While once relegated largely to creative types, video is quickly becoming a necessity for repairers that want to remain relevant. Due to the ability to consume and produce content easily (see: iPhone, Android) the power of video cannot be underestimated.
- Video is the #1 source of information for 66% of people (techjury)
- Video drives SEO (search engine optimisation)
- 39% of businesses gain new customers as a result of branded video content (techjury)
- Video is increasingly being utilised in platforms other than social media such as in emails, newsletters and CRM platforms
Another factor in the proliferation of video content is the availability of SaaS (Software as a Service) apps that quickly and easily produce professional-grade video content. What used to be expensive and cumbersome to create, is now intuitive and efficient.
At the repair facility, if you are not incorporating video into your marketing, sales and operational strategies, now would be a good time to consider doing so.
Video can be leveraged for marketing and branding on many platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, etc. Also, in email marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp. And, of course, YouTube, where about 300 hours of video per minute are being uploaded 24/7.
Video can also be used operationally, to offer transparency within the repair process with the vehicle owner. Use of video in the repair process has shown to increase average RO amount by 20% to 30%.
Depending on the shop management system you use, you may be able to insert video into the digital repair file which supports documentation and gives added context for future customer interactions.
So how can a repair facility easily leverage video?
Let’s take a look at some specific use cases that can have very quick impact for the repair facility.
PRO TIP: Pick someone in your organisation with interests that compliment a video content creation platform. If strategy dictates outsourcing, there are various organisations that will manage your account for a reasonable price.
Video Testimonials present a real opportunity because most companies have not realised how easy it is to post video to Google Business Profile (formerly, Google My Business) and other platforms. We have all probably been frustrated by a poor, and possibly unfair, reviews. But these can be overcome by powerful video customer testimonials.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for customer video testimonials to magically appear; reaching out to your customers is the best way to obtain them. A video platform vendor will have an app that allows you to directly harvest customer testimonials.
PRO TIP: Set a goal of harvesting 1-3 video testimonials per month and leveraging them in Google Business Profile and all social media platforms you engage with. And remember, Google loves video for SEO. Bonus points for posting to YouTube, even if your views are low-Google owns YouTube, and will reward you with SEO for using it.
Repair in Progress Videos
While digital images (photos) are now more common, video can add context when needed. Video adds credibility and a more personal, human, element to the communication.
In repairs where additional work needs to be performed, supplements are involved, in complex repairs and in situations where there are approvals are needed, leverage video with vehicle owners, OE’s and insurance companies. It helps position you as the expert and can expedite the decision-making process.
As a result of the increased transparency and trust, your RO (repair order) can often be increased during the repair process. It is useful to have a SaaS-based platform from which you can create, communicate and engage the relevant stakeholders (vehicle owners, insurance companies, for example). The platform should be able to be used from any internet-capable device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Expert Tip Videos
Thought leadership influences buying decisions. Remember, most vehicle owners are entering unknown territory after an accident or during a repair. Demonstrate empathy and understanding, and then seek to educate. Informative videos placed prominently on your website landing page can assist in making a great first impression.
Thought leadership also strengthens your standing with other important stakeholders that affect the repair process such as parts suppliers, equipment manufacturers, paint companies, information/management system vendors and insurance companies, to name a few. The more professional you are, the less friction there is likely to be between companies and people you depend on to complete the repairs.
PRO TIP: Many videos can be leveraged for extended periods of time (several years), but consistent updates are always a best practice. I recently had an in-person meeting where I was told “You actually look like your LinkedIn profile picture!”- reinforcing the point that many of those representations don’t adequately represent the person, or vehicle. Of course, videos posted on platforms like YouTube last indefinitely and over time create an interesting look back on the evolution and growth of your business.
Video in Email
Industry statistics tell us that the average driver only has an accident requiring collision repair about once every seven years. However, many vehicles are drivable with repairable damage. Common maintenance and repairs, such as oil changes and brake jobs, occur at much more predictable intervals, of course. Therefore, it is advisable to create a strategy to consistently communicate and engage former and potential customers. Utilising video in such communications, enhances your impact as it is much more widely ingested compared to text alone.
Create an SOP to follow up with all customers with a thank-you message shortly after vehicle deliver. Then, follow up on a regular basis-quarterly for example. Create an email template with embedded video that you can use repeatedly. Stay in touch with past customers so that your brand is first to come to mind for additional work and recommendations. Be aware of opt-in email regulations for any direct marketing-type communications.
If you have a monthly communication that goes to a distribution list (customers, potential customers, insurance agents, etc.) definitely leverage at least one video per send.
PRO TIP: To most effectively utilise video in email, look for a provider that has the capability to both send video email directly out of the platform, and also has the ability to convert the video content into a URL, which can then be inserted into an email or many other communications (a LinkedIn Direct Message, for example).
Uses for Video on Your Website
- Turn your FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) into videos
- Employee profiles-show your customers who is working on their vehicle
- Highlight community involvement and relationships with manufactures
- Feature prominent members of industry associations you support- they will be happy to give you content!
We have only scratched the surface, but there are at least 25 different use cases that could be incorporated into your strategic, marketing and operational planning. As is the case with most tools and platforms, early success leads to adoption, and then consistent use. Pick 1-3 use cases that appeal to you and incorporate them into your SOP to realise immediate value. Then, expand to others as you become increasingly comfortable with the technology.
In summary, video is a great way to:
- Differentiate your shop from your competitors
- Humanise the repair process
- Gain trust and credibility from customers and other stakeholders
- Increase your average RO
- More effectively communicate and engage on the platforms of your choice
Not only is video effective in both shop marketing and operations, it’s fun, too!.