A couple of weeks back, my wife was hit while driving my car. Nothing major and no one was hurt but we needed to have some body work done on the car. I took it to probably one of the better known shops here in town. They did a great job and I have no complaints.  I do have an observation.They are missing out on some golden local marketing opportunities.

When I filled out my paperwork, one question was “how did you find us?” and one of the answers was “search engine” with a space to fill in the name of the search engine.  Now this question is totally ineffective. When I have asked folks how they found me online, they rarely can remember the terms they used, let along the search engine. LOL Do not get me wrong, I was excited to see they actually thought enough to ask it.

The other area where they really missed it was, in customer satisfaction survey or review. I found myself sitting in their lobby for some time, with nothing to do but watch cable.  Why not have a computer there and actively ask folks to sit down and review them online?! I had the time, was happy with the work and how they handled my car, setting up rental car, etc. I was a captive audience with nothing but some time on my hands.

When I got my keys back and thanked them for their work, the rep did not ask me if I was satisfied or not with their work, did not do any follow up survey with me, nothing. Again another missed opportunity.

Local customer reviews (especially for service type business) are key these days. Reviews at Google, Yelp, etc. will pay dividends for your business. Be proactive, ask folks to provide a review if they were satisfied, if not see how you can improve them. Ask them to put the review online, provide links to your Facebook, Yelp pages on your site or paperwork. You can’t make customers write reviews, but I have no problem encouraging or reminding them.

As a side note: I have never seen or looked for the company’s website, I have no idea what sort of reviews they have online, not even sure they are on Facebook. Did a write a review for them online? No, why? I just forgot about it.

So does business do anything to help encourage online reviews?