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  Net Worth

Posted 2/2/2007
By Colby Horton

Shop Site of the Month

LaMettry's Collision Inc. - Five locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. areas
www.lamettrys.com

shop site

This site offers a clean layout and multi-layered navigation scheme that helps consumers find information easily. The Web site's "E-Estimates" section is unique, allowing customers to submit up to three photos of their vehicle and contact information and the shop can provide an estimate to the user. This makes the site and its functionality extremely convenient. The site also offers an online survey to rate shop performance and a nice service menu. A comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions and Employment section make this site informative to consumers and prospective employees alike.


Web Wise

Is It Time for a Web Site Makeover?

If your site contains outdated content, no longer reflects the image and philosophy of your business, or doesn't contain features to close a sale, you run the risk of sending your customers and prospective customers to your competitors.

Most shops redesign their site because they have a site that no longer meets the needs of their business or customers. If you're thinking of redesigning your site, here are a few tips for a successful change.

Analyze your current site. Take a look at your site from a user's perspective. Can you find exactly what you're looking for? Is the content on your site current and relevant? Is it organized effectively and your navigation scheme easy to use?

Examine your competition's sites. It's important to see what they are doing online. Take a look at their innovations; see if they make it easier for customers to schedule appointments or ask questions. If you're not keeping up, you could be losing a customer.

Define your audience. And most importantly, listen to what they have to say. Look at your customer demographics and design a site that meets their needs. Take it one step further and have your loyal customers take a look at your site and give their opinions on how to improve it.

Make a "wish list." Start compiling a list of things you'd like to see on your site. This makes it a lot easier to convey to a Web designer exactly what you want. Do you want to capture customer data? Do you want your customers to schedule appointments online? Do you want to make your site easy to update? How about an easy-to-use navigation scheme? And if you can't do everything at once, make sure you prioritize your list.

Apply your shop's brand to your site. Make sure your new site incorporates your colors, your logo's font and any other facets of your brand. You want it to match any direct marketing pieces, yellow page ad or other marketing efforts. You want to be sure your Web site designer understands your brand and business philosophy.

Budget time and money. Never proceed until you have a full understanding of what it will cost. Try and scope out any hidden fees that may occur. Building a good site should take several weeks, not days. It's important, however, to get a clear time frame for completion and hold your designer accountable for the estimated completion date.

If you need help with the redesign process of your site, take a look at ASA's Web Solutions. Visit webservices.asashop.org, or call (800) 272-7467, ext. 234.

Net Numbers

According to a recent survey, 48 percent of respondents turn to a Web site for research purposes, while 31 percent turn to the dealership.

Source: DoubleClick's "How Online Advertising and Media Impact Word-of-Mouth"

ASA Web Ways

Join ASA's 'New' News-Network

First published in 1998, the ASA News-Network was created to keep subscribers abreast of industry and association news via e-mail. Now, to meet the demands for more electronic information, the Automotive Service Association has incorporated a new look with enhanced content into its News-Network.

The new content is catered toward individual elements of the association, including legislative updates, division-specific information, breaking news and management topics. To sign up for the free ASA News-Network, visit the ASA Web site (www.ASAshop.org) and click on "ASA News." A subscription form can be found there. And as always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to e-mail us at news@asashop.org.

Colby Horton Net Worth is written by Colby Horton, ASA's electronic communications manager. He can be reached at (800) 272-7467, ext. 234, or by e-mail at colbyh@asashop.org.


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