Meet Your Support Agent: Colleen Ready
The “Meet Your Support Agent” feature provides an inside look at the SocialCRM shop marketing service from the support agent’s perspective. In an interview format, they share expertise, insights and best practices to help auto repair shops use digital marketing & social media strategies to gain competitive advantage in their market. This time we had the opportunity to sit down with Colleen Ready to discuss the following 4 things:
- Suggestions for interacting with customers offline
- How to integrate what you do offline into your online presence
- How to use SocialCRM to gain new customers
- Are auto shop owners seeing results immediately
How long have you been with Mitchell 1 and in what capacity?
I have been with Mitchell 1 for four years, working about a year and a half in the collections department and the other two and a half years working with SocialCRM.
What do you like most about your interactions with your customers and why?
I would say getting to know my shops and what they do help their customers. I have a good amount of shops that actually do a lot for their communities, such as raffles and other community activities. It’s nice to see shops that want to have better relationships with their customers through fun things like these rather than only push coupons their way. For example, I actually have shops that like to do special things and take the time to build solid relationships and be the “family’s mechanic.”
What is an example of something those shops do that other shops can adopt?
Definitely getting involved with the local community is a great practice to adopt. I have shops that do customer appreciation days and find ways to give back to local schools, firefighters, police officers and teachers. One shop does Relays for Life to raise money for foundations. Things like this just bring the whole community together and help the shop build those relationships.
With those customers, do you help them promote those activities, like advising them on Facebook, posting, email blasts, etc.?
Correct, I do all of that! I like to make sure that I am always notifying my customers. I let them know an email can be created, and once an email blast is created they can go ahead and also post that email content on Facebook. I also let them know that they can also use SureCritic to offer the ability to communicate shop activities and community events.
What features of the program do you think customers underutilize or could use better?
SureCritic coupons! Our shops always want to know how they can reach out to new people. It seems that they often think of our service as being designed to only retain their current customers. In actuality, we do much more. For example, the coupons on SureCritic offer the direct benefit of getting new customers. SureCritic is our partner for consumer reviews and engagement. Their coupons can increase search and online visibility, which allows new customers to find the shop’s page, read reviews, utilize coupons and become a first-time customer.
How do coupons make the shop more searchable?
Each one of the coupons has a tag. This tagging makes them easier to be found on search engines. Essentially, that tag lets the search engine know that if a customer is looking for an oil change in a particular area, to show the link to that coupon and its respective tag. I actually offer to train all of my shops to be able to create their SureCritic coupons themselves if they would like.
Some shop owners like to be able to jump in, be hands-on or make last minute changes. For instance, if they feel like an oil change promo they’re running isn’t working but they are getting a lot of AC job requests, they can go on the SureCritic site and create an AC coupon and then change the tag to match, which will benefit the shop with increased search visibility for a relevant service.
Are your customers seeing the benefit of having this social integration right off the bat?
Oh yes, the shops that have the Manager SE shop management program, which is fully integrated with SocialCRM, tend to especially like it because of the notifications that will let them know in real time when they have new reviews. They can click a button and see all of the details, solicitation history, cars on file, lifetime revenue and much more, directly from inside the program. So it’s kind of like a one-stop shop to allow them to never have to come out of Manager SE and still be able to see what is going on with their customer.