As an auto repair shop owner, customer reviews have the potential to be your greatest source of new business. With that said, getting reviews from your customers can be painstaking, and not knowing how to do it can easily lead to irritating your client base or making no impact at all. So to prepare you, here are the best ways to encourage your auto shop customers to write reviews.
With an open rate of 98%, SMS text offers one of the best chances to reach your customers. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that this marketing channel is used appropriately and is effective in its aims. Consider these practices:
- Get permission- Refrain from sending unsolicited messages by making sure you have permission from customers beforehand. There may even be legal repercussions if you do not do so.
- Don’t be spammy- Having the consent to send text messages doesn’t mean you should blow up their phone. Make sure to only send messages for a purpose like an upcoming promotion, to remind them of an appointment, or to ask for a review.
- Include a call-to-action- Another key thing to remember is to always have a call-to-action (CTA) in your messages. This can be coupled with a link directing customers to your website, which makes the whole process easier for them. For example, CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A REVIEW.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that puts a personal touch on a customer's experience with your shop. Sending a thank you email, for example, is a great way to stand out amongst your competitors as well as make your customers feel valued. And, with 91% of consumers opening their emails on a daily basis, it can be a great channel for you to solicit reviews from. Consider politely asking customers to leave a review within every thank you email sent.
PRO TIP: Adding personalized touches with names as well as adding emojis to the subject line can increase the response and open rate of your emails! But with so many clients, email customization can get very complex very fast. Automating email marketing can help make the process effortless. By utilizing a marketing platform like BayIQ, this process is simple and quick. With features such as automated emails & SMS texts to help you solicit reviews, you won't have to worry about the logistics of how it works or the manual process of reaching every customer.
Although it can feel a bit unnerving, asking for a review in person is one of the most effective ways to go about it. There are, of course, some best practices to follow while doing so. For example, it might be assumed that every customer should be asked for a review at the POS but consider having the person with the best customer-relationship ask such as the manager or the service tech.
When asking, you want to make sure your point is clear without making it feel forced. There are a few ways to do this:
- Customer compliments- Unsolicited positive remarks present the ideal opportunity for soliciting an online review, as you avoid making the customer feel forced to think and write something positive about your service. If they happen to praise the shop, thank them and subsequently ask if they wouldn’t mind writing an online review.
- Conversation starters- Sometimes, the opportunity will present itself, and other times, you may need to create one yourself. You can do so easily by striking up a conversation with a simple question, like “How did you find everything in the shop today?” or “Was it your first time using [the particular service]?” There’s no losing here. Even if you don’t manage to get that online review you wanted, you’ll hopefully begin growing a new customer relationship.
- Don’t push it- You don’t want to make your customers feel like you’re trying to sell them on something. Simply explain how important reviews are for your shop and how much you’d appreciate it if they would leave one for you.
When a customer follows your business on social media, don’t be afraid to ask them to drop a review if they have visited your shop. Similar to email and text, soliciting reviews through social media allows you to directly share a link, so that the process couldn’t be any more straightforward and easy for the customer. You can also add a link in the bio with a clear CTA such as “Like our Service? Leave us a Review Below!”
Social media is also a great place to promote certain stellar reviews you’ve received in the past too. If you have any loyal customers who have written positive reviews in the past, consider using it as a post. It will act as a testimonial for your business. Reviews are a form of user-generated content (UGC)–sharing any written praise will only boost your credibility, help produce more online reviews, and hopefully earn you more business.
Cultivating reviews is a pivotal component to your overall marketing strategy. They will ultimately help you gain business or lose it without even knowing. But it’s a job in itself. To track reviews daily, weekly, monthly, etc. can become quite tedious. And amongst all the other tasks on your mind, it’s something that can easily drop to the bottom of your priority list. Instead of facing this battle alone, let BayIQ do the soliciting for you.
Simplify your marketing efforts with BayIQ, an automated marketing system designed specifically for the auto repair industry. With BayIQ, you won’t have to constantly juggle multiple platforms just to receive one or two reviews–they do it for you.
In fact, they offer full-stack marketing services covering everything from the cultivation of online reviews, text and email marketing, reports and dashboards, and a built-in loyalty program. To make it even easier, their POS software fully integrates into current systems so that you have access to everything you need on a single platform.