how a trip to key west solidified what I know about reviews text overlaying an image of an auto repair shop in Key West Florida showing the open shop bays with vehicles on lifts

How a Trip to Key West Solidified What I Know About Reviews

Our son was home over the summer between his year at USMAPS (The United States Military Academy Preparatory School) and his Plebe year at West Point. He wanted some beach time, so we took a trip down through Florida and into the Keys.

Before I get too far into this, Kim and I just recorded an episode of The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast and we talked about exactly what I’m writing here in this blog post. If you’d rather listen in (and get a lot more detail), you can listen to the podcast here and also on Itunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

I also wrote this blog about working keywords into reviews. It’s very similar to this one, but I wrote it before having the following experience.

While in Key West, we rode our bikes around town and wanted to stop somewhere to cool off and enjoy a drink.

Five years before, we were in Key West and had lunch at this amazing restaurant where we sat in this old backyard courtyard that had a canopy of trees. Kim mentioned how nice it was and that she would love to go back there.

So I pull out my phone and search for “Key West restaurant under a bunch of trees.” The top result was for “Blue Heaven,” and I immediately recognized it as the place we ate at years ago.

Blue Haven Restaurant in key west fl, pulled up on google search on mobile phone device
Second Floor Restaurant google search on mobile phone device

The next day we were discussing what we were going to have for dinner and once again, Kim mentioned another restaurant that we’d eaten at on that previous trip, but we couldn’t remember the name. We remembered that it was in an old house, and we ate outside on a second-floor porch.

So again, I pull out my phone and this time I search for “Second-floor porch restaurant Key West”. The top result that came up was a Trip Advisor listing for a place called Bagatelle. Neither of us recognized the name, but seeing a Trip Advisor result show up in the top spot made Kim think to check her Trip Advisor reviews because Kim loves leaving reviews and Trip Advisor is her preferred place to do it.

Kim opens her Trip Advisor app and looks through her reviews, and sure enough, Bagatelle was the place we had eaten 5 years before.

These are two experiences where I did a search that described the place and the top search result was exactly what we were looking for.

But why did this happen? It’s because of the things people had written in their reviews that made the places show up when I searched the way I did.

Bagatelle search on trip advisor how it appears on a mobile phone device

How Does This Translate To Auto Repair?

As an auto repair shop, you need to get your clients to leave details in their reviews. Look at the two reviews below.

  1. These guys are great! Been coming here for over ten years. Highly recommend!

  2. I was looking for an auto repair shop near my home in Louisburg. I came across Dave’s Automotive and thought I’d give them a try. They replaced my tires and did an alignment on my BMW. My car has never driven better! John was great to work with and kept me up to date throughout the entire process. They’ve made a fan out of me!

The first review is the typical review we see from most people. It could literally be for any service or any type of business.

The second review has details. From that review we can tell it’s an auto repair shop, it’s in or near Louisburg, they sell tires and do alignments, they’re good at it, they work on BMWs, and one of the service managers is named John.

So now when people search for tires and/or alignments in Louisburg, this shop’s Google Business Profile is much more likely to come up as a top result.

How Do I Get Clients To Give More Detailed Reviews?

Ask them to do it. Seriously…. That’s all you have to do.

You want them to put information in their review that relates to:

  • Where you are geographically

  • Your main search term or some variant of it (probably “auto repair” or “mechanic”)

  • What type of vehicle they had worked on

  • What service or repair they had done

In some cases, they’ll ask you to write the review for them and send it to them to post. They just gave you a gift. Do it!

In Conclusion

Getting detailed reviews will help people find you who would have never found you otherwise. Start asking your clients to be specific with their reviews. When you do that, you’re actually making it easier for them because they now have a framework of what to write.

About The Author

Brian Walker

Brian Walker is the Owner and CEO of Shop Marketing Pros, a marketing agency specializing in marketing independently owned auto repair shops. Brian is a Mercedes Benz Master Technician and has owned multiple shops and served as the Mechanical Division Director for ASA-NC.

He's a mechanic at heart who loves fixing things that are broken, which is why he loves marketing so much.

"Digging in and figuring out why a business' marketing isn't working is a lot like it was when he was elbows deep into a car that no one else could fix. When you figure it out, there's nothing else like it."

To get to do this for auto repair shop owners combines his passions, and he couldn't be more excited about helping shop owners.
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