Unless someone already has a trusted mechanic, they’re most likely to take to Google when in need of auto repairs. Then, they sift through an abundance of auto shop listings and reviews before choosing their new shop. This is why reviews are a vital part of your online presence. Yelp auto repair reviews, in particular, can give you high visibility if you have a Yelp page and even increase your chances of being seen in Google search results.
With an average of 35 million monthly mobile users, Yelp is one of the most popular online review sites, with the auto industry being 6% of its reviewed business categories. There are plenty of review sites, but Yelp is considered one of the most trustworthy and influential to consumers and is only second to Google.
Online reviews are crucial to your auto repair shop’s success, as 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Potential customers will decide whether or not to give you their business based on what others are saying about you.
To boost confidence in potential customers, here are some things you can do to get positive Yelp reviews for your auto repair shop.
Set Up Your Yelp Profile and Claim Ownership
If you haven’t already, the first thing you want to do is claim your Yelp business page.
After you’ve claimed ownership of your Yelp page, you want to make sure all of your information is correct, like your NAP: name, address, and phone number. This information, along with accurate store hours and services offered, are vital whether you’re part of a large franchise or small independent auto shop. Any wrong information can deter a potential customer, and you don’t want these preventable errors to cause you to lose a service opportunity.
Here’s an example of what a Yelp business page might look like for an auto repair shop:
Do Good, Honest Work
It should go without saying that delivering your best service possible increases your potential for positive reviews. Happy customers are the easiest way to get online reviews. Finding a good, honest auto repair shop is like finding treasure, and people will be eager to share their experience.
You want to communicate with your customers throughout the entire process. You may have done a great job installing a part, but different variables determine a customer’s happiness. Unless it’s addressed upfront, some things may not be mentioned until they leave a review. For instance, whether your staff was friendly, if you finished on time, or if they thought your prices were fair.
Listen and learn from your customer’s feedback and make necessary adjustments to let them know that you appreciate their business and are willing to earn their support and trust.
Ask for Reviews
It’s perfectly okay to ask for Yelp reviews. Doing so shows your customer that you trust them with your online reputation, and it makes them feel good about being able to do you a favor. Research shows that asking for reviews could even help you while making a sale.
However, it’s essential to understand that you should never pay or incentivize anyone to leave a review. It’s illegal, and you don’t want the trouble of having to deal with a possible lawsuit or penalties.
There are ways to “ask without asking” by creating awareness that your business is on Yelp. Here are some suggestions:
- Include Yelp review information on receipts and invoices.
- Display a “Find Us on Yelp” sticker on your door to promote your business. You can request a Yelp sticker here.
- Print marketing materials like business cards and brochures that display Yelp as your preferred site for online reviews.
- Link to your Yelp business page on your website and social media profiles.
- Insert a link to Yelp in your business emails as part of your email signature.
Respond with a Thank You
Although you’ll receive notification of every customer review left on your Yelp business page, not all reviews will be listed under the main review section. There is a “not currently recommended” section of Yelp that you also want to monitor for customer reviews. It can get a little frustrating when customers leave reviews that are filtered by Yelp, but this is very common as we’re all at the mercy of Yelp’s algorithm. Yelp admits to several reasons a review could land in the “not currently recommended,” but it’s mostly if the algorithm believes a review is fake, unhelpful, or biased.
It would be best if you still were sure to publicly respond to ALL positive Yelp reviews by thanking thank them for their business. Responding to reviews helps strengthen your reputation on Yelp and build stronger customer relationships.
Responding to reviews may encourage customers to leave reviews on Yelp. If they see that you’re responsive, they may be more likely to submit feedback.
Avoid cookie-cutter responses and address the things stated in the review. Responding to all reviews (good and bad) in a caring manner shows that you value your customers and take their satisfaction seriously.
Here’s a good example:
Other Yelp Options
As we’ve mentioned, Yelp has millions of consumers that look to their reviews when looking to make a purchase decision. They also offer a paid service called Yelp Ads that can help you reach even more of those consumers by featuring your business during a search for your business category.
With Yelp Ads you get:
- Targeted Local advertising
- Premium placement on Yelp search and competitor pages
- Presence on all Yelp platforms that include their desktop and mobile website, and mobile app
Rumor has it that as a Yelp advertiser, you can have negative reviews removed or positive reviews boosted on your business page. While it can’t be confirmed, some people say it’s true.
We can’t say one way or another, so we’ll just let you do some research and come to your own conclusion.
Your Yelp reviews, good and bad, will influence potential customers in their decision to do business with your auto repair shop. People will form an opinion about you and your business without ever having met you.
People take reviews seriously, so it’s essential to take control of the conversation surrounding your brand with online reputation management. Being involved in these conversations can ensure that your auto repair shop is always represented well.
Positive Yelp reviews are a great referral for your business. When you take control of your brand, you can steer the online review navigation and drive customers right to your auto repair shop.