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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Garages must embrace online or risk remaining invisible

Date: Monday 10 October 2022

It’s estimated that thousands of independent garages are missing out on work because potential customers simply can’t find them.

And that’s because they don’t show up online. So, to a customer, they don’t exist. They’re not even an option.

Many garages don’t have a website, or if they do, it’s hard to find. The customer ends up going to whichever garage does show up. And on page one of a Google search, that’s often a main dealer.

The busiest garages might not really care, but this is as foolish as ignoring worn brake pads; just because everything seems ok today doesn’t mean it will be in six months’ time. By not making their online presence a priority, they’re limiting profit and growth potential and, as customers go where their screen search suggests, customer numbers will undoubtedly decline over time.

Jim Lang at Garage Services Online urges garages to carry out an online diagnostic test - on themselves - to determine if action is needed.

He said:

‘The best advice I can give garages is to put themselves in their customer’s shoes.
“It’s Sunday morning and you remember the car is due its service. You’re busy tomorrow and want to sort it today while you have time.
“You pick up your phone and Google ‘car servicing’ or ‘garages near me’. On the first page you click on something that looks relevant. The website is quick to load and easy to navigate so you get the information you need and fill in the enquiry form for a call back. Done and sorted in two minutes.
“Which garage came up first? That’s who you’re competing against and who is likely to get the business.
“If it suits them, even loyal customers will go for online convenience because it’s simply how we buy things now. We want instant answers, instant results and garage services are no exception.”

It’s sobering advice. Be as competitive online as you are in the workshop because no business can afford to be invisible.