When were you last in a situation where your car had a problem, and you didn’t know where to go?
We’ve all been in that situation before. Maybe you’re new to town. Or maybe you’ve purchased a new home in a new neighborhood and aren’t familiar with the local shops.
You want to do business with a local, but where should you go?
Typically, there are three ways to find a new car repair shop.
1. Drive by. Every day as you’re out running errands, you notice the repair shops in your community. Which one should you trust?
2. Mailers and flyers. Of course, you can always rely on marketing. Homeowners are bombarded with flyers in their mailboxes offering coupons for different services. Does one of them seem to be a good deal, and applies to what’s wrong with your vehicle?
3. Referrals. Arguably, this is one of the best ways to discover new shops. If your neighbor or friend trusts a place, maybe you can too.
Still, we’ve all heard horror stories about taking your vehicle in for service, only to have the mechanic come out and tell you there’s a major complication with your car. Do you trust the advice? Do you sink hundreds – thousands – of dollars into your vehicle?
Do you trust that they are telling you the truth?
Two types of car repair shops, which is right for you?
As you’re running errands, you’ve probably come across two separate types of car repair shops in your neighborhood: national brands, and locally owned shops.
The national brands are part of a corporate conglomerate with shops all over the country. Their names are recognizable, and part of that is to gain your trust. If you visit one in your local city, you can go to one in another town and expect similar service. Of course, that’s not always the case.
Locally owned shops are also known as “mom and pop” shops. They were started by a local member of the community, and operate as a family operation. You’ll typically talk with the owner and get to know them over time.
According to a survey by Consumer Reports, independent mechanics provide a more satisfying experience. They surveyed over 40,000 consumers and asked them about their recent repair experiences. One mechanic they interviewed said it best:
“If you keep your car for many years, find a local, independent garage you can trust, and then build a relationship by giving them repeat business. If you stay loyal, they’re bound to treat you right, which can be advantageous when it comes to those really expensive jobs.”
With most large corporations, they operate to maximize profits. They set prices and stick with schedules to ensure maximum revenue. The people you meet when you bring your vehicle in are employees. And as employees, they come and go based on their goals and desires.
Local car repair shops are locally owned and operated, often bringing in family and friends who stick around. You’ll see the same friendly faces every time you bring your vehicle in.
How do you find a car repair place you can trust?
As mentioned before, you can find local service shops in a variety of ways. As you narrow down your focus, that’s when you should head online. While you might receive one or two reviews from your neighbors, online, you can gain a wealth of information with only a few clicks. Whether you use social media like Facebook, or review sites like Angie’s, you’ll start to see patterns emerge.
Car repair shop reviews help you monitor quality – If a business is around for any length of time, chances are you’ll find a number of reviews online. People realize how important this is, and they are highly motivated to leave their own. Don’t read one or two and finalize your decision. Instead, take some time to get a consensus about how people feel about the local shop. Do they like the people? Do they like the service? Do they have any trouble with the mechanics of the repair after they drive away? Online reviewers are honest about quality, and you can quickly build a better understanding of how well a shop is doing.
Car repair shop reviews build trust – One review might not be enough to lower your concerns, but how about ten, or twenty? Building reviews online should be a part of a local business’s goals. It’s a great way to tell other people in your community about the great resources you’ve been using for years. With reviews, you can also see the dates of when the item is posted. Does the service stay the same year after year? That can be a bonus for a local shop.
Car repair shop reviews can also show your customer service care – Let’s face it, all reviews aren’t going to be positive. This is also a chance for a car repair shop to show its true colors. How do they handle the situation? Do they ignore the review? Or do they take the time to answer the poster and face the problem head-on? Not every customer is going to gel with a business, and that’s okay. This is where it’s important to read reviews carefully, and go with the majority view. It will tell you everything.
Celebrate good reviews
There are many ways to celebrate good reviews. Increasingly, online review resources understand how difficult the process of finding quality repair shops can be, so they highlight service businesses that go above and beyond.
Here at Express Car Care, we take our reviews and ratings very seriously. We’ve recently been awarded the distinction of being a 2020 CARFAX Top-Rated Service Center, with an average rating of 4.9, and we couldn’t be happier!
If you want to see what other drivers already discovered, and want to have a mechanic who works with you to ensure your car is in top shape, schedule your maintenance visit with us today.