So Negative Reviews About My Auto Shop are a Good Thing?

keep calm about negative reviews in auto shopYes, negative reviews are a good thing… in moderation. A recent study done by Northwestern University shows that an average star rating of between 4.2 and 4.5 is most appealing to consumers. Customers will see a 5-star overall review score and think it is “too good to be true.” Consumers know that no one is perfect, and they will give you the benefit of the doubt, especially if you handle the negative reviews professionally.

Studies also show that upset customers, whose concern is resolved quickly and to their satisfaction, are more loyal to a business than customers who had no concern at all.

So, yes, negative reviews can be good for your auto repair shop if you handle them properly. Here are some tips on how you can do that:

Before You Get Started

  • Act quickly, before it becomes a bigger issue.
  • It’s business, not personal. Respond in a calm, professional tone.
  • The whole world is watching, so use a positive tone and double check your response.
  • Learn from it. Feedback is what helps your business learn, so share it with your staff in a positive way.

Getting into the Actual Response

  • Use their name.
  • Thank them for taking the time to share their feedback.
  • Take ownership by acknowledging the reviewer’s concern.
  • Pick out the positives they may have mentioned.
  • Stick to the facts, be honest and truthful about the situation and share factors that they may not have been aware of.
  • Present a real solution and take reasonable action to make it right.
  • Compensation does not need to be your first move. Try a simple apology first – that may be enough to let them know they have been heard.
  • Highlight company values and reassure the customer of your positive intentions.
  • Invite them back; a personal invitation may be all it takes to win them over.
  • Mention your business name in the reply; it’s your most powerful SEO keyword and will help improve your internet visibility.

Here’s an example response:

“Hi Bob,

We really appreciate your feedback and are happy to hear that your car is up and running; however, we are sorry to hear that you did not have a great experience with our customer service. At Franklin Auto Repair, we strive to give the best service we can in all areas.

Your feedback gives us the opportunity to see areas we can grow and do more training with our staff. You are a valued customer, and we would love a second chance. Our team will send a private message to gather some more information from you and extend a 10% discount off your next visit. 

Thank you,

From The Franklin Auto Repair Team”

Your response does not always have to be this long or include every point, but try to apply as many of these tips as possible. Going the extra mile in a response could be the difference between a lost customer and a life-long customer.

For even more details on The Ultimate Review Response Guide click here

Read more SocialCRM blog posts about responding to customer reviews:

About the Author

Brian Warfield

Brian Warfield is a Senior Product Manager for the Mitchell 1 SocialCRM product line. He has been in the automotive software business for over 20 years and has earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati Business College.