6 Keys for a Standout Body Shop Web Page
When Suttle Motors began revamping its body shop webpage recently, Steve Davis sought a site that appealed to anyone 20–80 years old.
The collision center manager wanted something eye catching, that helped provide transparency regarding his body shop in Newport News, Va., which does $9.5 million in annual revenue.
“You don’t want an old, dead web page that doesn’t look attractive,” Davis says. “If it looks like it’s 20 years old, [potential customers] are going to go right by it.
“You want something to stand out.”
And, Davis notes, collision repair centers are arguably more vital than ever to dealerships, considering U.S. auto sales are projected to dip slightly for a second straight year in 2018—with the proliferation of ride-sharing services making for an uncertain sales future. Thus, it only makes sense to market fixed operations departments, like his, through means like webpages.
Suttle Motors uses a dedicated IT employee to market its 60,000-square-foot body shop, though Davis acknowledges that several solid, third-party marketing companies can also be utilized by dealerships for fees of slightly more than $1,000 per year. By making the body shop’s web page a priority through means like pay-per-click advertising, Davis was left with a dynamic page that consistently steers business his way.
Davis, whose facility boasts a CSI score of 97.5 percent, explains what steps he feels are necessary when attempting to create a web page that helps a body shop stand out.
Display Essential Information Prominently.
Key contact information, hours of operation, and directions to your facility should be noted near the very top of your body shop’s web page.
Suttle Motors’ body shop page also prominently displays a link that allows customers the option of emailing questions to Davis. That way, the collision center manager can even answer customer queries after typical business hours.
State Your Certifications and Affiliations.
Visitors to suttlemotors.com/collision are quickly met with a list of the body shop’s certifications—like those associated with I-CAR—as well as the facility’s vendors. That’s all in an effort to build trust.
“The more you can educate the customer” the better, says Davis, who also suggests posting photos of your staff members so clients can associate a name with a face.
List Your Repair Process.
Davis wants any potential customer to feel secure in the knowledge that their vehicle will be repaired completely at Suttle Motors. That’s why his facility’s repair process is noted in great detail on suttlemotors.com/collision—from estimate, to inspection, to repair, to delivery.
“The majority of the car dealerships, they have a collision webpage,” Davis notes. “But they don’t elaborate on anything; they may have a picture of an entrance, but nothing else. So, I’ve got the upper hand on my competition in this area on that, definitely.”
Allow for Online Estimating.
In Davis’ experience, in 2018, many customers demand the capability to have a dealership body shop provide them prompt, online estimating. That’s why he made a push for that when his facility’s web page was upgraded earlier this year.
After all, a chief motivation when creating a business website is to make it user friendly, says Davis, who also suggests noting any insurance companies with whom your shop might have direct repair program (DRP) partnerships.
Include Ample Videos.
We live in the YouTube era, Davis notes, so why not attempt to meet millennial customers in a manner they embrace? When Suttle Motors’ body shop website was revamped, including video of repairs and vehicle deliveries was a prime focus.
“That’s our new generation, so we need to cater to them,” Davis says of young consumers.
Post Photos and Testimonials.
In recent years, Davis has made it a point to have his department’s web page feature customer testimonials and before-and-after photos. His facility, which has an average monthly car count of 500, is a success, and he wants website visitors to be well aware of that.
“When you have a state-of-the-art facility, you need to advertise it,” he says. “McDonald’s is not going to show you the kitchen; I wanna show [potential customers] the kitchen.
“Every time you come in, we try to have something different, and make the customer go, ‘Wow, that’s something new.’”