Vehicle owners looking for a reputable repair shop have many options, and when the photos they see on your website resonate with them, they’ll be more likely to choose your shop over competitors. That’s according to digital marketing professional Adam Kushner, owner of marketing firm Business Actualization./p>
“If a customer has already interacted with another human being (e.g., seen them on the website) prior to that first physical engagement, the level of trust the customer has for that service facility is going to be much higher and it’s going to result in a higher average repair order for those first-time customers and also less time with the service advisor in building that relationship in person or over the phone,” he says.
If you’ve recently redesigned your website and haven’t made photos a priority, Kushner says you’re missing one of the most important pieces. He outlines eight tips to help bring your website to life.
1. Take pictures every day. Often, shop owners don’t want to take the time to take pictures and they look to a photographer, which can get costly and might not even capture exactly what you want. Practice makes perfect. The more pictures you take, the better at it you get. You also start to learn the environment you’re working within. Walk around every day and take pictures and videos with your smart phone. Not every picture is going to be perfect, but if you take a bunch of pictures, you may get one good picture out of that.
2. Make sure each image has a purpose. One major reason why you should only use images that tie directly to your business is that you have limited space on your website’s homepage. Make sure each photo you select is outstanding, impactful and specific to your business. Don’t waste space and viewers’ time with generic stock photos. You should always use real employees for credibility. Be authentic and do not outsource your images or video. It’s truly a disservice to your brand to photograph a person that doesn’t work inside the company. We have great people who work inside our shops and those are the people that the customers develop relationships with.
3. Consider lighting. For outdoor shots, the lighting is great a few minutes after sunset or a few minutes before the sun rises.
4. Check the background of your photos. Make sure there is nothing inappropriate in the background of a photo and make sure nothing undesirable is reflected in a vehicle’s windows and mirrors.
5. Try to bring in color. Color brings a photo to life. A red car in the service bay will pop in a photo more than a white car will.
6. Action shots are better shots. Don’t just take a photo of your team standing and smiling for the camera. Take photos of your team interacting with customers and working on vehicles. Many people are afraid to ask to take pictures of customers. It’s amazing: If you simply ask a customer if they will appear in a couple of shots, they more than likely will. I’ve rarely had a customer turn that down or say no. We all have those good customers who have been coming in for a long time. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you could even offer a free oil change in exchange.
7. Remove clutter. If you’re photographing a technician using a piece of equipment, remove clutter from the background so viewers will see what you want them to see. Make sure the cars and the bays are tidy, there aren’t any rags on the ground, the employees have a clean uniform on and aren’t wearing dirty gloves or have grease on their hands. We’re not looking for a model as a tech but they have to be presentable and professional in the way you would want them to appear while interacting with a customer. Get your employees comfortable with the fact that they are an integral part of your marketing.
If you have a small shop and clutter is simply a reality because there are too many tools and equipment to have a place to store them, try shooting it at different angles so the clutter isn’t apparent or so that it is hidden.
8. Try different angles. When photographing, don’t make every shot eye level. Lie on the ground and shoot upward, or stand on something to provide a view from above. If you have a small waiting room, how are you going to accomplish taking a picture of the waiting room that is effective? Get comfortable trying different angles and see at which angles the space looks best.