What to Do When Your Auto Shop Receives a Negative Review

June 11, 2024
Shop Tips & Best Practices
4 min read
The article below is a guest post by Shopgenie. We understand that many shops have challenges related to customer reviews — whether it's hesitations around asking for reviews, not knowing how to manage reviews, receiving a negative review, etc. To shed light on how to think about customer reviews and manage both negative and positive reviews, we invited Shopgenie to share their expertise with you. 

Hey there, shop owners! Let’s talk about something we all dread but can’t escape — negative reviews. They can feel like a punch to the gut, like someone is calling your baby ugly, but don’t worry! Today, we’re going to cover all the strategies to mitigate negative reviews AND deal with them when they inevitably happen to you. 

First off, why should you care about reviews?

Importance of Review Management for Auto Repair Shops

Here’s the deal: online reviews are the new word-of-mouth. Roughly 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they “always” read reviews1. Good reviews can be the difference between a full schedule and a ghost town.

How to Ask for Reviews

So, how do you actually get reviews — the easy way? Ask! Whenever a customer leaves, hand them a business card with a QR code leading directly to your Google review page, for example. You can also place a stand on your front counter with a similar QR code. A pro tip: use a review software that integrates with your shop management system (like Shopgenie). This way, an automatic review request is sent to your customer when the repair order is posted. It’s as easy as that.

When to Ask for Reviews

Timing is everything, folks. At Shopgenie, we’ve found that the shops we work with are most successful at getting new reviews when they ask for a review about three days after service completion. Why three days? It’s the sweet spot where the customer has had enough time to drive their vehicle and ensure everything’s running smoothly, but not so long that they’ve forgotten about their experience.

Why Your Repair Shop Should Be Proactively Asking for Reviews

Why should you be chasing reviews? Well, statistics show that businesses with more reviews tend to rank higher in search results. When you Google that local Italian place, Google Maps shows up before the website. Yeah. That’s why it’s so important. More reviews = better rankings = more customers. Plus, it shows potential customers that you’re active and engaged.

Proactively Responding to Reviews

Responding to reviews is just as important as getting them. Businesses that respond to reviews have a 1.7 times higher chance of being considered more trustworthy than those that don’t, according to a Harvard Business Review study.2 Plus, it helps with your Google rankings. Consider dedicating a resource to this, whether it’s a service writer, marketing manager, or an AI chatbot like Shopgenie’s Jasmine, who can intelligently respond to reviews using context from both the review and the repair order.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

OK, back to responding to negative reviews. Negative reviews are tough, but they’re not the end of the world. When responding, here is what you need to do:

  1. Keep your cool and be professional.
  2. Acknowledge the issue.
  3. Apologize sincerely.
  4. Offer a solution.

This shows other potential customers that you care and are proactive about resolving issues. Over 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.3

Why and How to Respond to Positive Reviews

Don’t forget about those positive reviews! Responding to them is crucial too. Making sure your response has these details helps Google’s algorithm understand your business better:

  1. Mention the customer’s name.
  2. Mention the year, make, and model of their vehicle, 
  3. Mention the service performed

Here’s an example: Thank you, Micah! I’m glad we were able to get those issues taken care of on your 2018 Nissan Pathfinder. We appreciate your business as well as your review!

-Nick, Owner

Shops that reply to at least 25% of their reviews average 35% more revenue.4 So, give your happy customers some love!

Wrapping It Up

Managing reviews might seem daunting, but with these tips, you’re on your way to turning your shop into a customer magnet. Remember, every review is an opportunity to improve your business and show off your stellar customer service. So, go out there and crush it!


1BrightLocal – Local Consumer Review Survey 2020

2Harvard Business Review: The Value of Customer Reviews – Fast Stats 

4Womply: Impact of Responding to Reviews on Revenue