In this digital age, online reviews have become vital to the success of any business. In fact, for every 10 customers, 9 believe an online review is just as important as a personal recommendation.
Furthermore, studies show that a 4-star rating or higher is likely to drive business leaving no doubt that online reviews can really spur or halt the growth of your auto repair shop. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what factors come into play. Here are 5 aspects customers consider when reading online reviews:
1. The Overall Rating
One of the first things a customer sees after they search your auto repair shop is the rating. A lower rating can drastically decrease your shop’s click-through rate (CTR), meaning customers are less likely to visit your site. With a higher star rating, you can improve your search ranking and build trust between you and potential customers. In fact, increasing your rating from 3 to 5 stars can result in a 25% increased CTR.
There are a few ways to improve your shop’s overall rating. Since most consumers are more likely to leave a review when they have undergone a really impeccable experience, your shop must give customers a reason to give you an outstanding review for your service. You can consider having your service advisors and managers to ask customers for feedback and reviews after their service to increase the chances they’ll take to the keyboard on your behalf. Additionally, you can automate review solicitation automatically with an auto shop marketing software like BayIQ to increase reviews and push them to Facebook or Google.
2. Recent Reviews
A recent study shows that 48% of customers only look at reviews from the past two weeks, while customers, specifically over the age of 55, will determine their visit based on reviews from up to 3 months prior. And if your business is open during COVID-19, customers will potentially be scrutinizing your shop’s precautionary measures through its online reviews. That’s why, especially in the midst of the pandemic, it’s crucial that your shop maintains its recent reviews.
3. Number of Reviews
There are always going to be a few unhappy customers, so ensure your shop has numbers on its side. For example, 2 lone poor reviews can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and damage your overall rating, whereas 2 unhappy customers within 20 glowing reviews can give more insight into the company as a whole and help potential customers make more informed decisions.
4. Engagement with Reviews
The way a business interacts with their online reviews can say a lot about how they treat their customers. Words of gratitude as well as sincere apologies or reparations can go a long way for both the customer at hand and potential customers reading the reviews. In fact, 97% of customers who are reading reviews are looking for reviews with a response from the business.
It’s crucial that your business diligently responds to both positive and negative reviews for both return business and to show potential customers you take customer service seriously. Start by thanking every reviewer for sharing their feedback. For a disappointed customer, apologize, provide your direct contact information, and reassure them that their concerns will be addressed and any mishaps will be prevented in the future.
5. Reviews that Include Images
Painting a clear picture for potential customers is extremely helpful when they are faced with a purchasing decision. Statistics show that close to two-thirds of consumers not only consider ratings and reviews but also customer photos.
That’s because the addition of images contributes enormously to the credibility of the reviews being given, which is why, particularly for a service-based business like an auto repair shop, it’s important that customers attach images to their reviews.
Automatically Solicit Reviews with BayIQ
The process of improving reviews can be a daunting task, each section is equally important and can make a difference in the business you see. Luckily, there are ways to automate the process to not only make it easier on you but to ensure customers are receiving consistent treatment no matter how busy the shop gets.
BayIQ’s marketing and rewards platform can help your tire and auto repair shop solicit reviews from customers after service and automatically push them to Facebook and Google, respond to reviews, and pull reporting metrics. Along with the customer loyalty rewards program, email and text message marketing, improving your online reputation is just one way BayIQ can increase your car count and average repair order.