I was recently over at my best friend Greg Thompson’s house and his son, Jarrett Thompson, stopped by.
Greg had agreed to babysit his grandson so that Jarrett and his wife could have an evening out. Greg asked Jarrett what their plans were and Jarrett said they were thinking about going out to dinner at an Italian restaurant I’ll call “Ernesto’s.”
“Oh, you are going to love Ernesto’s,” Greg told Jarrett. “They have the best pizza.”
I was there when Jarrett stopped by later that night to pick up his son and Greg asked Jarrett how they liked Ernesto’s.
“Dad, we didn't go there because it didn’t have good reviews online,” Jarrett told him.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is all the evidence you need that many people—young people in particular—rely more on online reviews than the word of their own father (or another family member or friend).
I mention this because I’ve been thinking a lot about how shops can build trust among customers and potential customers. Greg and Jarrett’s interaction is a great example of how online reviews are a great way to start developing that trust.
Customers are no longer just choosing the closest shop from the list they were handed by their insurance company. They go online to verify that whatever shop was recommended to them is, in fact, a good choice; therefore, it’s important that you have great online reviews.
The whole issue of building trust came up at a recent conference where I was a speaker. Another one of the speakers, Ray Chew of CCC Information Services, went around the room asking shops how they think people feel when they have to find a shop after an accident. Some said anxious, upset, mad, sad, etc. However, everyone agreed that consumers face negative emotions when looking for a body shop.
So, our first goal should be to alleviate those negative feelings by building their trust. Having positive online reviews about your shop can help ease customers.
Oftentimes, after the customer comes to the shop, a discussion about insurance company involvement is brought up.