Nearly 70% of today’s population has at least one profile on a social media site and your auto shop’s customers are surely among them. A huge amount of our communication happens on those social sites. The majority of your customers are connecting with members of their community, their friends, and even with other businesses.
Often, potential customers will use social media to look up a business before visiting, and will make what they think is a very informed decision (and opinions!) about your business based on what they see online. That’s before picking up the phone or stepping foot in your shop.
With nearly unlimited access to online information, online reviews can reach thousands, even millions of viewers. What your customers find online can make a huge impression, and unfortunately, negative reviews have the power to turn many prospects away. Knowing how to handle negative reviews, and get happy customers singing your praises online is more important now than ever before.
To make a great first impression, start by learning more about managing your online reputation with these five steps.
Build A Relationship With Your Audience
Nothing is more important than connecting with your customers — they are the reason your business lives and breathes. Finding ways to build a relationship with your audience can do wonders for your online reputation and establishing trust.
Connect with your customers who are already talking about your business on social media, and find new prospects by being present online and building a brand that people love. Reach out to your raving fans and show them your appreciation.
As you are engaging on different social platforms, be empathetic, responsive, and genuinely interested in what your audience has to say, whether positive or negative. Listening is a huge part of building trust with your audience.
Consistently Gather Reviews
Getting your happy customers to actually write an online review is half the battle. Unfortunately, people who have had a bad experience with a company are more prepared to write a review telling the world about their poor service. Which is typically why you see more negative reviews than positive. So how do you go about getting the positive ones?
The most successful tactic for getting online reviews is to simply ask your customers in person to write one. Anytime you service a vehicle is an opportunity to make an impression. Use this time, when they are in front of you, to interact with your customer, showing them just how much you appreciate their business. People like to feel valued.
And then, don’t be afraid to ask for a review. More customers will feel encouraged to leave you an honest, positive review, especially if you ask them personally. This can be integrated into your regular workflow at checkout or as you turn over the keys to the vehicle. Taking the time to add this to your checkout process will increase your positive reviews and ratings, which will then boost your reputation with new customers.
Monitor Your Reviews
It’s important to consistently monitor your online reviews and be on top of what is being said about your brand on social media platforms. Online reputation management will allow you to pinpoint the areas of your business that need improvement and can also be a way to highlight your accomplishments.
As you monitor your reviews, you’ll want to especially keep an eye out for your negative comments, addressing them quickly and with concern. The overall goal with negative reviews is to focus on what you can do to turn it into a positive experience.
Avoid being overly emotional in your responses to negative online reviews. You want to be transparent with your customers, but you don’t want to come across as unwilling to accept criticism. Take pride in what you do, but be able to admit to your mistakes.
According to a consumer report, 73% of consumers are more likely to become loyal customers if you offer them transparency. So don’t falsify information about your business or accomplishments, and if you’ve made a mistake — as we all do — own up to it. We are all human, and your customers will understand. They will respect you for admitting to it as opposed to making excuses for why it happened. Offer an apology and solution to mend the situation, you will be surprised by the positive feedback you’ll receive when you are open and honest.
Seek Professional Help
Managing your auto shop’s online reputation can become a serious time drain that requires constant attention to get the most positive results. It can be hard to know where to start. Hiring a professional could be the key to opening new doors and increasing positive reviews. The experts at UpSwell specialize in reputation management for the auto industry and can help you focus on a positive online reputation.
If you are looking for a qualified team that specializes in the auto industry for reputation management, contact our experts at UpSwell today! We have years of experience and success stories backing us and are prepared to help you focus on your positive online reputation.