Image

“Main Street Hub puts me in a better position to my competitors… and pays for itself tenfold!”

Gary & Chris Schaller

The Car Doctor, Mountain View, CA
http://vimeo.com/48326415

The Car Doctor: Growing Word of Mouth

Background

Started in 2009, Gary and his brother Chris wanted to show the automotive industry something different. The company started with no customers, and one goal–to give their customers the value that they deserved; education, hands on understanding and preventive maintenance. Within a year of starting The Car Doctor, The Mountain View Voice awarded Gary and Chris Runner Up in the Best New Business Category. Realizing that their approach was resonating with customers, Gary and Chris knew that the logical next step was to explore ways to get the word out.

Objective

The Car Doctor operates in a neighborhood that has over 20 other independent auto repair facilities. As a relatively new business, it faced the challenge of acquiring new customers and turning them into lifelong customers in spite of intense competition. To build loyal customers, The Car Doctor focused on quality service, and was rewarded by one of the best overall presences on Yelp of any business in Silicon Valley. However, The Car Doctor did not have the expertise or the time to leverage the positive feedback in order to maximize repeat business and spread word of mouth to potential customers.

Approach

The Car Doctor began its partnership with Main Street Hub in March 2010 on the Value Plan. Immediately our team began working with The Car Doctor to learn more about its business goals and values. The next step for Main Street Hub was to make the most of The Car Doctor’s good reputation by connecting with its happy customers to spread the word. In addition to setting up their Facebook Business page and creating engaging messages for The Car Doctor customers to interact with, Main Street Hub also responded to the reviews left on their Yelp and Google+ Local page to build that relationship with its loyal customers. In order to reach as broad of an audience as possible, Main Street Hub also optimized The Car Doctor’s Twitter page and posted engaging content regularly to promote interaction.

Results

The Car Doctor’s Facebook Page has gone from having a network reach of zero people to over 20,000 since signing up with Main Street Hub. They also have a perfect 5-star Rating on Yelp with over 100 reviews, each having received a thoughtful and personal response, thanking them for their feedback.

Most importantly, current and potential customers are now interacting with The Car Doctor several times a week, instead of only a couple of times a year. This engagement keeps The Car Doctor top of mind and has made a significant impact on the bottom line. In fact, Gary and Chris attribute a 20-30% increase in revenue to the work Main Street Hub is doing.

Creating an online presence also distinguishes The Car Doctor from its surrounding competitors who do not manage their social media. A tweet from a (now loyal) customer pretty much sums it up: “Wow, I love it! An auto mechanic with the times… got my business.”

The Future

As a result of their explosive growth, The Car Doctor has plans to expand. Originally starting with just 1,200 square feet, Gary and Chris are looking to buy or build a facility 10 times that size. With this growth will come increased investment in various marketing vehicles. As The Car Doctor adds radio and television to their marketing mix, Main Street Hub will be there right along with them to help integrate social media and maximize the return on all of their other marketing spend.