Who you want determines how you work

Jan. 1, 2020
Before you can go out and attract new customers ? or keep the ones you have ? you need to know who you want your customers to be. Are you looking for budget-minded drivers or those who have a good interest in taking care of their vehicles? Once you k

Before you can go out and attract new customers — or keep the ones you have — you need to know who you want your customers to be.

Are you looking for budget-minded drivers or those who have a good interest in taking care of their vehicles? Once you know where to aim your business, you’re on the right track, says Frank Joel, publisher of Page One Publishing. He presented “Customer Relationship Management Using Integrated Marketing Strategies” to CARS attendees Monday.

“Once you understand the core of the business, then you can figure out who your ideal clients are going to be,” he says. “Once you know that, then you can take the business and build the processes and everything that’s involved to create an experience for that ideal client, that ideal customer.”

One of Joel’s favorite examples to illustrate this point is the imaginary shop Hospice Auto Repair where vehicles come in need of repair, but just never leave. Knowing that the customers are looking for deals on the repairs, as the owner he would not be able to charge high prices for a quality experience because it does not match customers’ expectations.

“Conversely, if they have a business that was really just perfect, polished floors, everything right, you would not want to attract a budget-minded shopper, because they wouldn’t appreciate the value you’ve created,” adds Joel, who owned a repair shop for 32 years.

The result of this planning is word of mouth advertising and referrals. “The people that come there see such great value that they’ve just got to tell somebody else,” he says.

 

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“It’s almost become cliché that it’s become less expensive to market to an existing client than it is it to go out into the big wide world and try to find new ones,” Joel says. “When you look at the lifetime value of a client, you not only look at how much they spend repairing their car but add to the value the amount spent buy the people they’ve referred.”

By targeting your business to the right customer base, owners can have higher earning potential and less stress than those owners who just want to charge higher prices.

“It’s not about fixing the cars. It’s really beyond that. Anybody can fix the car,” Joel explains. “That’s the ante, that’s the minimum expectation of wherever somebody takes their car they can fix it. It’s the experience that you’re creating.”

And once created, strategies and tactics to garner clients might change, but the core — if working — will stay the same.

“If they haven’t been able to make that connection where their business actually connects with a particular group of people, then they’ve got to modify the business or modify the customer,” Joel says. “But once you’ve made it work, it’s not going to change much.”

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