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The Impact of Online Reviews on the Auto Repair Business

Online reviews can increase awareness of your business, boost search engine rankings and bring business to your company.  Studies have shown that a large percentage of people that evaluate automotive service offerings are significantly influenced by online reviews. It has also been demonstrated that the price people are willing to pay for service is impacted by online reviews. They’re willing to pay a premium for services with higher ratings. Most reviews are posted by people that are very happy with their buying experience or those who are very unhappy with it. Online reviews are expressed the least by people with moderate views. Whether positive or negative online reviews have a profound impact on individual purchasing decisions and when handled properly they can be very beneficial to an auto repair business.

The Effect on Person’s Decision to Purchase

There is no doubt that consumers are influenced by online reviews when making purchasing decisions. Many people use online reviews to find the best company to provide services they need. They search online for companies that provide the service they require then use online reviews as a screening tool. The company that they discern as having the best reputation will win the business.

The Impact on the Customer Experience

Once a person has decided to engage a particular company for their auto repair needs, the influence of online reviews continues to have an impact. Their experience is affected by the initial impression they garnered from the online reviews. Their favorable first impression will color their experience.

The Influence on Later Online Reviews

After the person has had their vehicle serviced they may post an online review of their experience. This also will be influenced by the original reviews they read when making their buying decision. Their experience will most often confirm the first impression made by reading online reviews and if they decide to post a review it will likely be a further confirmation of the earlier reviews that were posted.

Encouraging Reviews

It’s a good idea to ask a customer for a review. It should always be requested after the service is complete and there should be no stipulation that it be positive or negative. It should also be as easy as possible for the person to post the review. For example, sending a thank you email to the customer with a link to the review site will make it easier for them to post one.

Make the Most of Negative Reviews

A negative review can be turned into positive if resolved quickly and positively. It’s important to keep an open mind when listening to criticism whether it’s stated in a constructive or destructive way. The most natural reaction to negative criticism is to become defensive. However, learning to recognize all feedback as an opportunity to improve will have the most positive impact on your business. So if a negative review is posted about your business the best way to deal with it is to reach out to the person who wrote the review directly and ask what you can do to make it right.  Another action that can be taken is to post a response to the negative review thanking the person for bringing the problem to your attention and outlining the corrective actions that will be taken to resolve the problem. Finally, if the person that wrote the negative review goes back and updates the review indicating that the problem was resolved to their satisfaction you’ve gained valuable publicity portraying your business as one that stands behind your work.

A Great Opportunity

Online reviews can have a significant positive impact on business. By encouraging customers to post reviews then dealing quickly and decisively with negative reviews a business can realize a positive impact on sales. Recognizing how consumers make buying decisions and directing marketing activities to the places they shop is at the core of successful business promotion. In today’s environment, online review sites are an integral part of people’s shopping activities.

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