If you own or run a European auto shop, there are many opportunities for customers to leave both positive and negative reviews. Every time you perform repairs, make adjustments or do maintenance, the customer is going to have an opinion of the experience and the quality of the service provided. And while the vast majority of your reviews may be positive, it’s only natural for some negative reviews to find their way onto different platforms or your website.
Once you accept this to be true, the next step is deciding how you’re going to respond, or if you should respond at all. Many German auto shops that pride themselves on providing exceptional service all the time may not want to get involved in any type of negativity, which is understandable. However, when it comes to your online marketing and your business as a whole, ignoring those negative reviews may be the worst thing you could do.
What Google Says About Responding
There’s no question that your digital strategy includes ways to get into Google’s good graces and appear at the top of search rankings for your chosen keywords. And since this is the case, paying attention to what Google has to say about responding to negative reviews makes a lot of sense.
According to the Google My Business support page, you should definitely respond to all online reviews, whether they are positive or negative. They believe that when you respond to reviews, you show that you value them as a customer and take their feedback seriously.
A Potential SEO Boost
Google also says that handling your online reviews properly could possibly give your auto shop a boost when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s important to keep in mind that Google is the one that does the ranking, and if they see that you interact well with your customers and respond to negative online reviews in a constructive manner, you may get more leverage in your local SEO.
How Should I Respond?
Now that you know you should respond to negative reviews, it’s a good idea to explore how you should respond. It’s not uncommon for business owners and managers to immediately get into a defensive mode when they see a negative review about their European auto shop. This reaction can be amplified if you feel strongly that the review is unwarranted or even flat out wrong. However, this is not the best way to tackle the issue and will usually have the exact opposite effect that you want.
The Power of the Apology
The first thing you should do when you see a negative review is apologize. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to admit fault if they are upset with a particular service you’ve provided, it just means you can say I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience, and then look for ways to make it right. It’s also a good idea to thank them for their feedback in the same response to let them know you value their opinion.
Find a Resolution
It’s safe to say that they didn’t take the time to leave a negative review about your German auto shop just to see if you would reply. It’s great that you did respond, but the next step is finding a resolution to the issue at hand. If it seems warranted, ask them to call you offline or come into the shop to discuss the matter further to see what you can do.
This will take the conversation out of the public view, plus it will show everyone else watching that you are serious about stepping up when someone has an issue. Building trust in this way can only help when people are searching for a great European auto shop in their area.
Things to Avoid
The key thing to remember is that any interaction you have with customers online about negative reviews is out there for anyone to see. How you conduct yourself will say a lot to current and prospective customers when they want to come in for repairs or maintenance. For that reason, here is a short list of things to avoid when you respond to your auto shop’s negative reviews:
- No foul language or aggressive language
- Avoid being defensive and trying to justify your position
- Avoid insulting the other person or trying to make them look bad
- Avoid arguing in any way
If you handle negative reviews professionally and show people you really want to help and make things right, you will gain more customers than you lose and your auto shop will be better off in the end.