Online Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Think about the last time you were trying to decide between what small business to use for a service. Generally, people will read the reviews before trusting a company, especially one working on their expensive car, before investing time and money. Reviews are a great way to draw your customers in and create a trustworthy business. Whether they are good or bad, here’s the importance of online reviews and tips for how to respond to them.

Online Directories

Did you know…

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to

Online directories enable users to search for local businesses in their area, and many of them also allow users to submit reviews for the businesses. Whether you like it or not, online reviews are out there. Because there is no way to hide, step up to the plate and take control of your online reviews. If you learn how to manage reviews correctly you will build a positive online reputation and gain the trust of potential customers.

Put Your Auto Shop on the Map!

Get started today by creating an online listing on the following 10 online directories and maps:

  1. Google My Business
  2. Yelp
  3. Yahoo!
  5. Angie’s List
  6. Bing
  7. Citysearch
  8. Waze
  9. Google Maps
  10. Apple Maps

WARNING! Monitor Your Directory Listings


It is important for you to monitor all of your online directory listings, as consistency of this information across all directories is actually a major ranking factor for your website. If your business listings have conflicting information such as an old address or phone number, your site’s ranking can be negatively affected.

Online Reviews = Online Word-of-Mouth

Off the top of your head, can you think of a few loyal customers who never fail to choose your auto shop when they need a car repair? Use these customers to your advantage. Because you know that they will sing your praises, ask them to write reviews on your online directories.

You can also solicit reviews after a customer visits your shop. Consider sending out an email thanking the customer for their visit, and include a link to your online directories with a note asking the customer to submit a review.



The Dreaded Negative Review

We’ve all grown up hearing, “No one is perfect.” This statement is true for your online directory listings. It is almost impossible to receive all five-star reviews. Take our word for it: you will receive a negative review. But take a deep breath, face the facts and continue reading to learn how to handle a negative review.

  1. Look at the review and figure out what the reviewer is actually complaining about
  2. Plan a polite response to the review that you will post publicly. The response should contain the following:
    1. An apology for the bad experience that acknowledges that you accept responsibility for what occurred
    2. An attempt to fix the issue – Offer to fix the problem free of charge or give a highly discounted coupon for the reviewer’s next visit to your shop

It is important to strictly follow these guidelines when you are handling negative reviews – don’t lose your temper! Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always post a unique response to negative reviews. People will notice if you post a generic, stock apology!

By following these steps, you will be able to turn your online reviews into a steady stream of new customers. Also, by monitoring your online reviews you will be able to gain a better idea of the customer service that your auto repair shop is providing. Once these steps are implemented we are sure that you will start seeing the positive reviews (and customers) roll in!


EXPERT TIP: Use online reviews as a training tool to develop your employees. Exceptional customer service is always a necessity.




As exemplified, reviews are a big deal! Even bad reviews can help you create a sense of a trustable business. Be sure to ask your customers for feedback to help your business grow and customers coming back for more. 


This blog post is part four in our “Local Online Marketing Planning” blog series. If you missed part one, two or three, click below to read them now:

Part 1: Use Your Website to Make a Lasting Impression

Part 2: Optimize Your Auto Repair Shop with SEO

Part 3: Build Your Online Presence with New Content


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