Could A Specialty Be Your Next Profit Center?
A Clear Identity
A new specialty could help your shop stand out from the crowd, creating a clearer marketing calling card that helps new customers find you as you begin to promote your new or niche expertise.
“It’s much more difficult to advertise yourself as a generalist without calling attention to some sort of specifics you excel at ,” says Lang. “You know your customer service is top notch and you do great work, but a new customer doesn’t know that. They’d have to take your word for it or sift through reviews. But, they can look online to see that you specialize in the exact vehicle they drive and offer service on the specific issue they’ve been having. It’s much more clear cut for them at the end of the day.”
Shop owners like Christensen find that with clear specialties (and even clearer shop names), a clear brand identity helps to funnel the ideal core customer base to the shop (although getting the word out about additional specialties requires more effort).
That clear, specialized expertise has helped him and his team build relationships with neighboring shops as well, bringing a stream of referral work their way as well as an avenue for specific tool sharing.
And for Crowley, a specialization in EVs and hybrids has helped form lucrative partnerships. After working on their first Tesla, the C&J team reached out and cultivated a partnership with Tesla’s corporate team. Now anyone buying a Tesla at the local dealership receives a welcome email from the brand that also includes C&J’s information and owners are sent C&J’s way for their new vehicle inspections.
With the partnership underway for over a year now, the shop has started to see the customers who initially visited for their new vehicle inspections return for minor routine maintenance. And while Crowley knows tire changes and brake fluid flushes aren’t the shop’s bread and butter, “at some point, those cars are going to have brakes and suspension issues and those customers will be back,” he says. “That gives us more time to master it so we’ll be even more prepared when they’re back for something more extensive.”