Auto repair marketing used to be as easy as getting plenty of word-of-mouth referrals. Now, we frequently talk to shop owners who are desperate to increase business. “At my auto repair shop,” they say, “the bays are no longer full.” What gives? The answer is simple: word-of-mouth referrals have moved online.
Google is the New Garden Fence
In the past, neighbors would chat over the garden fence, trading recipes or offering referrals to car repair shops. Google has replaced the fence. In an increasingly mobile society, there is little weekend or evening conversation across a fence. Customer referrals are now taking place online.
Moz conducted a study involving 1,000 Google users and asked about their search behavior. Here are a few good pointers they turned up.
- Page 1 rankings matter. About 50 percent of respondents only look at the first five search results. Posted reviews have an impact on your search engine ranking.
- Online reviews determine consumer behavior. Almost 68 percent of polled consumers reported an impact of online reviews on their decisions to do business with a company or to buy something.
- Bad reviews result in business loss. Almost 22 percent of consumers pass by a business with one bad review.
How do I increase business at my auto repair shop with customer reviews?
Soliciting good reviews seems a bit awkward. That said, they could have an enormous impact on the emptying bays in your shop. While it is not a good idea to offer rewards for good reviews, we do recommend including links to your Yelp, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages. Once there, a customer might just feel inspired to leave a review.
On your website, include a page devoted to testimonials. Members of the business community can get a backlink in return for even a brief statement. This will inspire them to get some free advertising by leaving you a good review.
By the way, if you are not yet a RepairPal member, it is time to remedy that situation. Not only do certified shops earn the trust of the customer, but the listings on the page also show verified reviews. Contact us today to learn more about how to elevate your status as a trusted repair shop.