A Strong Foundation
Tom’s Tire Pros is a multi-location tire and automotive service center serving the communities of Abilene and San Angelo Texas. For years Tom’s Tire Pros has provided local residents with the high-quality tires and automotive parts combined with exceptional automotive service – a key reason for the business’ lasting success. This gave Tom’s Tire Pros a solid foundation to engage online visitors.
Owner Tom Ceniglis made the decision to join the Tire Pros family of elite independent tire dealers to better serve his customers. The affiliation with Tire Pros allows his business to offer a range of tire rebates not found anywhere else along with offering high quality tires. This includes Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Goodyear, Dunlog, Kelly and more. Tom also gains exclusive access to important information on tires and car care which he provides to all his customers. Educating customers builds on the trust and loyalty relationship he establishes from the customer’s first service.
A Family Business
Tom Ceniglis, Jr. learned how to lead a successful tire operation while working with his father, who founded Tom’s Tire World in 1976. Tom Junior returned to the family business in 1989 to lead expansion and took over operations in 1999. Tom’s Tire Pros has thrived for many years by listening to their customers and delivering exceptional and quality service. They work hard to understand each customer’s unique service needs. Tom also offers products and professional services to personalize a customer’s vehicle. Such as adding a lift kit to a Jeep, truck or any off-road vehicle. This approach has earned Tom’s Tire Pros a very loyal customer following in the community.
Business Goal: Increase Automotive Service Business
A current Google Trends report shows online searches for local auto repair are at their highest level in 10 years. Additionally, the search team, “auto repair near me” has increased in use over 200% since the week of March 29 – April 4 2020. Knowing this trend, combined with his experience in the tire and automotive service industry helped formulate Tom’s strategy. Tom is now focused on transforming his business model into building a more profitable foundation for business growth. As a starting point, Tom must invest in improving his online positioning to gain the attention of potential customers as they start their online research for tire and automotive services engage online visitors.
“Over the past 20 years the profile and complexion of the tire and auto service business has changed significantly,” states Tom, “It’s critical to change with the times.” For Tom the change in business strategy included crafting an entirely new marketing strategy. Tom explains: “In the past our marketing spend included traditional marketing demand drivers – TV, radio, and even billboards. Meanwhile data shows that 70-80% of purchases start with online research first.” He continues, “We stepped back and looked at our marketing approach. And, we know that tire and auto repair services can be a big ticket purchase. Rather than spending mostly at the top of the funnel, we wanted to be investing at the right points in the customer buying cycle.”
Interacting with Consumers Deeper in the Buying Process
Tom researched online solutions to help his business engage potential customers deeper in the decision process and discovered Openbay Otis. Otis is an advanced online chat and messaging platform designed specifically for the automotive service industry. Otis installs on a business website and appears like a button, but jumps into action to gain the attention of the website visitor – offering to help answer questions and deliver information they are seeking in a chat-like format. It operates 24/7. It performs tasks such as appointment setting, delivers service estimates, and responds to questions about the business. All in real-time.
Otis in Action
Tom installed Openbay Otis on his business website because of its ability to interact with their consumers while they are actively in the buying process and instantly deliver personalized information automatically, 24/7. “Otis fits in with our strategy to be more digital and to focus deeper in the customer shopping experience,” Tom points out. “Today 70% of our budget is now spent on the digital customer journey. The website is the frontline of our business. When we make the website stronger, we see an uptick to our business.”
Using Openbay Otis, Tom’s Tire Pros delivers the personalized customer service they are known for. With this new platform they can better connect with today’s digital-first consumers. According to Tom, “Otis gives our customers the information they need immediately, all from our website. It runs automatically communicating with our client when they are actively looking on our site making buying decisions. Plus, Otis’ responses are personalized to their specific needs, making a shopping decision even easier.”
In addition, Tom values Otis’ ability to create a hassle-free online customer shopping experience. “We need a sales person 24/7 to keep us open for business, and Otis is that solution for us. Our website visitors don’t need to stop what they are doing to make a call or fill out a form and then wait. Otis connects with them on their schedule and makes us more convenient to do business with. With Otis we can be available when our client wants us.”
Engaging Consumers at the Moment of Decision
Tom quickly saw positive business results with Otis installed on the Tom’s Tire Pros website. In Tom’s words, “Otis makes a huge impact on the business. Otis gives our website a voice and helps our business interact with digital customers. It engages customers at the most important part of the buying process – when they are making decisions.”
Tom’s advice for a tire and automotive service business considering new methods to grow their business. He recommends exploring online chat options such as the advanced online chat platform Openbay Otis to better engage online visitors. “Today, in order to grow you need a way for your online customers to communicate with you. And, you have to be available in the moment when they want the information.” For Tom’s Tire Pros, Openbay Otis is the best solution: “Openbay Otis is moving us forward.”