Knowing how your customers are finding your auto shop can help you focus your marketing efforts, and identifying new opportunities for marketing can help drive more new customers to your business.

We conducted a survey of auto repair shop customers and found three major ways consumers are finding automotive businesses:

Word of mouth

Word of mouth marketing statistics show that people trust the opinions of other customers, and a relatable story can shape a new consumer’s opinion of your auto shop. If their friends and family speak highly of you, they will be more likely to use your services (and tell others).

In the sample we surveyed, word of mouth (WOM) marketing was the resounding winner among all age groups. From our sample, 59% said they use word of mouth for choosing an auto repair shop.

Additionally, according to a Nielson report, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations from family and friends above all other advertising. This is why the opinions of your customers are so valuable to your business. 

It might seem like WOM marketing is something that happens on its own, but there are ways to leverage it more effectively.

Start generating more word of mouth with the following ideas:

  • Promote reviews and positive ratings in as many places as possible (e.g. Google, Yelp, Facebook), paying close attention to reputation management
  • Keep your brand top of mind with regular email and direct mail campaigns
  • Consider unique complimentary gifts or other tactics that can set your shop apart

Google ads

Google ads came in as a close second, with 43% using this method for choosing an auto repair shop. 

Google is the most used search engine, with an 84% market share. Your customers make digital searches every day, so why not reach them where they already are? Let Google draw attention to your business with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC offers your shop improved visibility, budget control, and faster results than generating organic traffic.

Chrome browser open on a smartphone

We suggest the following tips to improve your PPC:

Also, hone in on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to beat out your competitors with higher organic search rankings. This improves your credibility with customers searching for an auto shop on Google and increases website traffic.

Direct mail

Direct mail still remains very effective for the auto industry, coming in as our third highest-rated marketing strategy. You may be thinking, with the world becoming increasingly paperless, is direct mail really the right strategy? Well, all we have to say is that the numbers don’t lie.

In our survey, 11% of customers said they use direct mail to decide which auto repair shop to visit. Customized and targeted mailers tend to produce significantly higher response rates than digital marketing methods.


After learning the most common ways your customers are finding your shop, you may need to shift gears on your auto repair marketing strategy to be sure you’re getting the most out of your budget.

If your goal is to grow your business, our automotive industry marketing experts are here to help!

Get a free marketing assessment and learn more about what we can do for you.

June 1st - September 3oth

50% OFF

Digital Management Fees
for 3 Months! 

$750 value!

*This offer is for customers who have not previously used UpSwell’s digital marketing services for PPC Search or Social Media Ads. The Digital Splash promotion requires a minimum 3-month commitment to either social media ads or pay-per-click, and a media spend of at least $1,000 per channel. A one-time new customer set up fee of $150 will be charged upon signature of the contract. Contact UpSwell Marketing for details.