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  • Google Review – How Would You Handle?

    Posted by Tom Ham on October 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    What is your impression of this anonymous review and how would you address it if it were your shop?

    “I recommend you stay away. I do not have the name of the little man I dealt with. He was pushy and rude and arrogant. My vehicle came out of the shop worse than when it went in. He refused to look at it. I had to take it to a reputable shop up the street to get the proper repairs. The new mechanic told me these guys were “apparently not paying attention. Any High School Auto Shop student would have caught these issues.” I’m guessing this work was just too complicated. I will not return.”

    Tom Ham replied 10 years, 8 months ago 9 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
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  • rhopp

    October 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Not much you can respond to there. Boost your reviews (Ask EVERY coherent

    Client) to drop it in the rankings is the best I can think of.

  • Steve Fisette

    October 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I would respond. Not much to respond to but still respond. Then try to get as many good reviews to move it down. I think the response you gave was good – you wanted to solve the problem instead of getting offensive, which I think is hard to do. I think at the end of the day people understand these things happen, and how you respond to a bad review can mean more than all positive. It bothers me that is was anonymous.

  • Keith Huggins

    October 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I think the reviewer has pretty much stomped on his own

    credibility. If they refused to work on it then they couldn’t have

    made it worse. If in his words the “reputable” shop was up the

    street, why did he stop there first? Sounds to me he just wanted to

    retaliate against his broken car and dumped it on this shop. I

    would not respond and as we always do ask for reviews from all your

    clients. Most are happy and give 4-5 stars. This will Push this one

    down and out of view quickest.

    Keith Huggins

  • robc

    October 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Tom, first of all an anonymous review like this should be confronted head on. I would disclaim that the writer even came to the shop. It may well have been written by a disgruntled former employee or competitor. I believe that google and other review sites are working towards not posting anonymous reviews like this much longer. They are going to require a true and accurate registration and real name to post critiques like this one. Some plan to use a link to Facebook. I would flag it as totally inappropriate and notify Google as well as stating as much in the response. Why apologize for something you probably did not do?? I am going back to your site right now to flag it and post something myself. Rob

  • joecval

    October 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    My initial thought was to figure out who it was, even though they didn’t give their name, perhaps your SA can remember. If no luck perhaps it was a competitor….sad to say I know it has happened in our town.

    I think your response was good. I really like this line “The proof is not in the absence of mistakes but in how mistakes are handled. Please allow us the opportunity.” I may have to borrow this :)Responding positively to a negative review can speak volumes about the amount of concern a shop has for it’s customers.

    You made all good points about your 33 years in business, your reputation and the other 8 reviews are all great.

  • robc

    October 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I flagged it and also posted up a review of your shop. I would go in and take out the apology as you have nothing to apologize for. Check out my Google Place reviews and you will see I had the same BS. People tell me they came to us BECAUSE of what I wrote. I have no tolerance for small skunks. Rob

  • Alan Ollie

    October 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    This person had cv boots and tie rod ends done.We did not charge him for rack boots they were fine.We did one rack boot for free to make him seem happy. He was talking loud on his phone and my service adviser asked him nicely to walk outside .He went off yelling i will talk inside the lounge if i want.

    We should not of worked on his car it needed $3000 more work was a POS

    “This place uses old parts and they don’t talk to you about anything. I had to go back to this horrible place for a warranty. The replaced both tie rods, both drive axles, and bushings to my VW. I inspected the work at home and they used the same 5-10 years old rubber covers. I noticed both covers broken and went back to get both covers replaced under warranty. I waited almost 6 hours for my car and they only replaced one of the covers. WTF! Are you kidding me! They charged me almost 1200 for a full labor and new tie rods and they can’t even use new covers on them? F this place. Don’t go there. If you decide to go there; inspect the labor after they are done. Who knows what parts are they reusing. DO NOT TRUST THEM! “

    This guy should not of told us he owns a pool supply store.He has 6 reviews all bad.3 say Watered down chlorine. His Business and will have lots more in about 5-6 months.We never forget a buthead .

  • russmccloud

    October 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Just a couple of thoughts here. This quote is priceless: “The proof is not in the absence of mistakes but in how mistakes are handled. Please allow us the opportunity.”

    Thank you so much for sharing that, I will definitely plagiarize it in the future! Gems like this are why we all come here to read and to share.

    Secondly, we subscribe to Demand Force and not long ago the question arose in my mind as to whether or not we should respond to online reviews. The C/S agent I spoke to suggested we go on a tour of their clients, both those who did, and those who did not. He explained it was purely a matter of opinion.

    It was my strong opinion that I preferred those who responded to both positive and negative reviews every time. I made the decision immediately to do so. Sometimes it is simply thank you for the kind remarks, others I go a bit further, at times attempt a bit of humor but definitely type it, walk away, and come back later to see if it is truly humorous. (Usually it isn’t)

    Negative reviews can become positive ones through the posting of replies much like the one quoted above. However, it is my opinion that if you post only to negative reviews you are missing the boat and it diminishes your online presence. I have heard more than once a client surprised that their reviews were actually read. Take the time, it pays dividends.

    PS Sometimes you can get even, like the time I replied to a complaint that was morally invalid by saying we appreciated the opportunity to improve on our documentation procedures. Read into that what you like! :-)

  • sbaltzer

    October 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Tom, I think you handled it very well. Great comments from your peers as well. The best way to bury that occasional bad reveiw is to solicit reviews from every customer. The good will push the bad to the bottom of the list. The reviews we solicit at CustomerLink for our clients are reported back to your landing place page and “certified by CustomerLink” as being legitiment reviews from actual customers who completed a service. The “Certified” reviews are very important to Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. Even if they check “Anomymous” you’ll be able to see their name, address, phone number, email address, their segment profile, and a map of where they live, how much they spend and how frequently they visit your shop. Even a less that 5 star rated review can be turned into a positive, if you know who sent it.

  • Tom Ham

    October 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks to everyone for your comments…plenty of great points and ideas!

    I must admit that I wrote multiple responses, did not like any of them, then asked a fellow shop owner for help with the result being what was posted.

    Some people can handle this stuff nicely…others not so much. It is hard for some of us to reply when we are the target. I strongly suggest that before you reply to a review, you ask wise people who you know and/or post the request here for input. Odds are high that your reply will be better that way.

    My wife is sure that the review is not legit. My guess would be another shop…maybe one of the many illegal ones around here.

    We have sent multiple requests to Google making a case to remove the review, but no luck so far.