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What I Learned From an Oil Change

Another way to help drive reviews for your company.

Inspiration can strike in the strangest of places. I drove over to the 10-minute oil change place near my house last week to get our family minivan serviced. As I pulled in, a friendly employee (his name was Quess) beckoned me toward his bay. He asked me a few questions about what I wanted and set to work. Nothing remarkable so far. After a few minutes he tapped on my window and walked me through resetting the oil service light and handed me a bill along with a slick 5×7 card asking me to review their business on Google. Again, nothing remarkable. What came next blew my mind. Quess told me that if I reviewed the shop and mentioned his name in the review, he would get an additional $10 in his next paycheck and I would get $5 off the next oil change. He then left me alone for another couple of minutes. What do you think I did? Quess had done a great job, so I opened up Google and gave them a five-star review with Quess’ name front and center.

As I drove away, I played the interaction back in my mind. It was perfect. Quess completely nailed the customer interaction and review solicitation. It occurred to me that Quess knew full well he’d be soliciting a review from me at the end of the interaction and every move he made played to that eventuality. Would Quess have behaved this way without the review program in place? Maybe. Do review programs like this encourage more consistent behavior across the board from all employees? You bet!

I naturally moved very quickly to thinking about my CI business, Livewire, and how we solicit reviews. We use One Firefly’s Review Champ product that delivers great results. At the end of each job, we enter the customer’s phone or email into the Review Champ portal and this begins a slow, friendly harassment period where the customer is encouraged to review us. Four- and five- star comments get a further prompt to review us on Google, Facebook, and other sites. Three stars and below get escalated internally so we can resolve the client’s concerns ourselves before litigating anything publicly. Even with all of that cool functionality, there’s a hell of a lot to be said for the nuance of my oil change experience.

Also by Henry Clifford: What to Say When Asked, “Is This Your Best Price?”

Do we hand our clients a card and ask them to include our name in the review or mention anything about how it benefits our technicians or the client? Do we leverage the time at the end of the job to give the client a chance to review us while we’re doing something else (going out to the truck for something)? I think we’re doing some of that, but what if we did it all of the time, every time? We’re currently averaging a 50 percent response rate to our survey solicitations. I think approaching things like Quess could get us another 15-20 percent bump.

Quess is my new review hero, and I’ll be using his killer interaction to help drive our reviews even further north inside our company.

What are you doing to drive reviews in your business?