Today’s customers expect quality experience, no matter the service. Whatever they experience, they share their feedback by word of mouth via friends and family members as well as online via social media and online reviews. In the age of the Internet and cancel culture, it is important to always put your best foot forward to control the narrative written online about your company.
Before I opened my own Grease Monkey®, I served in the Army, and then later became an occupational therapist. At age 29, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I have overcome many obstacles and have learned many life lessons from my early years. My experience and struggles helped me learn the skills I needed to own my own business, and then build a successful business that catered to my customers and in return, supported my family.
Reviews are a powerful and easy way to create a successful business. Testimonials coming from happy customers build credibility and support your business by encouraging patrons to become new customers. In order to get a 5-star review, you have to ask them at the right time and in the right way. The answer to getting more 5-star reviews lies in the how, when, and why of your review acquisition strategy.
Below are five tips to help you get that 5-star review you’ve been working so hard for, and how to keep them coming.
Don’t Accept Mediocracy, Be a Change Agent
When starting a business, set your goals high and don’t skip the details. Make sure your business reflects the values you want your customers to see, and don’t be afraid to stand out from other businesses.
From the start, my goal was to make something different and better. I wanted customers to have an enjoyable experience while getting their car serviced, especially for women, who historically have bad experiences with car services. My Texas location is clean, well maintained, and has a boutique located inside that my wife runs. All these things were done to change the perception of what an oil change experience is like, and it’s working — the customers love it!
Interact with Reviewers
Most customers just want to be seen and heard regardless of whether they have had a negative or a positive experience at your business. Monitor your reviews and social media presence, and check what people are saying about their experience.
I believe it is important to reply to every comment, and to thank the customer for their review. It is valuable to see what customers are saying — good and bad — to highlight workers who are doing well, and to work on fixing issues that customers are having. Listening to your customers can be your biggest asset when trying to find pain points in your business. Solving the problems your customers complain about helps them to see that you are listening and find their feedback valuable, thus creating more positive reviews.
Focus on Training Employees
Culture is like a garden, and you need to plant seeds early and grow it from the roots up. Focus on creating values and guidelines for your employees and teach by example.
With my background in consulting on company culture, I know this topic very well and work hard to create a positive conscious culture at my business. I recommend to not linger on negativity, but instead focus on training employees for success. I am currently creating an Operational Excellence Program at my Grease Monkey location, to create guidelines and training to help process improvement and customer satisfaction. This program will provide feedback so that I can better train my employees and create a supportive culture both internally with employees and externally with customers. Improving customer services creates better service and thus, more 5-star reviews.
Make Customers Feel Special
Whether it is saying hello and asking about their day, or getting a customer a bottle of water, the little things matter. Make sure to teach your employees to focus on making positive customer interactions. Starting up a conversation can make a world of a difference and can help you understand the customers’ needs and wants as well as improve what services or products you can suggest.
I consider myself to be very people-focused, and I enjoy starting up conversations with everyone who enters my Grease Monkey location. I work hard to teach my employees to do the same to build repertoire with the community and create a strong customer base. I have also found that making connections can help improve experiences and brighten days for customers. Getting work done on your car can be stressful, so it is important to create a welcoming experience that prevents high-stress interactions with customers.
As you start taking the first steps into entrepreneurship, put a focus on building a strong customer base to create positive reviews. Put these tips into practice, stay confident in your abilities, and practice due diligence every step of the way.
For more information about Grease Monkey and its franchising opportunities, visit https://greasemonkeyfranchise.com/.
Tom Tobin is the Franchise Owner of three Grease Monkey locations in Cibolo, Texas. FullSpeed Automotive is one of the nation’s largest franchisors and operators of automotive aftermarket repair facilities, and is home to flagship brands Grease Monkey®, SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service®, and Kwik Kar.
Review stock image by olesia_g/Shutterstock