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Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Reviews are part of that “social proof.” Let’s talk about 3 ways to get more reviews for collision centers.

“I would ask my customers to leave reviews, but I don’t want to bother them.”

That is one of many excuses business owners have given me for why they don’t have more reviews. Others include, “they might say no,” “they might leave a bad review,” and “I lost their email address.” That last one is a lie and you know it.

We live in the day and age of social proof. People will look to their friends (including social media friends) and at online reviews before making any major purchase. This is true even if an insurance company is paying for the repair.

Your business doesn’t look trustworthy if any of the following are true:

  • Very few reviews
  • No recent reviews
  • Lots of bad reviews

Occasionally getting a bad review is inevitable, but you can combat that by having a high volume of great reviews. If you have 500 reviews, an unreasonable person leaving you a 1-star review won’t really affect your average rating.

Before moving into the three techniques, you should know that none of them will work if you aren’t already doing a great job for your customers. None of these are hacks that will cover up poor customer service. But if you are doing a good job, these are proven strategies that will grow your ratings and reviews.

Make It Easy To Leave A Review

Customers are busy, and once their car is repaired there isn’t much internal motivation for them to drop everything to leave a review. Make it as easy as possible. Send them an email or a text with a link so it’s one click away.

To improve the chances of them leaving the review when they get your message, give them a heads up when they pick up their car.

Ask Them, Then Tell Them Why

Again, when they pick up their car, tell them you’ll be sending the message with a link to leave a review. Then explain why it’s so important.

There are lots of potential reasons. Pick one (and only one) that you think will resonate with that particular customer:

  • When you leave a review it really helps me grow this business
  • When you leave a review it really helps the business so I can take care of my employees
  • Some dork on the internet said it was important, so can you leave a review?
  • I want us to be the best collision repair shop in the city, but I can’t do that without your honest feedback

Make It Part Of Your Customer’s Journey

This one might require some training and practice, but it will be very effective if it is done right.

From your first meeting with the customer, tell them your goal is for them to be so elated with your service that they can’t wait to leave you a 5-star review. “So if at anytime during the process you don’t feel like you’re receiving 5-star service from us, please let me know.”

This has two benefits:

  1. You are putting the idea of leaving a 5-star review in their head from the beginning
  2. You are giving them an open invitation to speak up if they are unhappy at anytime.

Otherwise passive aggressive people will keep their mouth shut, then leave you a terrible review at the end.

I’d suggest you keep mentioning this 5-star goal throughout the process. “Any questions or concerns yet? I want to make sure you’re receiving 5-star service, and if you’re not, I want to fix that right away.” Avoid saying “review” every time or it will sound too desperate. Just use “5-star service.” That makes it about them receiving good service instead of about you receiving a good review.

Start Increasing Reviews Now

Beyond it being important for social proof, getting good reviews consistently increases the chance that you’ll come up high in search results on Google, Facebook and Yelp.

The sooner you implement these techniques, the sooner you’ll start benefitting from them! If you’re a small shop, you might be able to handle this on your own. If you’d like help, please let us know and we can raise your rating and review count every month.

Jerry Potter is the Creative Director and CMO for Mastodon Media, as well as the founder of Five Minute Social Media, a YouTube channel that teaches small business owners to maximize their social media marketing. Living in Seattle, he spends his time with his wife and two Tiny Humans, and is on a quest to prove Diet Coke is actually good for him.

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Mastodon Media is a fully integrated advertising agency based outside Seattle, WA. With more than 30 years of experience, Mastodon is one of the leading ad agencies in the region, offering a full-service approach and customized ad solutions.