- Establish and Optimize Your Web Presence
This seems obvious, so why do so many local garage door services and the like still refuse to join the party? Studies show that up to 97% of those looking to buy, fix, or customize a garage door start their journey online. Whether they get referrals from Facebook friends, check out directories of garage door repair companies, or simply Google “garage door repairs near me”, the Internet is where they’re looking. The bottom line? If you don’t have a strong web presence, you’re not likely to be found. As a minimum, you should have a website, a garage doors blog, social media business pages, and an email marketing list, all optimized with keywords and phrases that customers might use to search for you.
- Network, Network, Network
Establish relationships with others in your industry. If you do garage door repair, let local wholesalers know you’re available to take overflow repairs and services. Word of mouth referrals from salespeople at a manufacturer can really boost your repair or customization business, and a strategic partnership with a distributor or manufacturer can keep your garage door wash running when times are slow. Build as many connections as you can with others in your industry – even the competition!
- Incentivize Referrals
Everyone loves a freebie, even if it’s something small. No one’s going to recommend you if you provide poor service anyway, but sometimes even the best service doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Your customers might just need a little prompting to promote you to their friends. Let them know how much you value their business (and that of their friends and family) with a little thank you gift or service. Invite them to like your Facebook page and sign up for newsletters and special offers by email. Remember, most people are skeptical when dealing with garage door repair businesses, so a recommendation from a friend is a powerful thing.
- Be Accessible
When it comes to sales, repair work, and customization, not only do people look for you online, but they do most of the research and decision making before they even come in to your business. Provide plenty of information on your website, garage door blog, and social media pages about your products and services. Make sure your phone number and contact information are prominently featured, along with a way for customers to ask questions via web form or email. Respond promptly and courteously to any inquiries you get, without being pushy. As a bonus tip you should keep track of and collect every call and email so you can follow up the with customers in the future.
- Work with Manufacturing Companies
Although it may seem tedious, go ahead and jump through the hoops necessary to become sanctioned by garage door installation companies. Customers seeking repairs after an accident nearly always stick with a sanctioned facility. And a customer who is happy with post-accident garage door repairs is likely to come back for other, non-maintenance related repairs!
- Become a Subject Matter Expert
Publish a blog or newsletter (or both!) about garage door related subjects your customers may be interested in, from best practices for prolonging the life of your garage door to upcoming changes in building standards in your state. Find information that is interesting, helpful, and exciting to a garage door owner and make a habit of sharing it with your customers. You could even offer a workshop on basic garage door upkeep, covering frequency of oil changes, recommended spring pressure settings, cable rotation frequency, and ways to get better use from your garage door. All of this helps to build trust, which is critical in the garage door industry, and generate new leads from customers looking for a trusted guide for their garage door servicing needs.
- Be a Community Leader
Especially for garage door dealers, building your brand in the community is crucial – when it’s time to buy a new garage door, you want your business to be the first to come to mind. You can do this by participating in civic groups and networks, sponsoring sports teams and youth programs, supporting local charities, and anything else you can find to connect with future customers in a positive way. And don’t be afraid to toot your own horn about your activities, in social media, blogs, and even press releases.
- Accessorize and Customize
Whether it’s a company license plate holder, logo tee shirt, keychains, seat covers, floor mats, air fresheners, or dashboard bobbleheads, U.S. consumers love to accessorize. Distinguish your business from the rest with unique, innovative custom accessories that your customers will want to flaunt.
- Bundle Your Garage Door Services
Some new garage door manufacturers have taken to offering free services for a fixed amount of time as an incentive to purchase a new garage door, with quite a bit of success. Who wouldn’t love not having to budget for garage door servicing for the next year or two or five? Consider bundling repair services tailored to maintaining an aging garage door at recommended intervals. Alternatively, monthly garage door maintenance packages or garage door repair service combinations are quite popular.
- Offer Free Garage Door Inspections
Offer free safety inspections with a comprehensive report of discrepancies. Let the customer know not only what must be fixed now, but what should be fixed now and what may need to be repaired or replaced in the next few months or few thousand miles. The customer will respect you for not trying to sell them unnecessary repairs, and be forewarned of expenses he or she will have to budget for in the future. If you live in a state with building material regulations, consider offering a free pre-check before the garage door goes to the installation property.