(Vocus/PRWEB) December 07, 2010
The power of the internet has been its ability to create disruptive technologies that revolutionize the way that business is done. Technology can be disruptive in many different ways, and one of the latest trends is the move to collecting online reviews. The power of reviews and customer testimonials has been around as long as commerce. When looking to buy a product or service it is natural for us to look to others that have already made that decision to give us advice. Their advice can either help us avoid making the same mistake as them, or receive the same positive benefits that they did.
The Evolution of Reviews
In the past advice would be passed on mainly from friends and family. These two groups were the most trustworthy and could be relied upon. The problem is that there are many cases when someone you personally know has not done business with this company before. This forces you to have to rely on the advice of strangers. Advice from strangers creates two problems.
1. How reliable or trustworthy is their advice?
2. How do you find a stranger to get advice from?
Both of these problems have been solved by the internet. The internet has the ability to give you access to thousands of reviews from a simple search. In less than ten minutes you can find and read dozens of reviews that will help you make a reliable decision about almost any product or service. The more reviews that you read the more trustworthy the advice becomes. One person that says company XYZ is good could be an anomaly or even a fraudulent review, but if hundreds of people all say the same thing it becomes more likely to be true.
Looking at Other Industries
Online reviews have had an impact that has disrupted many industries. Most electronic products are now at the mercy of what their customers have to say about their product. Studies show that approximately 75% of consumers will read these product reviews before purchasing the product. Electronics is not the exception; in fact most products are now researched with reviews read online before a decision is made. From books, to baby supplies, to furniture, companies can now see their sales sky rocket or plummet based on positive or negative online reviews.
Service industries have also been affected by online reviews. From home renovations, to restaurants, to hotels and travel destinations, consumers are now reading before they choose what to do. When consumers read service based reviews they are concerned about the quality of the service as well as the method the service was delivered. This is where great customer service and under promising while over delivering really pays off.
It’s not just products and services that have started adapting to online reviews, even university professors have found that they are now being reviewed online and students are incorporating this information when deciding on what class to take. There are many applications that can be improved by a review system and auto mechanics shouldn’t be any different.
The Lack of Consumer Confidence
There has always been a lack of consumer confidence or trust in the auto repair industry. Many consumers believe that most auto mechanics are willing to overcharge and provide unnecessary services if given the chance. Whether or not this is actually the reality is not relevant, if this is the popular consumer belief than auto shops must address it. With an effective review system, auto shops are forced to act with integrity and manage their reputation, while consumers are able to get the confidence they desire when making auto repair decisions.
The New Platform for Auto Repairs - AutoShopit.com
It is this environment that Max and Lionel Kalles from Autoshopit.com are trying to create. With a platform for both car owners and car repair specialist to interact with each other, the negative image of the auto repair industry can be changed. Lionel states,
“Many of my friends told me horror stories about their car repairs which made me believe there had to be a way to discover who was honest and who wasn’t”
As the site gains traction and gathers more reviews, it will become easier to tell which car repair shops provide the best value, as the site uses a formula that analyzes the review score to determine who ranks at the top of the listings. The mechanics that are providing the best service are the ones that will start to get the most business.
How to Deal with this New Disruption
In every industry including auto mechanics when disruption takes place there are two choices. They can ignore the disruption and watch their business slowly decrease, or they can embrace it and leverage the technology to increase their reputation in the marketplace while growing their business.
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