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I'm going to go out here on a limb here and tell you -
YOUR ONLINE REVIEWS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN ATTRACTING MORE CAR COUNT! Lemme 'splain... First of all, the reviews given by your customers reveal the health of your business. If your customers aren't saying good things about you, that's a warning sign that you better get your act together right now and start providing a better experience for your customers. Also, if you only have a few handfuls out of all the hundreds or thousands of customers you've worked saying good things - that's not a healthy sign either. They may like, or even love, doing business with you, but if they aren't telling the world (aka writing an online review), their little secret is hurting your chances to attract more car count. You see, studies show that 92% of folks will read reviews before making a buying decision, and if you don't have a stellar reputation (4.7 or higher), they'll move on to the next shop. In fact, I advise that you completely stay away from any form of online advertising for new customers unless your score is at least a 4.7 out of 5.0. Why? Because your prospective new customer will easily be able to compare you with everyone else and will more than likely choose the shop with the better reputation - negating all the time, money, and effort you've put into your advertising efforts. Look, you can argue with me all you want, but we're talking human nature here. Most will always go with the higher recommended shop. Why not? If you don't have a great reputation score, all you're really doing is advertising for your competitors that do. But your score isn't the only factor being looked at. There are actually three factors that are important about your reviews. 1. Quality (4.7 or higher overall score is needed)
2. Quantity (These days, a minimum of 75 reviews are needed, but in highly competitive areas, 150+ is needed)
3. Recency (You must be getting 1 or 2 new reviews every single week) === So you say you do a great job, your customers love you, but they just aren't writing those positive reviews that you need in order to let the rest of the world know how awesome you are, right? Here are three ways to get more reviews: 1. Ask. (Duh!)
2. Bribe. This has been very effective for a lot of my clients in the past, however it's also considered a no-no by the review sites and may get your account shut down if they find out.
3. Use an automated service like Soapboxx to do it for you that will email or text your customers after their service, ask if they were happy, and then send them directly to Google, Facebook, YP, or wherever you wish so they can write a quick word about their experience. Soapboxx is the only automated review-boosting service created specifically for the auto repair industry and the beta-testing of the software has just been completed. (See just a few of the remarks from the users below) Go to www.Soapboxx.io for more details. Check out what some of the members of the new Soapboxx platform are saying... Whatever you choose to do, ask, bribe, or automate the whole thing - put getting more 4-5 star reviews at the top of your to-do list. It's simply the best thing you can do to help attract more car count to your shop!
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Google has a great informational page that outlines best practices to increase your website/business ranking in search results. Can’t find your business? Improve your info. You may find that your business doesn’t appear for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often your customers see your business in local search results, complete the following tasks in Google My Business. Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps. Enter complete data Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure that you’ve entered all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Provide information like (but not limited to) your physical address, phone number, and category. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes. Learn how to edit your business information Verify your location(s) Verify your business locations to give them the best opportunity to appear for users across Google products, like Maps and Search. Learn more about verification Keep your hours accurate Entering and updating your opening hours, including special hours for holidays and special events, lets potential customers know when you’re available and gives them confidence that when they travel to your location, it will be open. Learn how to edit your hours Manage and respond to reviews Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more Add photos Adding photos to your listings shows people your goods and services, and can help you tell the story of your business. Accurate and appealing pictures may also show potential customers that your business offers what they’re searching for. Learn more How Google determines local ranking Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that's farther away from your location is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results. Relevance Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches. Distance Just like it sounds–how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If a user doesn't specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location. Prominence Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results. Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business's local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization. There's no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. We do our best to keep the details of the search algorithm confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone. Source: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en
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About 6-7 years ago a customer had us tow his no run 2000 Chevrolet Blazer into the shop. The tow was billed to our shop. The conclusion of our diagnosis was that the car needed an engine and the customer was not gong to fix it. Imagine my susprise to come in on a Monday morning and find the Blazer was gone from our lot. It had been blocked in by other cars but someone had went to the business next door drove up over the curb and the grass and drug it out of our lot over our curb. You could see the tracks in the grass and on the curb. The total that was owed was only about $80. Guess what I never heard from the owner (kid) again. So I assume someone out of the blue did not steal a car that would not run. I turned the bill over to our law firm for collections simply on the principle of the matter. About 6 months ago my law firm collected on the bill which was now over $300 due to interest and court costs. Then today I am left two one star reviews slandering our business on Google by this individual. This person was nothing other than a thief and Google allows this kind of reviews to occur. I have received about 6 undeserved one star reviews with no comments in the last year. Stuff from a former employee I fired and reviews from people with no record of them having ever been in the shop.
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Do you ask for reviews? If so, how? Via email, have a link on the customers reciept, sign in waiting area? We are really lacking in the online/social media department and would like to boost our overall ratings on yelp, google, etc. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions. Nick
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Very interesting, almost seems to good to be true...
Would like any feedback positive or negative.
Is the customer information safe?
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