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Repair Shop Advice

How to Respond to a Negative Auto Repair Review

June 6, 2017

Despite the best efforts of shop managers everywhere, negative reviews are a common occurrence in the auto repair industry.  There are plenty of reasons – a repair fails, a customer wasn’t happy with the service they received, a customer blames a shop because their old vehicle is falling apart, the review is being used as blackmail to negotiate a discount.  Obviously, some of these reasons are legitimate, and some are truly unfair.

The first question we get from many shop owners is how to remove these reviews, especially if they are dishonest or mean-spirited.  Unfortunately, most companies hosting reviews (such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Angie’s List) aren’t nearly as receptive to having reviews removed as they are to having reviews posted.  However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to lessen the impact of a negative review!  Here are two things you can do to address the review:

  • Respond to the review – and be considerate! Everyone who looks at online reviews regularly knows that every business has negative reviews.  People have bad experiences – some people get unlucky, and some people are unreasonable.  What they’re really looking to do is to get a general idea of how your business treats people and how good of a job it does maintaining or repairing vehicles.
    That’s why it’s important to remember that when you respond to an online review, your main audience is all of the people reading the review, not the person that posted it.  This is your chance to show the world how much your customers, and your shop’s reputation, matters to you.
    To that end, there are several things you want to do in a review to impress your audience.  If the review isn’t mean-spirited, thank the reviewer for taking the time to provide feedback.  If you think you might be at fault, admit it, apologize for it happening.  Provide a way for the reviewer to get in contact with you, and tell them you want to discuss what happened so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.  This will have an even bigger impact on the people reading the negative review than the review itself will – it demonstrates that you really care about your customers.
  • Make sure to pursue positive reviews! While a great response may impact people who read the reviews, there are also people who just look at a shop’s average rating and disqualify any shop below a certain level.  Your response won’t have an impact on these people.  Instead, you need to solicit good reviews to improve your shop’s average rating.
    Left alone, customers are far more likely to post negative experiences than positive ones.  While they appreciate the service, a good repair job is much easier to forget than one that leaves you stranded without a car right before an important meeting.
    If you’ve received a negative review, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your service writer is requesting reviews from any customer who they believe is really happy with the service.  Make sure to tell customers where you’d like them to post the review, and how important the review is to your shop.  While it’s always great to have a positive stream of reviews, it’s especially important when you have a recent negative review that’s bringing your average down.

To learn more about how Repair Shop Websites can help you get positive reviews from satisfied customers, call us at 1-866-665-1605 or email