A male mechanic and a female customer at an auto repair shop.

How To Make an Online Review Work for Your Auto Repair Shop

When it comes to marketing your car repair shop, a variety of strategies are available, including paid advertising and word-of-mouth. If you are like many small companies operating on a tight budget, however, you would want to know how you can promote your auto repair business without breaking the bank.

One such effective marketing tool is available for free on the internet, and it’s called online customer reviews. Do you want to know how to take advantage of online reviews (whether negative or positive) to promote your business? Read on to find out.

What Is an Online Review?

An online review is precisely what it says – a review or a criticism of your services or products by a previous customer left on the internet for everyone to see. A review typically reflects the sentiments and experiences of a customer who purchased a product or availed of a service from your auto repair shop.

Given that it’s on the net and available for everyone to read, online reviews can be a great tool to promote your business. In fact, according to a study, 93% of consumers take cues from online reviews when choosing products or services to avail, which makes them pretty valuable for businesses, especially for small localized ones like auto repair shops.

How To Manage Auto Repair Shop Reviews

While an online review can be an asset to any business, remember that reviews can come in two forms: positive and negative reviews. The first one is pretty straightforward to respond to – you just have to thank and invite them for their future car repair needs. The latter, on the other hand, is going to be a bit more tricky to handle. Either way, if both are managed well, online reviews can certainly do wonders for your business.

To help you manage your auto shop’s reviews online, follow the helpful tips below:

1. Ask Customers

Online reviews aren’t just beneficial for your reputation, they will also help your website rank well on search engines like Google. And the more online reviews you have, the better. How can you get more reviews? Well, all you have to do is ask. Especially if you feel like a customer was happy with the product or service you provided, we’re pretty sure they’d be happy to vouch for you.

However, you must keep the process of leaving a review for you easy and hassle-free. Make sure that you provide them with all the links to prominent review sites such as Google+ and Yelp. You can either send the links via email or ask your customers to visit your website, where they can easily find links to these review sites. Also, you can provide a step-by-step guide on leaving a review so that they won’t have to look for themselves, which can prove to be bothersome for them.

2. Be Responsive

Negative online reviews may be detrimental to your online reputation at first, but if handled correctly, you can use them to your advantage.

Respond to these reviews promptly in a professional and friendly manner. Make sure to apologize sincerely, then offer a solution to their concerns. Doing this will accomplish two things: 1.) appease the complainant, and 2.) you will be seen by other readers as a professional that takes customer service seriously.

Remember, however, that if a negative review comes with an insult or some profanity, you can just ignore these or, better yet, “flag” them in the sites so they can be removed completely.

3. Provide Accurate Details

This is a key element in online customer reviews. When submitting your auto shop business to review websites, especially Google+ and Yelp, you should include the correct information (address, website, contact number) and relevant and optimized descriptions, content, and pictures. This forms part of your goal to establish an online reputation and a solid social media presence.

4. Be Honest

Google and many other major online customer review sites have systems designed to help filter out suspicious customer testimonials. Thus, never offer any discounts to your customers in exchange for leaving auto repair shop reviews. Doing so could put you at risk of being penalized by Google and other review sites.

5. Do Customer Follow-Up

People are busy, and they include your customers. Even if they intended to leave reviews on your auto shop’s social media accounts, they might forget to do so once they return to their cars. Thus, it should be a good idea to pick up the phone and check in on your customers after a few days. This is not only to remind them of your request for an online review, but it will also give you a golden opportunity to build a deeper relationship with your clients.

Begin the conversation by asking your customers how their cars are doing. Listen to what they have to say: ask them if they are satisfied with the service and assure them that your shop is available for any assistance.

6. Handle Complaints Professionally

There will be times when, despite your best efforts, things don’t go as planned, which can result in unhappy customers. However, this doesn’t mean that you should lose hope of getting a five-star review for your shop. This will still depend on how you handle your customer’s complaint.

In this case, you must be proactive. Listen to your customer’s problems and tell them how you plan to resolve them. They will likely leave positive reviews eventually if they sense that you are serious about getting the issue settled.

7. Keep in Touch

Use your email list to stay in touch with your customers. This provides you with two distinct benefits. One, it gives you the opportunity to remind your customers to leave reviews of your business, especially after a successful car repair. Two, email lists help your customers retain your auto repair shop in their minds. They’ll likely remember you the next time they need to have their cars checked up. This can be seen as another chance to offer excellent service and get a 5-star online review.

Online Reviews and Digital Marketing

Nearly all customers who have submitted reviews for a car repair shop rate their experience on a scale of 1-5 stars. These auto service ratings are easy to understand but provide only a snapshot of the entire experience. Nevertheless, they can help determine which auto shops enjoy good reviews and are listed in Google searches as among the top choices.

It is important to remember, though, that an online review is just one component of your entire digital marketing strategy. There are other equally important parts like SEO, web development, and content marketing that you should pay attention to when crafting a plan to promote your auto shop.

Key Takeaway

To improve your business, you need to gather and analyze online customer reviews. These can help increase brand awareness and improve your services’ quality.

However, it would help if you did not rely on reviews alone to get more people to visit your auto shop. Instead, integrate them into your overall marketing campaign. If you have little idea how to do this, professional digital marketing companies can help you.

Let your car repair shop enjoy a solid online presence with the help of Advanced Digital Automotive Group.

If you have just a few customer reviews for your car repair business, Advanced Digital Automotive Group can use them and turn things around for you. We are a premier digital marketing company that specializes in helping auto businesses gain a stronger online presence through effective marketing strategies such as SEO. Call us, and our auto repair SEO experts will provide you with a detailed plan.

About the Author

Paul Donahue
Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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