In many cases, online reviews are the first impression for prospects of your business, which is why they play such a large role in the success of your company. In fact, research shows that nearly 78% of people believe that it is crucial to research businesses prior to any interactions with them and up to 74% of people are unlikely to do business with companies who are poorly reviewed.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 steps to tire and repair shop reputation management.
1. Closely Monitor Your Social Media
With hundreds of millions of users around the globe, social media is an effective way to market your business and can be a relatively low-cost alternative to traditional marketing avenues. With that said, having a social media presence goes beyond creating a profile and posting updates. You’ll need to monitor it.
Responding to comments and messages (good or bad) can go a long way to building your business’s reputation. Best practices to keep in mind include:
- Responding quickly
- Keeping a light, friendly tone even when responding to negative comments
- Being honest and direct
- Being clear and concise
If you aren't the most tech-savvy individual, not to worry— integrating marketing software, like BayIQ can help— not only for marketing purposes but also so that you can easily respond to your reviews.
2. Cultivate and Respond to Online Reviews
Online reviews are a crucial component to ensuring your business’s reputation. Not only can positive reviews lead to more walk-in business, but they can also help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). According to Mention.com, search engines highly value frequent positive reviews. Those businesses often end up in the results of searches in turn establishing your business as more of an authority in the industry.
With that said, negative reviews do happen and it’s not only important to address those issues but to do it in a meaningful, productive way. Consider responding with:
- Acknowledgment- Make clear that you understand why the customer is upset and that your company can empathize.
- Appreciation- Thank them for taking the time to review the business honestly.
- Apologize- Offer a sincere apology and explain to the reviewer how this will be rectified in the future or the solution to the problem.
3. Google Your Business
Googling your business is a great habit to adopt. Essentially, it’s a checkup to ensure the information in the results is correct, there aren’t any lingering negative reviews unanswered, and that your business dominates the competition. Additionally, you should attempt to garner positive reviews from third-party sites for more domain authority. These can be gained from things like an award announcement or a guest blog post.
Pro Tip: Consider registering your business through search engines and social media platforms that allow it such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. This provides you with a form of verification that will increase the trustworthiness of your business profile, giving you more legitimacy.
4. Participate in Community Events
A major benefit of being a local, small business is that it gives you a connection to the community in a way that big corporations don’t often have. Participating in community events is a great way to leverage that unique connection and also positively reflect on your business. Some events to consider might be:
- Sponsoring fundraisers
- Creating a ‘volunteer’ day that gives employees an extra day to donate their time
- Donate meals for Thanksgiving to local families or churches
- Have a community-wide collection for kids in need for things like coats and school supplies
- Host a car show with proceeds going to a local charity.
5. Enlist the Help of Experts
While there are reputation management companies out there, they are often expensive and may not have the industry knowledge needed to benefit auto repair and tire shops. That’s why turning to an automated marketing platform like BayIQ is so beneficial.
With BayIQ you can fully automate your marketing efforts, create a custom loyalty rewards program, send email and text messages to customers, track and respond to reviews, and more! BayIQ can help you save considerable time and effort with qualified and trained professionals, ensuring the growth and prosperity of your auto repair shop.