In this 5-minute read:
- Claim your Google My Business listing
- Encourage more online customer reviews
- Respond to every review
- Do not buy reviews
- Use reputation management software
When 93% of consumers report that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, that’s a pretty good indicator that your auto shop needs to have good online reviews.
Fortunately for you, we’ve been in the review game for a long time and have some great tips to help your auto shop get more reviews on your Google Business listing.
Claim your Google My Business listing
The very first thing you need to do to get reviews on Google is to create and claim your auto shop’s Google My Business listing.
This listing is what allows you to show up in Google’s map pack and get customer reviews. It also helps show your information to customers when they search for you directly so they can contact your business and find you easily.
Be sure to check to see if your business is already on Google. Sometimes Google will create listings for businesses that aren’t claimed so customers can start leaving reviews for them, or a previous owner may have created a page.
If you can’t find your auto shop on Google, then you should create a new listing.
Check out our guide: How to claim your Google Business listing
Encourage customers to leave reviews
Once your Google My Business listing is set up, it’s time to get some more customer reviews for your auto shop. You now have the capability to receive these online reviews, but happy customers don’t always think to do this. And unhappy customers are only too willing to go online and leave a bad review.
So it’s a good idea to come up with a strategy to get more Google reviews for your auto shop. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1. Ask customers for reviews
Sometimes it’s as simple as just asking your customers to leave a review. Find the opportune moments, like when they are happy that you just fixed the car problem they’ve been dealing with for a month.
Hold a small meeting with your staff to train them on spotting these moments and encourage them to ask customers for Google reviews. It may take a little bit to implement this new tactic, but keep on it because it will only help.
2. Place “Rate us on Google” signs throughout your shop
Placing signs throughout your auto shop that say “Rate us on Google” is a great way to remind customers that you would love to hear from them. Put signs up on your front window or door and at the checkout desk.
3. Leave instructions on receipts for leaving reviews
Add a link to your Google listing in email and print receipts. You could even include a QR code that takes customers directly to your Google listings. Leave a message that says “We’d love your feedback,” and be sure to include some short instructions for how to do that.
4. Send links to customers
Ask your customers if you can send them an invitation to leave a review. You can send text messages or emails that have a personalized message and a direct link to leave your auto shop a review on Google.
This is probably the best way to get reviews because it reminds customers to leave a review after they have left your shop. There are also lots of reputation management solutions out there that can help you automate this process.
Respond to reviews
Now that you’re getting tons of reviews from your customers, it is crucial that you respond to them. Try to respond to each review within a day or two of receiving it. Google is great because they will send you email notifications whenever a new review is posted on your listing.
Responding to customer reviews also shows your customers that you care about what they think, you’re attentive and want to improve your business where needed. This is super important when people are researching which auto shop to use.
Plus, Womply research shows that businesses that regularly respond to reviews earn up to 49% more annual revenue!
Remember that not every review you receive will be positive. It’s just as important, if not more so, to respond to any negative reviews that come across your auto shop’s Google listing as it is to respond to the positive reviews.
When responding to a negative review, take a step back and put on your professional hat. It can be easy to get heated over a bad review that comes in that may or may not be true. It is critical to respond politely and professionally on any negative reviews, not only for the sake of the customer that left the review, but for those who are researching your company.
Go deeper: How to respond to negative reviews
Should I offer rewards for reviews or buy positive reviews?
Short answer: no!
While it may seem like a good idea to enter customers into a raffle to get them to leave a good review for your auto shop, the risks that you are taking when engaging in practices like this are not worth it.
It is highly against Google’s policies to incentivize customer reviews. Reviews on your Google listing are supposed to be natural and from customers who genuinely had a good experience to share.
When you buy reviews, people are less likely to trust your reviews and more likely to go with another shop in town. Also, if Google catches wind that you are doing this, they may choose to delete all of your reviews or remove your listing from their search results altogether. That could seriously hurt your business.
A better solution is to incentivize your employees to ask customers for reviews. Offer to buy everyone lunch at the end of the month if you get 5 new positive reviews. Not only will this encourage your staff to ask for reviews, but it will also motivate them to provide the best service they can.
Try reputation management software
If you think you may need a little help getting and responding to your auto shop’s Google reviews, you should consider trying a reputation management software.
Solutions like this can help you automate the process of asking customers to leave reviews through text messages and emails. And Womply’s solution even has automated response capabilities so you don’t have to respond to every single review that comes in.
If you’re interested in trying out a time-saving service like this, fill out the form below for a free demo.