free Google Places account. It’s free, and takes about 10 minutes.
- Ask every satisfied customer for feedback, and then ask them for a Google review. The day after their appointment, send them an email thanking them for their business, and then request for feedback or a review on Google. Make it easy for them and include a link to your Google Places listing.
In time, you’ll start to show up on page 1 (for free) with lots of glowing praise for your service.
Tip 3: Present before and after photos of your customers’ most common problems.
The second most common mistake I see on detailers’ websites is their fascination with posting photos of their favorite cars at the exclusion of photos of the jobs their customers actually hire them for. Customers respond to images demonstrating that you can fix their specific problems, so be sure to capture before and after photos of these nasty problems you fix to pay the bills:
- Filthy interiors
- Pet hair
- Stained wheels
- Water spot removal
- Stain removal
There you have it. Three tips you should be implementing on your website to draw in more customers.
Robert Keppel is president of Applied Colors, seller of add-on equipment for professional car detailers. Applied Colors is based in Tigard, OR. Keppen can be reached at [email protected].