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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Wednesday, 06 July 2022 10:22

Why Online Customer Reviews Are More Important than Ever

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Megan Fulkerson of 3P Marketing said shops that have negative reviews and do not acknowledge them appear to not care. She suggests responding to every review, positive or negative. Megan Fulkerson of 3P Marketing said shops that have negative reviews and do not acknowledge them appear to not care. She suggests responding to every review, positive or negative.

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Every transaction has a value in terms of both human resources and money, and online reviews from customers play a significant role in both for any business.

Many auto body shop owners and managers use review sites to connect with customers and get feedback. But many are still skeptical about the authenticity of the reviews posted.

 

Before the online consumer review industry gained momentum roughly 18 years ago when Yelp was founded, people had to rely on recommendations from friends, neighbors and associates. Word-of-mouth worked pretty well, but now we can access hundreds of reviews within minutes, rather than polling the mailman or the checker at your grocery store for the best restaurants, movie theaters or body shops.

 

As a body shop owner or manager, ultimately, all you want is to acquire new customers, retain existing ones and increase revenue. But like many, you're probably a little overwhelmed by the speed at which technology evolves and how to respond to it.

 

Recently, I saw this powerful quote from the Harvard Business Review: "Many companies need to dramatically shift their marketing strategies to account for the rising power exerted on future customers by the opinions of existing customers."

 

I had a friend who used to say opinions are like a certain orifice we all possess. It still applies, but now everyone's opinions seem to count more than ever, especially online.

 

For companies that do an exemplary job and garner high CSI ratings as a result, online review sites are a wonderful thing. On the other hand, what happens if you're a good company, but you're not getting a significant number of accolades from the public---or, worse, negative bogus reviews from competitors and disgruntled former employees?

 

Megan Fulkerson, managing partner and strategist at 3P Marketing in Evansville, IN, works with body shops and other small businesses on their online reviews and how to set them up for success.

 

“While managing reviews can seem daunting, taking care of your customers and providing safe and proper repairs is what we try to do every day,” she said. “Taking things one step further and by having CSRs or estimators ask the customer to provide a review is a great way to have current responses added to your list of online reviews.”

 

Online reviews are crucial in the collision industry because people want to be...


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