AutoNetTV™ recently conducted a survey of Web Tools users.  Web Tools bring AutoNetTV’s educational videos and an accompanying search-optimized article to a service center’s website.  Here are some highlights from the survey. 

Oh, and keep reading to the end to see how you can get a $25 gift card!

Participants were asked if they thought that their Web Tools do the following:

Enhances your online image 74.4%
Is a valuable resource to your existing customers 68.3%
Supports your sales efforts 62.2%
Builds traffic to your website 58.1%
Increases calls and visits from potential customers 53.0%
Has helped you make more money 41.8%
Enhances your stature in the community 39.7%

Whenever we’ve asked automotive service and repair professionals about their primary concerns, nearly all will mention the reputation of the industry as a barrier to building trust with consumers.  The survey shows that users feel that Web Tools enhances their professional image. 

Since 60% to 70% of consumers go to the internet for research before making a purchase, an investment in your online presence is a smart way to attract and retain customers.

When we designed Web Tools, we hoped that service centers would use the videos at point of sale to reinforce their service recommendations – something like, “Your manufacturer recommends that you change your differential fluid.”  “Well, I don’t know . . . (thinking – I don’t even know what a differential is)”  “Watch this short video on the computer.  It’ll explain differential service.”  The “I don’t know” turns into a “Yes”.

At issue are services and repairs that really need to be done, but which consumers don’t take care of because they really don’t understand the recommendation.

Well 54% said they use their Web Tools when describing a recommended service to a customer.  One group did a study of their own at three service centers where they showed the AutoNetTV video that corresponded with a service or repair recommendation.  Over 90% of the recommendations were accepted during the test period.  They estimate the average RO increase was $1,200 a week per service center.  Good for both the customer and the service center.

Social media marketing is exploding.  The survey showed that 42% link to Web Tools videos on their Facebook account and 11% link via Twitter.  Each Web Tools video post can be shared by viewers to social media and social bookmarking sites at the click of a button.  A viewer can also send an email link with a mouse click.  Quick and easy word-of-mouth (or is it word-of-mouse) marketing.

We’ve added a feature that automatically posts new content (videos from us or stuff the service center adds) directly to Facebook and/or Twitter.  These settings are accessed from the Control Panel (more on that in a minute).

Service centers that have a customer newsletter, whether printed or electronic, can link to particular video topics.  Email reminders for routine or declined services with a link to the video on the recommended service help customers understand why the work should be done.

We were surprised when we asked the question “Have your customers mentioned they have seen videos on your website?”, that 44% said that they have had customers mention that they had seen the videos.  Customers are enthusiastic enough about the Web Tools videos to bring it up in conversation.

Back to the new Control Panel, we’ve created a short video tour of the Control Panel.  You can watch the video on the Web Tools FAQ page, down towards the bottom: http://autonettv.com/home/webtools/webtools-faq

Through the Control Panel service centers can access resources on how to blog and manage their content, video demonstrations on common Web Tools management tasks and lessons on how to get started in social media marketing.  Users can also add Facebook and Twitter link settings from the Control Panel.  We’ve even added a tool that lets users customize your own header banner if they have one of our hosted blog sites.

And if you need more intermediate to advanced information on using Web Tools as a business blogging tool, check out http://businessbloggertips.com/.

AutoNetTV Web Tools is an extremely powerful marketing tool: at point of sale and 24/7 on the web.  And we keep making it better!

One last thing from the survey:  92% of you said that Web Tools users would recommend Web Tools to other service advisors.  We’re going to take them up on that.  For every shop you recommend that signs up for Web Tools, we’ll send you a $25 gift card.

To make a referral, just send Jon Ellsworth an email – jellsworth@AutoNetTV.com.  Be sure to tell him who you are and give him the name and phone number of the person you are referring.

Best wishes for a great summer!