It Only Takes A Moment To Destroy Your Reputation - Engine Builder Magazine

It Only Takes A Moment To Destroy Your Reputation

You’ve worked hard to earn your business’ good name and the reputation you’ve built in your community. Word of mouth is one of your greatest referral sources. Whether you’ve been in business for months, years or decades, your reputation hangs in the balance. One scathing online review and your sterling reputation could be tarnished at best, severely corroded or destroyed at worst. The time for online reputation management is here. In fact, it’s rather late if you aren’t doing it already.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is monitoring your business’ online reputation, properly dealing with content that’s damaging to it, and promoting your good or great reputation and getting work from it.
There are many different consumer review sources out there, including:
• Google
• Yelp
• Yahoo! Local
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Angie’s List
Google is the biggest. Facebook gets the most daily traffic, but only a small portion is reviews. Yelp is pretty big, too, as are the rest. One bad review that will stay online virtually forever can reach hundreds, even thousands of people. How you handle it will make it better…or worse.
I See Crazy People
I say (tongue in cheek) that roughly 2 percent of the public probably should be institutionalized. You know who they are – people who cannot be satisfied, no matter what. They yell, scream, curse and ruin your day. A rational thought hasn’t traveled through their brains in this century. And…they’ve got access to the Internet and have learned how to make your life miserable there, too. Don’t these people have a life?
But these nut jobs aren’t the only ones who leave bad reviews. Other people may have a legitimate beef with you. We’re not perfect; sometimes things go wrong. On a rare occasion, a disgruntled former employee, ex-spouse or competitor posts something. So what do we do with any of these? We respond.
How to Respond 
You need to respond to both good and bad reviews. First, you need to claim all your free business listings on these sites. To see how your business is listed, visit: https://www.yext.com/partner/optimaworldwide/diagnostic.html.
Next, look at all past reviews and respond. For good reviews, thank them and use language like, “We’ve been satisfying customers just like you for X years” or “Our customer satisfaction rate is consistently 98 percent.” Mix it up; don’t say the same thing on each and every one of them. And keep in mind that it’s very important to praise your team! They earned the good review!
As for bad reviews, try to assess whether the complaint was legitimate or not. Legitimate negative reviews provide you with an opportunity to get insight into potential internal problems that should be addressed. Consider them early warning signs!
Your online response needs to be done in a professional, non-defensive way. Own up to mistakes, explain what you’re doing to make things right, then conclude with the same things suggested for responding to positive reviews such as, “Our reputation is important to us, 98 percent of our customers say they are ‘very satisfied’ with our work and recommend us to their family and friends.”
For reviews that are not legitimate, you can respond like this: “We haven’t repaired a Bentley Continental in our shop, but we certainly could. Perhaps you meant to leave this review for some other shop? We’ve been delighting our customers since 1987!” Or, “We don’t recognize the name on this review, and your description doesn’t match anything we’ve done. We would be happy to take a look at your vehicle. Just bring it in and see why 98 percent of our customers are so happy with our work.” Rarely will you be able to get bad reviews removed, and to do so nearly takes an act of Congress.
Check out this real-world example of a bad way to respond to a customer complaint:
Unhappy Customer: Horrible customer service. Doesn’t warranty their work. Bob has very nasty demeanor with longtime customers. I wouldn’t recommend this company any longer. Attorney general will be alerted about their business practices.
Response from owner: Sometimes a job takes longer than originally estimated. It’s clear that you do not understand what we had to do to fix your car and were so angry that you wouldn’t even listen when we tried to explain the situation to you. We are the experts. Just because it didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean you can complain on the Internet.
This isn’t exactly what we had in mind when we suggested you respond. This angry shop owner did more to damage his reputation than if he had just left it alone. How could he have responded better? First of all, he should have taken a breath, counted to 10 and gone to his happy place. Then, he should have thought through how a professional business should respond:
“We appreciate your input. We’ve been in business since 1981, and our long-term customers are our best referral source. We consistently earn high marks for our service. I’m sorry we didn’t ‘wow’ you with our usual service this time. Please come in to see us so we can address your concerns. Thank you.”
Monitoring Reviews For Free 
With so many sites out there, how can you easily monitor your reviews? Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) can notify you every time your brand is mentioned. For Twitter, try TweetBeep (www.tweetbeep.com).
There’s also something out there called, “The Rip Off Report.” If your shop is ever unfortunate enough to get slammed on this report, there’s not much you can do about it but respond. Postings on this report can be particularly nasty.
Your good reputation deserves some of your time to monitor and manage it. You’ve worked too hard to let things just happen without paying attention to it. Do it!

Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, business/education partnerships, apprenticeships and Web presence management. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) services and social media management services. Claypool’s work history includes stints at Metro Paint Supplies, VeriFacts Automotive, the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and SkillsUSA.

You May Also Like

Utilizing Instagram

“When we started, we had no business at all… that’s when I started using Instagram,” Yaghoubian says. “Back then I didn’t know a lot about social media, but it works for business really well, and especially the automotive industry on Instagram.”

The Industry has changed, so should you.

“One picture I posted got 7,600 likes, it reached 112,000 people, I got 982 profile visits from that post, 758 people saved it, and 208 people sent it to other people,” says Aaron Yaghoubian, owner of Arlington Machine in Riverside, CA, talking about an Instagram photo he shared in August of an Evo 8 short block project. “You can’t beat it. Some engine builders are over here crying, but they don’t want to use something that’s free. They have the device in their hand, now download the app and do it.”

Higher Revving Education

We’ve all seen the ads in magazines and online for schools, classes and seminars on tuning an ever-increasing number of engines and even transmissions in today’s cars and trucks. The better ones will include the use of a chassis dyno to show real-time results of the step-by-step methods they teach.

Chassis vs Engine Dyno

We spoke with a couple shops that utilize both dyno types to get their take on the advantages, disadvantages and reasons to have one over the other or both.

Tradeshow Season

While the rest of the world tends to slow down in the fourth quarter, our industry is starting to rev up. That’s because it’s tradeshow season, and the excitement for next year is always palpable!

OE Parts vs. the Aftermarket

Many of your customers believe that OEM parts are better than aftermarket parts. We wanted to dispel some of the myths once and for all. Without getting into the mud about which brands are better. It is important to note that not all parts are created equal, and this includes both aftermarket and OE replacement parts.

Other Posts

Ingo Mauel Named New Head of Bosch Motorsport

Bosch Engineering has announced Ingo Mauel has taken over management of Bosch Motorsports. He succeeds Dr. Klaus Boettcher, who will go into early retirement at the end of January following 23 years as the leader of Bosch Motorsport. Related Articles – Edelbrock’s Smitty Smith Dies at Age 70 – PerTronix Performance Brands Promotes Jeff Stacy

Automotive Specialty-Equipment Businesses Remain Optimistic Despite Supply Chain Issues

The record-high sales growth over the past two years for the automotive specialty-equipment industry is beginning to level off or subside, according to the newest SEMA market research report. Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, supply-chain issues, and rising costs, companies remain optimistic as sales remain solid and above pre-pandemic levels. Related Articles – NASCAR Names New

Southern Style Racing Engines in Pinellas Park, FL

Southern Style Racing Engines (SSRE) & Components Inc., based in Pinellas Park, Florida, is for sale. Related Articles – Hot Rod Power Tour 2023 Dates and Locations – Dayco Recruits Craig Frohock as its New Aftermarket/Belt CEO – WyoTech to Unveil New Campus Expansion Founded 50 years ago by current owner George Pils, SSRE is a

NGK Spark Plugs Announces Executive Changes

NGK Spark Plugs Inc. has announced changes within its executive team which includes the appointment of four individuals.  Related Articles – Holley Announces 2023 Event Dates – 2023 Drive for Diversity Driver Development Class Announced – Joe Morrison Teams With Herzhauser for Switch From Top Fuel to Funny Car in 2023 Clair Stewart has joined