A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part XI

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From a low-cost ‘Grass-Roots’ effort to a major campaign, a marketing program tailored for your specific business and its budget will yield the most effective results for you and your company and allow you to enjoy the quickest return on the investment.

Your commitment to business growth will dictate your success. No matter what form of marketing that works for you, you must remain diligent and committed. Just as a final note, your success with such marketing as social media will depend greatly on your ability to reach out to local potential customers. While you do not have a brick and mortar shop, you are in fact the brick and mortar. Your ability to turn a customer from needing to come to you to a customer who understands that you will come to them is going to tricky but not impossible. You are certainly not the first mobile business out there so there are those that have gone before you. Research, research, research.

Social Media sites such as Facebook have local to you visibility for your potential customers. You will simply have to figure out which social media sites will be the most useful to you. Your objective is to connect and make yourself as visible as possible. But then you also have to be sure that you make yourself available to these connections. The quickest way to destroy your business is to ignore potential customers attempting to reach out to you. These people will make it their mission to make everyone aware of your lack of customer service response times. People feel burned and that’s just a fact. Get ahead of this and respond, even if means you give them an estimate as to when you will be able to get in touch with them later that day, not tomorrow.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part X

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Where the Fail Is In Marketing Efforts

There’s an old saying that we are all familiar with, “The squeaky wheel gets the immediate attention” or “Whoever screams the loudest gets priority attention.” Yet again, this is a big fail. This strategy leaves you guilty of neglecting other potential customers. Let me put it this way, most businesses are more likely to give top billing to phone calls that come in than they are to responding to online quote requests. These are both sales leads and should both get equal time. If you do not respond to your online inquiries in a timely manner, these potential customers will move onto someone who is more attentive to their needs. We live in a drive-thru society and people want immediate service. Tomorrow is too late, you must be responsive today.

If you are using a paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) service for your advertising, then you are already positioning yourself for search engine success. It’s a way to boost SEO and it’s a way to put yourself in front of potential new customers already searching for your services. In order for this service to be successful, it will be critical that you response time be immediate. You can’t put it off for hours or God forbid, days.

The first thing you should do when using these services is to set up a calendar of when your PPC campaigns will take place. This allows you the time to get organized so that you can glean the greatest results. Next, you or someone you have asked to help, must be monitoring the ongoing results. They or you need to be prepared to take down the information and get right back to your prospects. The more effort you put into these campaigns, the greater your results will be.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part IX

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Regardless of whether your potential customer was referred to you or not, that customer is going to research your business online. This is who we are as a society, no website, no business. Websites instill trust to customers. Your website, your reviews and your overall web presence has to back up the referral they have received. There are no if, and’s or buts about this simple truth.

Your first step is to have a professional website that is comprehensive and branded. It needs to have the right calls-to-action in place, meaning the correct contact information, online estimates or appointment-scheduling capabilities. It also needs to have the correct keywords and tags to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and it absolutely cannot have any grammar or spelling errors. Your attention to detail will make every bit of difference in your success or failure.

You will also want to be sure that your website is mobile ready so that a customer can easily read your information right from the accident site. Most important is that your site has reviews. Customers rely heavily on the thoughts of your past customers. If they say you are sub-par then your hope of gaining quick, on the fly business is shot. You need to be able to provide proof and value to your services and again, they need to be able to find this information easily from all devices.

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

When looking to acquire new customers, you need to know what works in your business and what doesn’t. You need to be hyper-aware of your customer’s responses to your services and which marketing tactics have proven themselves to be the most effective. Based on collision repair shops and PDR technician’s customer responses, the following is what has worked and what hasn’t:


Referrals, in person marketing with insurance agents and online reviews.

Doesn’t Work

Social Media, Email, Billboards and TV.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part VIII

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A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part VII

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A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part VI

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This relationship development could and probably should take a long time. You need to finesse your way into their lives without appearing desperate or needy. You don’t want to be thought of as ‘that thorn in their side’, be confident and brief. Don’t impose yourself into their lives, gently enter as a fact gatherer. Learn their likes and dislikes which would also include things like do they drink coffee, if so what do they take in it? Are they family men, and what are the names of their family members? Do their children play sports and if so, which sports? All of this is done in a way that your fleet manager is unaware. This takes practice and it takes a change of attitude. You must take the dollar bills out of your head and be willing to jump in with both feet having compassion lose weight quickly. Another option, once you know how many people are a part of the fleet maintenance team, order a couple of pizzas. Have the pizza’s delivered, give it five minutes, then appear out of nowhere. Trust me, they will be both thankful and never forget your kindness. It’s unfortunate that this is a viable way to gain positive attention, but in truth, it’s really not that hard to do. Do you know of any body shops that will go the distance like this? No, not me either. Being a mobile PDR business has its advantages, you’re not strapped within the confines of the walls of a body shop. This means that you have more time to work angles that the body shop cannot.

Just like your friendships, these relationships take time and effort. However, unlike with your friends, you will need to be cognizant of your language, both body and vocal. These are professional alliances that you are striving for, there is no place for shucking and jiving.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part V

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The idea is not to sell anything but to send a letter with a handwritten signature, asking if they are still satisfied with your work, reminding them of their warranty if they should have any issues. You will catch the customer completely off guard and will help you to stand out in their minds. You might also send a magnetic business card. If you offer this card on the day of completion, the paperwork and your card may end up in their glove box. Doing these things lets them know that you care about the quality of your work and that you care about them. This my friend is going to be your answer to getting referrals.

After long and careful proof and consideration, this is the absolute number one way to get new customers to come back and to get referrals from those customers. You have to work hard to put a process in place, especially if you haven’t go anyone at home that can help you with this. You will need to set up reminders for each customer and even write and save your letters that you will snail mail out to them. This personal touch is the very thing that collision repair shops are not doing and the one thing that will absolutely set you apart.

Marketing to Insurance Agents and Fleet Company’s

Yet another source for marketing is to work diligently with insurance agents and businesses that have fleet accounts. These are often the first place people will go when they need your services. The insurance agent is an obvious next step for a customer following a collision but the fleet managers can not only lead their own fleet to you but also fleets from other company’s and employees of the company’s they represent.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part IV

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Your customer does not want to be kept in the dark. At the very least, check in at the end of the day giving simple and quick updates regarding your progress. Keep your customer in the loop but don’t resort to psycho dialing them. Once a day is fine unless you have something that needs to be done that was not originally spoken about and could cause the total job to be higher.

This is effectively a part of your marketing strategy. Your customers should have been wooed enough that their need for your services last for the next three to five years. Also, the referral given to their friends and family should last well beyond that. How do you do that? Leave an impression, not just in the immediate work but by using other long lasting strategies.

First you will want to send a handwritten thank-you note just days after the service is complete. Next, you could give a phone call asking if they are still satisfied with your work. This is hard but important. You need to be willing to listen to the customer if they are dissatisfied and be prepared to offer a solution. These two should be done within the first week of completed service. You could use the next week to deliver their warranty but I would suggest that being a part of your final signing off on the job. Finally, you will need to send non-promotional follow-up letters to each customer at the three month, six month, one year, 18 month, two year, three year, four year and five year anniversary of the repair.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part III

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In the latest of surveys, 4,000 customers from several different shops, were contacted by phone and asked three very simple questions: 1) was the customer still satisfied with the repair? 2) Did they have friends or family that would also need these same type of services in the next year (which I feel is pretty objective, who knows if they will get in an accident or crash into or back up into a pole?) 3) Would they refer your PDR services to those people?

The very real and telling results were that 87.6 percent were still satisfied, of those people, nearly 100 percent knew of others that could also use those services. What was quite scary is that, with the third question, there was an overwhelming amount of those that answered no, they would not refer.

So why do you think they said no? They are saying that the service was ‘average’ and certainly not memorable. You will never get a referral on average service. Would you refer a restaurant or any public service type business, if the service was average? Of course not. You would never tell your mom or best friend “Hey, you should go down to that new restaurant, they had average service.” Your customers today are far more demanding than they used to be. They want to be wowed, they want to be catered to and they want to be thanked in ways that impress. This is the answer to getting referrals.

This doesn’t have to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, it’s really quite simple. You need to start with customer service; this starts with being friendly in your greeting, using proper phone etiquette and using solid updating procedures. The latter is probably one of the biggest pet peeves that customers using any industry complain about.

A Series On Marketing For A PDR Technician Part II

auto dent repair logo


You need to tackle a mindset change and learn to use different marketing tactics to effectively reach out to your potential customer’s. Your industry is not an impulse-buy industry so your marketing needs to reflect those limitations. This is exactly what trips up the average collision repair shop or PDR technician, you simply can’t use blanket marketing tactics, and you must hone your marketing to reflect the reality that is your industry and its options.

Following will be ideas for marketing and tips for new customer acquisition and how you as a PDR technician can implement them immediately:

Referrals: Creating a Plan

In traditional and collision repair marketing, the simplest yet most effective way to gain new customers has been by referrals from friends and family. You can never overlook the value found in referrals, but plan beyond friends and family is what I am advocating for. Word of mouth is still King and perhaps always will be. People find value in the endorsements of those that they respect, even if misguided or misleading. In your case of course, you would hope that your friends and family will have your back and speak highly of your work ethics and collision repair talents.

You Must Offer a Warranty

Even though you don’t have a shop that you work from, you are a shop. Your warranty speaks volumes about you and your work. You should use your Warranty as a marketing tool.

There have been surveys done just recently (2013) that will serve to help you with how and to who you market your mobile PDR business.