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An Auto Repair Shop’s Guide to Handling Web Leads

Shop Management

In today’s world your customers have 24/7 access to the web. Whether it be on their home computer, work computer or their smartphone, no matter where they are they can be online within moments. This is just one of the many reasons today’s consumers are turning to the web for answers, and more and more shops are receiving requests for quotes over the web. This simple three-step guide has been developed to help you better handle those web leads in the most professional way, and turn them into customers at the same time.

1. Know your goal. In all cases your goal should be to get the web lead on the phone with your advisor. There is a rule we share in all of our sales training, and it simply states that people buy from people they like, trust and view as a credible expert. Starting with the “like” requirement, when someone first reaches out to you over the web they are attempting to communicate with your shop. The really good advisors know they need to convert that “website visitor – shop” relationship into a “customer Mike – service advisor Bob” relationship. People do business with people, not with companies, so in all cases the first thing that web lead needs to be sold on is your service advisor to the point where they like your advisor, trust your advisor and view your advisor as a credible expert.

2. Respond quickly. How quickly you are able to reply is going to play a huge role in your success. When someone is reaching out to you for a quote, or any other question about their vehicle, there is a high probability that they are reaching out to other facilities as well. This doesn’t mean the first shop that replies will get the job, but they will certainly have the first opportunity to get the sale. If another shop responds first and handles the customer well, by the time you reply that potential customer may have already made a decision. Your web leads are expecting a quick and professional reply, so if you want the web lead to like you, it starts with a fast response.

3. Have a strategy in place. First of all, bear in mind that the majority of the people requesting a price are not the price shoppers most advisors believe them to be. Just like with a first-time caller that asks how much, your web leads don’t know the questions they should be asking: questions about how long you have been in business, whether you employ certified technicians, etc. So never prejudge the person that sends a web request asking for price. In all cases, call them if they provide a phone number. If they do not provide a number, as soon as you receive the request you should reply by thanking them for reaching out to you. You’ll need to introduce yourself in your reply, and you’ll need to let them know your position with the company. In your email you’ll also need to ask a few questions to start the flow of communication we are looking for. Beyond asking year, make and model, you can ask when was the last time they (had the brakes serviced if they’re requesting a quote on brakes, had maintenance performed if they’re requesting a price on maintenance, etc.), the approximate mileage on the vehicle, and why they suspect they need (brakes, maintenance, etc.). If you pose the right questions, and get the communication and a relationship started, your next response should be to let them know you have some additional questions, and ask if there is a phone number you can reach them at. In essence, you are asking them to take a call, which should always be your goal with a web lead.

In summary, with web leads you need to have a goal of getting them on the phone, you’ll need to reply to each request quickly, and you will need to have a strategy in place that sells them on your advisor and your shop. If you follow this simple procedure, and never put money ahead of people, you have my promise – you’ll bring in more of those web leads that will help you build your business.

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