Busy garage shares why securing new customers is a must

Long term pipeline of work essential to maintain customer base

Busy garage shares why securing new customers is a must

A large garage in in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, which completes up to 40 MOTs every week, has shared why it is essential to continually secure new customers.

Stewart Pitcaithly, owner of Cotly Garage, says that despite being permanently busy, he is mindful that the garage will always need to be found by potential new customers moving into the area to protect the longevity of the business.

The garage was established almost 30 years ago and while it has a loyal customer base, many of which are now third generation family members of the original customers, it recognises the need to connect with the influx of people moving into the new housing estates in the town.

Stewart said: “Our existing customers tend to call us, but since having our website, it is apparent that new customers much prefer to contact us via the website. This is great because it means we are not getting broken off by the telephone and can manage bookings more efficiently.

“There are a lot of new builds going up here and most households have more than one car. These people are also more likely to have a hybrid or EV vehicle, and this is something we are fully trained and equipped to deal with and have a good reputation for.

“Customers will often drive 50 or 60 miles to bring their hybrid or EV vehicle to us because they have found us online, read the reviews, and are reassured that we are more than up to the job.

“It is the same with our MOT work. There is a lot of competition around here and despite that, we are the busiest MOT centre by far – and the only one that charges full price.”

Cotly Garage’s website is managed by Garage Services Online. Managing director, Jim Lang said: “When you look at Cotly Garage’s website analytics, it is interesting to see that after the home page, the pages with the most views are its EV/hybrid and MOT pages.

“It means the website is doing its job. However, this is not by chance. We worked closely with Stewart during the build and were able to specifically and successfully target the incoming work enquiries identified as some of the most important to the business.

Stewart Pitcaithly added: “MOT work is a great long-term feeder for the garage. These customers quickly see that from coming to us for an obligatory legal requirement, they can trust us and so then ask us to carry out the repair work and usually, all their future work such as servicing too.

“From all the new enquiries we get online, the conversation rate to a long-term customer is about 75 percent. I am really pleased with that because we have eight ramps and seven very good technicians to keep busy.

“As a Servicesure garage, Garage Services Online was recommended to me and this was backed up by the articles I had seen about their work in the trade magazines. I highly recommend them.

“A website is an essential garage tool, even for an already busy garage.”

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