Reading Fixed Ops Journal article this past month, it made me think about disruption in our business.
Read the article in full here.
Not a conference goes by that a speaker doesn’t tout “Amazon is coming to steal all our car sales!”
That very well may be true…as franchise dealer operators we heard that same notion about Google years ago. However, invariably, we pour millions of dollars per year in advertising at the very notion of purchasing a new or used vehicle from us. However, as franchise dealers…are we too focused on a disruption from the front and completely blind to the growing threat to our profit centers in the back?
On multiple occasions in the last 30 days, I have spoken with GM / FO Directors explaining to me that “I spend $0 in advertising to my body/collision site to see $30-50K in profit per month come from it.” Those are small operations as well.
As a business interest, we need to advertise our collision shops to protect the profit we have, not to increase the share!
The biggest point the Fixed Ops Journal made was that the four largest collision repair company’s in North America have increased their rooftop count by 400% in the last 5 years. 400%! The store total was around 400 total facilities in 2012, only to increase to 1,750 facilities in Q1 of 2018.
These corporations are betting big within the collision repair industry, but also that franchise car dealerships are asleep at the wheel as it relates to those profit centers. Keep in mind that virtually every OEM has these 4 giants in their certified repair network.
Stand Alone Collision Website
If your dealership earns more than $1 in profit on a monthly basis, you need to build a stand-alone website immediately. Having just one page within your website, buried in your Service navigation tab is not going to cut it. This website does not need to be as elaborate as your main dealership website, however, it does need to convey a message separate from your dealership’s website.
Before and After Photos
Display your work! Dealership body shops have the tools and resources to enable quality work every single time. These skills need to be on display for all of your offered services whether it is routine like paintless dent repair or major like collision damage. Photos of the vehicle post-accident (before) and then after your quality work has been performed.
Make sure to show that your dealership has approved partnerships with insurance companies that your customers are members of like State Farm, Geico, and Allstate. Even if you are not, display that those that are insured can still elect to bring their vehicle to your collision facility. Trust and confidence displayed within your website or pages near to be front and forward.
Content + SEO
Your website needs to be crawled and indexed by search engines via Google, just like your vehicle needs an engine to go from point A to point B. Your dedicated collision site needs to have content that is well written and properly formatted in order to drive organic rankings. Content can be created for all types of services offered by your franchise body shop. Paint and body repair, windshield replacement and storm damage are all great services your shop offers. Let us create content to conveys the message for those services when a consumer has a need.
Profit centers are always ripe for disruption, is your dealership looking in the right place? For less than $1,000 on a monthly basis, that investment can protect your dealership from the growing threat that is coming…it may not coming from the direction you were anticipating.