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Repair Shop Advice

The 5 Most Important Online Review Factors


November 22, 2021

For many auto repair shops Google reviews serve as the modern-day word of mouth. Most repair shop owners acknowledge that point and realize that they need to get more reviews. But there is a difference between knowing something and knowing how to do it well. And that can sometimes hold repair shop owners back from asking for reviews.

We recently highlighted how to ask for Google reviews and what to ask for on The Busy Bays Podcast. In this article we’ll take it further, covering the five most important review factors and how they should impact your efforts to get reviews.

Thankfully, Brightlocal performed an excellent survey toward the end of 2020 – the Local Consumer Review Study 2020 – that provides us with data and insight to serve as guidance when it comes to reviews. In the survey they identified the five most important review factors as #1 star rating, #2 legitimacy, #3 recency, #4 sentiment and #5 quantity.

The 5 Most Important Online Review Factors

Star rating

As you might expect, the most important factor for consumers is your average star rating.

What to do:
Keep asking happy customers for reviews to keep that star rating high. It also provides you with some padding for when you get that bad review that will inevitably come. Unfortunately, many shops don’t think about getting lots of good reviews until the bad one comes in and then it’s too late.

The good news is that most consumers don’t expect any business to be perfect. If they see a couple one or two star reviews among a sea of five and four star reviews, they won’t likely be concerned. But if you only have 10 reviews and two of them are bad, you probably just lost a potential customer.

Legitimacy

Consumers like to see proof that reviews are legit.

What to do:
A large number of five star reviews without any comments are likely to make a consumer question if they are valid. So when you ask for a review, ask your customer to mention the services you provided and/or the experience they had with your shop. The references show that the review is legitimate. Reviews that mention specific services can also help you show up higher in the Local Pack (https://www.repairshopwebsites.com/what-is-the-local-pack-and-why-does-it-matter-for-auto-repair-shops/) when consumers in your area search for those services.

Recency

73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month.

What to do:
Here’s another reason why it’s important to consistently ask happy customers for reviews. If you are doing that, this one should take care of itself.

If you are having trouble figuring out who to ask, ask your most loyal customers, the ones that keep coming back to the shop. Another way to do it is to set a goal to ask one or two customers each day. Once you start listening for queues with that goal in mind it will become easier.

Sentiment

I generally knew what this meant, but I had to look up the official definition of the word sentiment to be sure. Sentiment is a view of, or attitude toward, a situation or event; an opinion.

What to do:
This is where those reviews in which a customer shares their experience really come into play. People want to be comforted. They want to know that they won’t be making a mistake by choosing your shop. If they can read about others’ positive experiences it will set their mind at ease.

When you know you’ve really helped somebody who was in a difficult situation, be sure to tell them that it would really mean a lot to you if they would leave a review on Google. In most instances they will be happy to do so.

Quantity

The number of reviews your shop has does matter, but please note, this is the fifth most important factor.

What to do:
Did we mention you should consistently ask for reviews? 😊

It can be difficult to ask for reviews during the daily hustle and bustle of an auto repair shop. But, if you make it part of your process and do it consistently it will pay big dividends in helping you keep an excellent online reputation and attract more customers to your shop.

Our Integrated Reviews platform helps our customers get more online reviews. To learn how we can help do that for your auto repair shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or schedule a meeting with us at a time that’s convenient for you!