The Digital Effect: How the Internet Is Impacting Your Shop

How often do you look up your shop online? As a former shop owner, I rarely took the time to review how my shop appeared on the internet. When I first opened my doors, the top referral source was word-of-mouth. But within two years, that dramatically shifted. First-time customers would tell me they found me on Google or Yelp. Personal referrals slipped to #3-4 on the list. Not bad—but no longer the top referral source.

Two Sides to Every Coin

There are two sides to the internet coin and how it is impacting your shop. The first side is the misinformation freely disseminated via Google and other search engines. I just read three articles on how to pick an auto repair shop and was discouraged at the “expert” advice—not necessarily because it was bad advice but because it implied people should expect to receive dishonest and poor service from most shops. After decades of effort by the auto repair industry to change that public perception, it still runs rampant through the internet.

While you can’t control what other people are putting out there, you can do everything in your power to make sure your auto repair shop has a strong positive presence—that’s the other side of this coin. Most independent repair shops don’t control and actively manage their internet presence so they don’t realize how much of an impact it is having on whether or not the phone keeps ringing.

Ideas to grow your businessWant to grow your online presence and reputation to get more customers? Click here to get ATI’s checklist and get started.

Take Control

Start taking control of your shop’s internet persona with this simple 8 question evaluation:

  1. Did you claim and complete your Google My Business page?
  2. Did you claim and complete your Yelp listing?
  3. Do you have business pages set up on the top social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)?
  4. Do you post an update on the above sites at least weekly?
  5. Do you ask every customer to leave a review?
  6. Do you have over 40 reviews?
  7. Do you have an average score of at least 4.5 stars?
  8. Does the shop rank in the top 5 search results for your local area on major search engines?

If you said “yes” to all 8 of the above, congratulations! This means that you have control of your internet presence and an excellent reputation.  The more “NO” answers you have, the more work you have to do.  Completing all of the above 8 tasks is your path to increasing your online reputation and customers.  Click here to get ATI’s checklist and get started.

Take Action

Since many independent auto repair shops do not have a strong internet presence, taking action can make the difference quickly on where you show up in a search for your services. It will also result in a potential customer finding the information they need to choose your shop for a phone call or visit.

At ATI, we teach independent auto and collision repair shop owners how to create fantastic customer experiences that they want to share with others. To get started and see how ATI can help your shop thrive, check out our shop owner events.