Strategic Marketing Investment Continues to Pay Dividends
Stop us if you’ve heard this before — an investment in a well-designed website is money well spent.
We know, we know. We do web design. So, of course, it’s in our self-interest to say this to our clients. But what if we told you that a website we designed five years ago just received an industry top honor for best in website design?
The Back Story
CS Automotive is a very different automotive garage, specializing in Lexus repairs. In fact, due to his reputation and many years of experience and coursework as a Toyota Master Mechanic, owner Rob Auernheimer was approved to become a Lexus Master Mechanic without the required two years of Lexus training and experience. So, yes, he’s the real deal.
When Rob and his wife, Kim, decided to open CS Automotive, they knew they needed a website — but being in startup mode, they decided to get by as inexpensively as possible. So they started with a landing page provided by one of their suppliers. Not surprisingly, the webpage wasn’t very good ... and they knew it. So, they tried again ... and again, each time investing a little more money with only incrementally better results.
After three iterations of inexpensive websites, Rob and Kim called MojoMediaPros.
Mojo quickly assessed the problem. It wasn’t just a matter of dollars— the combined spend on the first three repair shop sites should have yielded a reasonable website — it was a lack of strategy that undermined their attempts.
CS Automotive specializes in servicing Lexus and Toyota vehicles in the affluent community of Brentwood, TN. Lexus is a luxury vehicle brand. None of CS Automotive's previous sites looked premium or luxurious, and they certainly did not reflect the quality and care of Rob’s workmanship. While Kim was doing a great job with their social media promotion, potential customers — luxury car drivers — were looking for a luxurious experience online and the less-than-premium look and feel of the CS Automotive website was actually hurting their business. In other words, it was a branding problem. The brand promise captured on their automotive repair website did not represent the superior quality of Rob’s service.
Messaging and Design
When we got our hands on this project, our approach was quite simple — we needed to tell Rob’s story in a visually appealing way.
So, we began by asking Rob a bunch of questions. How do you approach routine services? Why do you work the way you do? Little things like premium lubricants, OEM parts, road-force balancing, free safety inspections with every oil change ... they all add up to the high-quality, luxury automotive service experience that his potential customers desired.
On the design side, we made a strategic decision to make the website look more like a fine arts site than a typical auto repair industry website. We used black and white photography throughout and gave the site a sporty vibe.
And ... it all worked. MyCSAuto.com was born.
The week the website launched, phone calls to CS Automotive increased dramatically, as did sales.
Later in the same year, Rob and Kim entered their new website, into AutoInc. magazine’s competition for the Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites. In January 2013, it won this honor, making it the first new website in five years to crack into Top 10.
In the AutoInc. article announcing the winners, the magazine editors wrote:
Rounding out our Top 10 Websites for 2013 is CS Automotive, a six-bay shop specializing in Toyotas, with an emphasis on Lexus vehicles. The beautiful black and white photography throughout the website is a standout, as also its “Learning Center”. It’s chock full of consumer knowledge, educational videos, FAQs and offers several reasons as to why the shop is different from its competitors.
Owner Rob Auernheimer is focused on “sweating the small stuff” as his website says and paying attention to the little things that can make a big difference in where customers choose to have their vehicles serviced. Every page throughout the site has easy access to customer reviews and an online appointment scheduler.
The staff section of the site continues to feature great photography, along with bios of each team member establishing credibility with current and future customers. It uses Facebook to promote various shop specials, which have been well received by its followers. This is a fine-looking site with lots of great content. It would be difficult not to choose CS Automotive after visiting its website.
Why Quality Matters
Jump ahead a few years, and CS Automotive was in need of some additional technology for their rapidly-growing business. So, Rob and Kim made the decision to migrate the site to the Kukui platform, which offered backend services specifically for automotive companies.
There was one condition, though — the award-winning web design had to remain intact; the design and storytelling had become so integral to the auto shop’s success that it became their calling card.
After some tweaking and customization with the developers at Kukui, the Aurenheimers succeeded in maintaining the integrity of Mojo’s original site design.
And guess what? In 2017 this very design was once again selected for AutoInc. magazine's Top 10 Automotive Repair Websites.
This time, the magazine editors wrote:
Monochromatic images speak to a classy repair experience, but the red-on-black type makes this shop’s navigation devices and messages pop. Effective slideshow of photos and strong marketing language communicate competence and quality, as well as a family-friendly attitude. Entertaining aspects of social media posts on Facebook and Twitter complement the site’s unusually titled “Learning Center,” which offers visitors relevant FAQs, car-care videos and a compelling list of what makes this shop different.
It was this iteration of the website that won 2018 Best Website at the VISION HiTech Training and Expo in March of this year. Remember ... this is a site that was designed more than five years ago!
Over a five-year span, most companies would have gone through at least one website redesign, if not more. However, because CS Automotive committed to making the investment back in 2012, their website has continued to garner attention for their company, allowing them to focus on serving customers and building their business.
Early this month, Rob and Kim along with their entire team attended the World Pac STX Conference in Arizona. Sitting in on the digital marketing session, they realized the speaker had chosen MyCSAuto.com to illustrate his guidelines for a best of breed auto repair website. Honestly, this wasn't a complete surprise because their site is widely used for demonstration throughout the automotive industry as one of the best auto repair websites for storytelling, educating and giving options to customers.
Congratulations, Rob and Kim! We are so pleased to have played a small part in your success.