...checking the shop’s online reviews? Maybe my 84-year-old father isn’t going to do check those reviews, but my niece in her 30s definitely will. So that makes online reviews increasingly important as these generational shifts continue.
Part of what this brings to mind is something I learned from Ryan Taylor at Bodyshop Booster: “People are more afraid of making a wrong decision than they are of spending money.”
Think about it: Have you ever passed over a lower-priced option for something you were buying because you were leery the cheaper one could be a mistake? Have you ever sorted your search results on Amazon based on average customer reviews rather than price? I know I have.
And think about this: How much are online customer reviews influencing your ranking in search results?
State Farm is among the insurance companies using a shop locator that now includes online review scores. Some of the automakers have done this as well.
Anyone who Googles “best auto body shop near me” is going to see only shops with a four-star rating or better---even if others are closer. That search may bring up four or five shops, but if the consumer conducts a voice-activated search, their device is likely to suggest only the one shop---the one with the best online reviews.
I think connected cars are only going to accelerate the use of voice-activated search. Try it yourself: Ask your phone something like, “Hey, Siri, what’s the best auto body shop near me?” Is your shop the one that’s suggested?
But as I said at the start, my message here is about something bigger than CSI scores and online reviews. It’s about figuring out how you can differentiate yourself by providing exceptional customer service, creating a memorable or---not to sound like Disney---a magical experience for your customers.
Why? I think as an industry, most shops have developed ways to ensure...