In the first of our guest blog spots, leading UK service comparison website WhoCanFixMyCar.com take a detailed look at a hot topic in the motor trade; Reviews. Read on as they delve into how their 5,500 strong garage network were rated by their customers last year…
REVIEWING: THE SITUATION
A look back at WhoCanFixMyCar.com Garage Reviews in 2014
Since being founded in 2011, WhoCanFixMyCar.com has aimed to do just one thing: help drivers find a great local garage for their service or repair. Motorists simply tell us what’s wrong with their car (and where they live) and local garages and specialists provide a quote. Once a garage has been chosen, and the repair is completed, there’s one vital final stage: drivers leave a review for the garage. Great performers get the fanfare they deserve, while others can address any criticisms they receive. It’s a virtuous circle – and we’re lifting the lid on the facts.
How popular is WhoCanFixMyCar.com?
- Over 30,000 jobs posted on our site in 2014, with 4x growth during the year!
- Almost 5,500 garages registered on WhoCanFixMyCar.com
How good are our garages!?
It’s the all-important question: it’s no use having thousands of reviews if they’re all negative! Fortunately, they’re not:
- The average score (out of ten) in 2014 was 9.2, and 96% of customers would recommend the garage they used.
- Our garages’ reviews actually got better throughout the year, as negative feedback was quickly addressed and garages went the extra mile (see below)
What do our customers say?
Most popular words – positive reviews, 96% of total:
Most popular words – negative reviews, 4% of total:
The common themes here are fascinating. Glowing reviews reference service, recommending, helpful, experience, honest, quickly time and time again. Negative reviews, however will focus on delays, prices, and not being kept in the loop.
But… how important are reviews to today’s customer?
In short… they’re essential. Our own customers tell us us they’re 2.5x more important than price when it comes to choosing a great local garage, with Google’s ‘Gearshift’ survey (2013) states recommendation as the most influential factor, even ahead of face-to-face treatment at the garage itself.
Meanwhile a recent Nielsen study says that 27% more of us trust online reviews than did four years ago – so they are only becoming more influential over time.
What does this mean for businesses?
In short, the playing field – if not level – is getting flatter. For generations, well-known brand names were bywords for certain attributes (value, speed, quality, reliability), creating emotional connections between brand and customer. Smaller, independent businesses couldn’t hope to compete with the brand strength of their high-street competitors.
However, now that it’s simple to compare products and services online – irrespective of brand strength – so smaller players with good offerings have begun eating away at their better-known competitors (witness the rise of Kia and Hyundai at the expense of mainstream European brands, for example.) We see exactly the same effect amongst our garages. Very quickly, little-known local specialists begin building great reputations on WhoCanFixMyCar.com – indeed, there’s a direct correlation between great reviews and new customers – just as it should be!
Click the link below to see the study results as an infographic…