How reviews can impact your shop decisions

June 23, 2023
The best time to start asking for reviews was 10 years ago, but if you haven’t started, the second best time is today.

How many consumers read reviews?

Are reviews especially important for the auto repair industry?

What are consumers looking for when reading reviews?

Thankfully BrightLocal recently released their Local Consumer Review Survey 2023 to help us find the answers to these questions and more when it comes to reviews. This thorough, in-depth and well-constructed survey includes viewpoints from 1,117 United States consumers in January 2023.

In the survey, 98 percent of people said that they read online reviews for local businesses. This was the same number as last year. However, where they look for reviews has changed. A giant 87 percent said that they look to Google for reviews. That is a jump up from 81 percent in 2022. Yelp was noted by 48 percent and Facebook was mentioned by 46 percent. One clear message here – reviews are really important and the vast majority of consumers look to Google for reviews.

Now let’s take a look at some of the other really interesting findings from the survey.

How important a part do online reviews play in your auto repair decisions?

“Automotive Services” tied with “Service businesses and tradespersons” and “Healthcare” at the top of the chart with 84 percent of survey respondents saying reviews were important or very important. The other two got a slight advantage in the tie breaker because they had a higher percentage that chose very important.

We’ve seen plenty of data about consumers saying reviews are important, but to see that 84 percent of these survey respondents specifically said automotive service reviews were important or very important takes it to a whole new level for auto repair shop owners. We’ve been beating the drum for reviews for many years now but if you had any piece of doubt on their importance to auto repair shops that stat should eliminate it.

How much do consumers trust reviews?

Considering that many shops say that they get most of their business from word of mouth, they might be shocked to see that 46 percent of consumers said they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.

To drive the point home further, 35 percent of consumers say they trust reviews as much as recommendations from social media personalities they follow. Comparing those two numbers tells you that consumers trust recommendations from social media personalities more than the recommendations they get from friends and family. Wow – what a world we live in.

What review factors make consumers feel positive about using a business?

We’ve seen this question asked in similar surveys and this is a good data point for determining what consumers specifically like to see in reviews. Breaking down the top four most important factors in order:

  • 69 percent said the review describes a positive experience
  • 58 percent said the review has a high star rating
  • 54 percent said the business owner has responded to the review
  • 46 percent said the review has been posted within the past month

The takeaways here for auto repair shops:

  • Encourage your customers to describe their experience in their reviews
  • Respond to reviews, both good and bad, professionally of course
  • Ask for reviews frequently and consistently because nearly half of consumers want to see recent reviews

Is it important to respond to reviews?

Yes – 88 percent of consumers said they would be likely to use a business that responds to all reviews. Interestingly, 60 percent said they would be likely to use a business that responds only to negative reviews versus 55 percent of people saying they would be likely to use a business that responds only to positive reviews. On the other side of it, 59 percent said they would not likely use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews.

Another key point here – consider your response to a negative review as your opportunity to win future customers. Potential customers are watching to see how you respond to that negative review and an unprofessional response can significantly hurt your business.

Which other platforms do consumers use when deciding whether to use a local business?

The three big ones here are YouTube, Local News, and Instagram. It is important to note that Yelp and Facebook were included in the review platforms question so they would not be included here.

If you can do it, building a presence on YouTube and/or Instagram can be very beneficial for your business especially if your audience includes younger adults. And, getting featured on the local news doesn’t hurt either (especially if your audience is older)!

Reviews continue to be a critical part of an auto repair shop’s web presence. This survey further drives home the point that consumers absolutely do use reviews to help them make decisions on what auto repair shops to call. The best time to start asking for reviews was 10 years ago, but if you haven’t started, the second best time is today.

This article originally appeared on repairshopwebsites.com.

Sponsored Recommendations

Snap-on Training: ADAS Level 2 - Component Testing

The second video for Snap-on's comprehensive overview of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), covering the fundamental concepts and functionalities essential for automotive...

Snap-on Training: Intro to ADAS

Snap-on's training video provides a comprehensive overview of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), covering the fundamental concepts and functionalities essential for automotive...

Snap-on Training: Guided Component Tests Level 2

The second video for Snap-on's comprehensive overview of Guided Component Tests, covering the fundamental concepts essential for diagnostic procedures.

Snap-on Training: Data Bus Testing and Diagnosis Part 1

Learn the basics of vehicle data buses and their diagnosis with Snap-on's Jason Gabrenas.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!