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Embrace the Change and Thrive

by Digital Mayne Media

How COVID has changed the way Australian motorists find you online.

Being found online used to be a straightforward process. Customers would perform a search and simply select a nearby workshop with a high rating. COVID has changed the status quo, even with states opening up. Today, Australian motorists demand interactions and experiences that are convenient, memorable and mobile-driven.

Millions of us live and work via our smartphones. Customers are finding you through their search results and, if they don’t like what they see in your reviews, you’ll lose them before you ever hear from them. Text messages have a staggering 98 per cent open rate, while three in four consumers would prefer to interact with a business via text. This demonstrates that mobile communications are not optional, but essential for businesses. If your workshop relies solely on traditional marketing or returning business, you’re in danger of being left behind.

Messaging platform Podium has released research with some findings to help local Australian businesses understand these trends. Here’s some of their findings that are particularly relevant for local automotive businesses.

MOTORISTS ARE LOOKING AT YOUR ONLINE LISTING
Podium research found that 46 per cent of Australians are more likely to look at a local business’ Google listing before visiting it than they were prior to thepandemic. So make it easy for them to find everything they need to know about your business, including address, contact details, opening hours, website and social media. Also include pertinent information about how your business is operating during lockdowns. Remember, first impressions last – so make it a strong one.

CONSUMERS PREFER TO DEAL WITH BUSINESSES WHO CAN TEXT
In thinking about your workshop as a business, it’s imperative to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations. Australians are twice as likely (1.8x) to prefer texting to any other communication method. Today, the savviest businesses are adaptable and willing to change their approach if it’s more convenient for their customers. Through platforms like Podium, for example, local businesses can receive more reviews, send SMS campaigns and centralise their communications – all by text. If it’s convenient for your customers, it’s effective for your business.

EVERYONE IS INFLUENCED BY REVIEWS
Reviews now influence 84 per cent of Australian consumers when discovering a local business. Approximately 16 per cent have read an online review in the last day, and 62 per cent in the last week. So rather than talking about how great your workshop is, prove it through your best ambassadors: your customers. And the best way to get those reviews? Ask them.

Make sure you have processes in place to invite them to review you, right in the moment when they’re happiest with your service. It’s also worth knowing that 69 per cent read reviews to validate businesses’ health and safety practices.

With lockdown expected to end in much of Australia over the coming weeks, what better way to utilise and make the most of the power of your community?

Lockdowns may be coming to an end and life returning to normal but COVID has changed consumer expectations, however it also presents new opportunities to win customers online.

Don’t be daunted by change but embrace it and treat it as an opportunity to thrive. This adaptability and the provision of convenient and memorable services is the hallmark of successful business today.

You can read the full reports via Podium’s website – www.podium.com.au

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