The Importance of Customer Reviews for Collision Repair Shops
The internet is the new battleground for businesses – especially collision repair shops. Whether you’re a big name in the industry or a well-loved local shop, you need to know why customer reviews are critical for your business to prosper.
This article will talk about everything you need to know to grow your online reputation. We’ll talk about the importance of online reviews, how you can get them, and how to respond to positive and negative reviews acceptably and efficiently.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important for Collision Repair Shops?
As things shifted to digital, reputation-building interactions, have also moved online. The internet has removed every communication barrier – people of all age groups can now have access to an audience in the millions.
But what does this mean for your collision repair shop?
Your online reputation can impact your bottom line and even make or break your business. The way customers talk about you in online reviews and testimonials is now critical to your survival.
According to Qualtrics, 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product. Thus, how you represent your shop in the online world should be part of your business growth strategy.
It also illustrates the value that online reviews bring to the table. Your next question is probably, “Ok, so how do I get reviews?”
We’ve got you covered.
How to Ask Collision Repair Customers For Reviews
Reviews are critical in cultivating a healthy online presence, even for a collision repair shop.
In a recent post, we shared that 84% of survey respondents now value “digital word-of-mouth” as highly as they value direct recommendations from people close to them.
This word of mouth represents the reviews people write online about your business, which can gain hundreds to thousands of viewers every day. It’s how most customers select the company they want to do business with.
Here are two examples of good times to ask for reviews.
Ask a Repair Service
The most basic and natural way to gain reviews is by asking for one after doing a repair service for your customers.
Your service is still fresh in your customer’s minds during this period. They’re more likely to give you a positive review if they’re satisfied. If they had a negative experience, this is an excellent opportunity for you to rectify it and then ask for a review.
It could be something as simple as bringing it up in conversation, offering incentives for positive reviews, or using one of our review templates to ask for a review via email.
At a Positive Point
Alternatively, a friendly salesperson or mechanic can also wait for the right moment, ideally when the customer feels the most positive.
These moments can be after presenting their newly-repaired vehicle or offering them a discount coupon.
However, the challenge in opting for this method is remembering that the gesture must be genuine.
Customers can see through cheap appeals designed to make them give you excellent reviews, so most of our customers opt to ask for reviews after a repair as it’s the most natural time.
How to Respond to Positive Reviews
Now that you know the importance of having online reviews, you need to do your part to cultivate a positive space where your brand can shine.
You can do this by responding well to positive reviews from current customers. We’ll discuss four crucial steps for a stand-out review response when receiving positive reviews.
- Thank the reviewer. This first step entails showing the reviewer just how much their positive review means to you by replying with a heartfelt thanks.
- Go to the specifics. Whenever possible, mention specific details about your interaction with this particular customer. This will personalize their message, not to mention showcase specific services to curious readers and potential customers.
- Ask them to help spread the word. End your reply by graciously asking them if they would like to promote your business on social media or let their friends and family know about their experience.
- Talk about the review to others. Lastly, before you disengage with the review, you can also post the review on social media to attract more customers there.
These steps are practical and valuable, especially if your collision repair shop is a growing local business.
By doing these, you can encourage more positive reviews. Your customers will be able to see genuine gratefulness and feel that their patronage is personally important to you.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Positive reviews are fantastic, but they won’t be the only type of reviews you receive. The saying, “You can’t please everyone,” applies to businesses as well – including yours.
But don’t worry; getting negative reviews doesn’t necessarily mean failure. It all depends on how you respond.
Here’s how to appropriately respond to negative reviews:
- Acknowledge the issue. The first step is to make the customer feel heard. Reply with a message that doesn’t sidestep or pass the blame for the problem.
- Give the due apologies. No matter whose fault it was, you always need to apologize to customers for the inconvenience that they’re experiencing.
- Explain the situation politely, if needed. Explain what’s causing the problem, but don’t give excuses. This is necessary so that customers won’t feel in the dark about the matters they’re giving you feedback about.
- Offer a refund if appropriate: In some cases, it might be best to offer a refund or request that the customer contacts you directly over the phone to discuss the best next steps.
Negative reviews are a chance to put your ear to the ground, as these reviews usually shed light on things that might have escaped your attention.
Therefore, positively dealing with negative reviews can improve your business processes, but it can also make your customers feel your genuine concern and enhance their overall customer experience.
Broadly + CCC One: Helping Collision Shops Grow Faster
Today’s digital environment can quickly become too complex for many local collision repair shops to navigate, especially if they’re too busy helping customers to pay attention to their online reputation.
Luckily, the partnership between Broadly and CCC One can help.
CCC One is a cloud-based SaaS platform and vehicle collision management system that provides digital and data services and connects all the parties associated with vehicle collision repair.
Broadly’s reputation management software seamlessly integrates with CCC One and can be set to automate review requests for every service, helping you grow while you focus on caring for your customers and their cars.
See Broadly in action and decide for yourself. Book a demo of Broadly Premium today!