• April 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm#64415

    We’ve just added some excellent information and some very helpful links on how to handle bad on line reviews. 

    AutomotiveManagementNetwork.com
    tom@automotivemanagementnetwork.com
    616-340-2380

    June 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm#74051

    Big tip is do all you can to avoid bad reviews in the first place! Doing that is mostly improving your customer communications skills and being very clear with what you do and don’t do. Clear expectations and no surprises is key.

    Not much you can do once bad reviews are online. Best advice is to take the issue off-line and try to make the customer happy. Often they will go back and change their review. Comes right back to communications… If you can’t contact the person then you need to write a careful reply. Prospective new customers will use your reply to judge how you will react if (when) things go sideways. You don’t want to be defensive or blame the customer. That only makes you look worse. Sometimes getting an outside 3rd party to act as mediator and write a bad review reply. Contact me if you need help with a particularly bad one.

    All too often customers don’t want to experience having to ask for warranty (fighting for satisfaction) so they just go away angry. Online reviews are just a place they can vent that anger without getting into a fight. If they know you
    actually “want” to know if they are not totally happy they are usually
    much more willing to let you know something is not right with the work
    that was done. Proactively seeking feedback is a strong signal of trust.

    The secret to avoiding bad reviews is that shops have to be actively seeking customer feedback so they can catch service failures before people vent their displeasure online. The shops who actively seek customer feedback have almost zero problems with bad reviews. But auto repairs being what it is (complicated, expensive, & unwanted) you will always have service failures… What you need to do is have a safety net to catch the cases that blow up. I have been working on a system to capture unhappy customers BEFORE they vent their frustration online.

    My system works by placing a simple form on your website that ALL customers are directed to by the SA. some shops use a small card they place in every vehicle and staple to every invoice that asks people for feedback and provides a link to your website. They are asked to simply rate their experience on a scale of 5. Based on their rating it directs them to where they can leave feedback to you: if they provide a low rating (dissatisfied) they are channeled to a review/feedback form on your website where you can moderate before their comments get published online (captures bad reviews); if their rating is high (happy) they are presented with option to post review on your website or any other review website (G+, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc).

    SA’s like it because it is quick & easy to explain to customers, customers like it because it is simple & easy to use (and shows your commitment to their satisfaction), shop owners like it because it captures unhappy customers BEFORE they post bad reviews online. The bonus is all the additional reviews the shop gets which increase your online reputation (trust factor) and SEO improvement for your website.

    October 17, 2018 at 10:11 am#75253

    Online reviews were once a good idea, then in time they became a tool for blackmail by the customer. Reading about this in the construction field first, it was a matter of time until it affected Automotive.  example: Customer approves a estimate which is accurate, the work is done and when payment is due for the vehicle to be picked up, the Shop is given a choice: “here is what I’ll pay you and post a good review, if not I will post a bad review”  We take fraud and blackmail as serious crimes yet there is no help from the legal system when reported. We tried many ways to respond to this threat correctly, yet in time we learned to deny the review and once even posted the customer was ever here.  Should we discuss credit card fraud next?

    December 5, 2018 at 5:02 pm#75313

    example: Customer approves a estimate which is accurate, the work is done and when payment is due for the vehicle to be picked up, the Shop is given a choice: “here is what I’ll pay you and post a good review, if not I will post a bad review” We take fraud and blackmail as serious crimes yet there is no help from the legal system when reported.

    Assuming the customer “[posts] a bad review”, isn’t there an avenue to sue them for libel or slander, citing the signed-and-approved estimate?

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