When you consider visiting a new business, do you go in blind or do you do some research to find out if they can truly meet your needs? In the past, recommendations were often through word of mouth. While this still has a major impact on consumer behavior, the internet has changed the way that your customers interact with your auto shop.
In fact, 91% of people ages 18 to 34 trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation, and most of them will research your site before visiting. That’s why, if you haven’t started soliciting reviews, it’s time to start.
The Majority of Consumers Read Online Reviews First
77% of people regularly read online reviews when they are searching for a local business. This is a significant increase from the numbers from just a few years ago.
An online review, combined with your website, is arguably the first impression your auto shop makes with most customers. By having a robust online review section, you set the stage for more customers to deem your business trustworthy.
Helps Foster Relationships
Online reviews provide a great way to build long-term relationships with your customers. One way to do this is to interact with the reviews that your customers leave for you. By responding to reviews, you are taking control of the narrative.
Even if you have a few negative reviews in there (and most businesses do), a positive response can shape consumer opinion favorably because it demonstrates that you care about customers and their overall experience with your auto shop.
And if that’s not enough, it’s important to note that customers are looking to see how you engage with others in shockingly high numbers. Moreover, 89% of consumers are likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
Makes Your Shop Easy to Find
Consistency and the number of reviews make a big difference in how your business appears on search engines. Google takes reviews into account when determining your ranking, meaning that online reviews are a great way to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
If your reviews also contain keywords or your location, you are even more likely to rank higher. While you don’t want to prompt your customers with what to say in their reviews, the perfect keyword phrases are likely to come about naturally even if that just means “auto shop” and the city where you are located.
Reviews Give Valuable Feedback
No matter how well your auto shop is doing, chances are there are some areas where you could improve. Reviews are a great way to assess how you are doing, where you are excelling, and even a few areas where you are falling short.
It’s likely that your services won’t be perfect for every customer. Be sure to take that feedback into consideration to improve your overall business. This can help you to streamline your process and earn more positive reviews in the long run.
Don’t forget how important it is to respond to these negative reviews, particularly with what you will do to improve the consumer experience. This legitimizes your brand and allows customers to see that you truly care.
Great reviews are arguably the most effective form of advertising, and the best part is that it is completely free! If you can collect reviews from your customers, you are statistically more likely to get future business from new customers and to rank higher with Google. Both of these make it more likely that your shop will continue to grow well into the future.
With that said, more reviews means that you’ll have to make a conscious effort to solicit them from customers. This takes bandwidth that many shop owners simply don’t have. This is where software like BayIQ comes into play.
BayIQ allows you to solicit customer reviews, respond to them, and publish them to Google or Facebook automatically.
Built by auto shop owners, BayIQ can help you increase revenue with a built-in loyalty rewards program, an efficient online appointment scheduler, and email and text message marketing. It can also track transactions in real-time with an easy-to-use interface that integrates with your current POS.
If you want to retain more customers, save time on marketing, and increase revenue, request your demo with BayIQ today!