How to Leverage Technology to Generate Five-Star Reviews for Your Auto Repair Shop

How you present your repair order and the way that you communicate with your customer is a direct reflection of your automotive shop. Using antiquated shop management systems, chasing people by phone for approvals, and printing stacks of paper makes you look outdated and unprofessional.

Instead, you can offer customers the “Amazon” experience for car repairs.

Recently, our CEO and founder, Carolyn Coquillette, offered her expertise during a webinar with SureCritic. Its mission is to help businesses tell the true story of their customer’s experiences then benefit from improved credibility and a better online reputation.

Before you can get that great online review, you need to take some additional steps, as Carolyn outlines. That means using a shop-management system that allows shops to run online and paper-free while focusing on the customer experience.

“We opened our business – Luscious Garage – right after the launch of the iPhone,” Carolyn recalls. “Our customer base was craving for a much more connected, advanced experience. That was instrumental to my shop’s success.”

What does this have to do with great reviews?

How do you impress and communicate with our customers on their terms? Auto repair is very complicated and expensive and yet most drivers and owners don’t know how complex their cars really are.

“The customer is increasingly isolated from the care they’re driving and that they depend upon,” Carolyn says. “It’s important to pull back that curtain and have the consumer understand what we’re doing, so they can appreciate us, write us five-star reviews and pay us when they see the value of our service.”

How do you earn better reviews for your auto repair shop?

First, you use a system that allows staff to collaborate on a work order, then you share it with the customer via a phone, tablet, or desktop. That way, they can see what you’re recommending thanks to diagnostics, how you fixed the car, and the result of those fixes. You can even share a quote and updates if you find more things to fix along the way.

“What’s magical about having a web-based platform is how you can share this with your customers,” Carolyn says. “The world has changed and customers have different expectations.”

She compared it to shopping on Amazon where you can see all of a product’s features in writing and in various photos. Some people want great detail while others just want to see the bottom line. They choose how much information unfolds and add repairs to their cart as they see what they need and why. Show them the low battery reading in a graph or a dirty fan before and after you clean. Both of them tell a story.

“It empowers the customer to buy what they want and need,” Carolyn says. “It reframes the conversation in this context. They are consuming content that is relevant to the story you are telling them. And you get to be the hero who fixes their car. You’re doing the work. Why not show it to the customer?”

As shop owners, we need to expect more from our tools, especially when it comes to our customers, she adds. Yet very few shop wonders expect their shop management system to help them win with customers. They use great phone skills yet other tools can help you showcase your work in a visual way.

It also takes the pressure off to sell services to customers, since they can see what they really need. The cart feels like a familiar shopping experience so there is less resistance.

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Face it, busy customers have a short attention span and it’s hard to explain complexity over the phone. They get overwhelmed and that doesn’t encourage them to buy.

The numbers tell the story

With Shop-Ware, 89 percent of the time, people say yes to repairs. Fewer than five percent of the time, they buy nothing.

“It’s a huge shift in terms of how you are communicating and showcasing to your customer what they are actually paying for. It’s this experience, this shifting mindset where they get it and that translates into a review. Now they can appreciate you and they talk about it.”

While people don’t usually talk about the platform, it shows up in the comments about simplicity, clarity and transparency.

How a shop management system helps your business:

  • Good reviews help you with SEO
  • Customers read good reviews and are influenced by them
  • Keeps existing customers coming back
  • Wins over new customers

“The best marketing you can ever do is via your existing customers. We live and die on this,” Carolyn says. “Everything else is far less efficient and more costly. These are tools in your toolbox that if you’re not using today when you’re really hampering yourself and customers absolutely love it.”

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