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By Landon Wallace 31 May, 2017
Online review websites, like Yelp and Google Places, create a community where consumers go to
provide and gather information on local businesses. The hope of all business owners is that the
reviews on their page(s) will give potential customers faith that their experience will mirror that of
Jane D. from Anytown, USA. “Great Service! Give these guys a try!”
But, often the reviews on your pages might read: “Terrible! Don’t go there!”
So, it might seem like a great idea, at first - offer an incentive ($10 off your next oil change!) to
customers in exchange for an online review on Yelp or Google. A step further is to offer a better
incentive for positive reviews (you know, to push down those negative ones). Or, even just to ask
customers, mailing list subscribers, friends/family or anyone else to review your business.
Google, and especially Yelp, toe a hard line when it comes to the reviews on their sites.
Online reviews are intended to be organic.
Google, and especially Yelp, do not allow
companies to give any sort of compensation
for customers leaving online reviews. They go
even further than outlawing compensation –
they discourage businesses from asking their
customers to write reviews, at all.
Here’s how to conduct yourself on the up-and-up when it comes to these review sites:
• Tell customers you’re on Google or Yelp – ask customers to “Find Us” but be careful not to ask
them for a review.
• Display the branding of the online review site to all of your customers by using logos on
signage, messaging on receipts, etc.
• Embed your favorite reviews on your website, share them on Facebook and Twitter, and link
back to your locations’ page.
• Critical reviews can be an opportunity to build goodwill with your customers. Show your
customers you care by listening to them and responding to reviews. Customers can and
usually do update their negative ratings if their issue has been resolved.
By Landon Wallace 13 Apr, 2017
ESTABLISH REPEAT BUSINESS WITH A PRE-PAID LOYALTY PROGRAM

- Digital Interface (no coupons, punch cards or certificates)
- Vehicle Specific
- Customizable (number of oil changes, oil types, price)
- Compete with dealers and manufacturer maintenance packages
- Opportunity to increase ancillary services at each visit
A pre-paid loyalty program is a way to offer customers a
convenient way to pay for oil changes in advance, at a discount.

THE OSTLER GROUP

If presented properly, pre-paid loyalty programs can build relationships with customers that can
last for miles down the road. It’s this on-going relationship that should be emphasized in your
sales philosophy. Customer loyalty is the key to profitability. The reason is simple. It costs more to
acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.
By Landon Wallace 28 Mar, 2017
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS LEAD TO CUSTOMER RETENTION

Customer Retention is one the most important, and most perplexing, issues that businesses face.
There are three basic rules to customer retention:

1. Put the customer first. View their experience through the customer’s eyes. Every
touchpoint: the advertisement, the store visit and follow up messaging, should be reviewed
(and modified if needed) in order to give customers what they need to have great experiences.

2. Develop a relationship with them. Developing long lasting relationships with customers is
like hosting an enjoyable party. Guests are greeted warmly by name, personal connections are
made, and most people leave happy. Although it is impossible to deliver flawlessly every time,
a consistent and authentic experience are what customers want the most.

3. Follow up in personalized and meaningful ways. It is critical to collect and verify accurate
customer information on each and every visit. This enables the development of a relationship
by customizing communication to a specific person. Accurate collection at the store level
(name, address, email, vehicle information and proper OCS input) will yield a more personal
relationship with customers.

Immediately post-visit, thank you emails accompanied by experience surveys provide an opportunity
to turn around an unfavorable experience. A consistent email campaign with useful information
helps maintain top of mind awareness. Reminder Mail helps customers stay current on their
maintenance. And Lapsed Mail will help reengage customers that are severely past due for a visit.

Maintaining a customer-centric focus and personalizing communication will directly manifest itself
in having guests return to the party more often. That’s something everyone will enjoy.
By Landon Wallace 28 Mar, 2017
You might be losing customers even before they pay a single visit your store. These days, consumers
turn to popular online review sites, such as Google and Yelp, as they seek out new service providers.
Research shows correlations between online reviews, consumer trust and purchase intent. What a
potential customer reads online could send them running – either to your store, or to the competition.

7 Best Practices for Online Reputation Management (ORM)

1. Claim store addresses before someone else does. If you’re not there, someone else will be.
This could be a competitor or well-meaning employee.

2. Provide dissatisfied customers with outlets before they resort to social media. These include:
a. Having a Manager introduce themselves at the end of the service and ask, “How was your visit?”
b. Clearly posting Customer Service contact information in-store, on receipts and on business
cards for customers to take from point of sale.

3. Use all feedback – both positive and negative – to coach and counsel your team. Use actual
reviews to celebrate great work and discover areas that need extra attention.

4. Aim for perfect – but not too perfect. Negative reviews not only give you a chance to improve
operations, they also allow you to show that you care about your customers. Profiles that have
all 5-star ratings look fake.

5. Be consistent in your responses. Find a process that is sustainable for your organization.
You don’t have to respond to every positive review, but if that’s your business style, go for it.

6. Keep responses short and respectful. It’s essential to respond immediately to negative reviews
(usually 2-stars or less). Responses to negative reviews are as much for the prospective customer
as they are for the one who posted the original review.

7. Thinking about providing incentives to customers or employees to post positive reviews?
Not so fast: Yelp and Google have advanced algorithms that detect fake reviews. It’s also
unethical to “buy” positive reviews.

THE OSTLER GROUP

Reputation Management has become a critical responsibility for businesses in every sector.
This blend of public relations, marketing and customer service entails the monitoring of online
reviews and following best practices in the interest of maintaining or improving the public image
of the brand. The Ostler Group offers a wide range of Reputation Management services that are
administered by real humans – not robots. We can tailor a program to match your specific business
needs and style, while also providing tools that will help improve your operations. In addition to
helping you claim your location listings, we can also set up a program to monitor your profiles for
reviews and, when appropriate, respond to a review. Monitoring and responding to reviews helps
to stop, fix, and prevent PR disasters, as well as protect and promote your brand.
By Allison Allen 26 Sep, 2016
NOW HIRING!?
A solid marketing plan helps attract and retain customers. Why not leverage similar strategies when it comes to recruiting employees? Working together, we can develop the best ways to get the best people. Let us employ (pun intended!) some new ideas to help you build a strong team, for example:
· Tagging email blasts with “Employment Opportunities” or “Join our Team”
· In-Store POP
· Paid Search Campaigns, using keywords like “Automotive Employment”, “Management Positions” and “ASE Certification Jobs”
· Add “Employment Opportunities” as a site link extension on existing SSOC paid search campaigns
· Display Ad Campaigns, targeted to job sites (Monster, Indeed, etc.) and newspaper help wanted pages
· Radio campaigns using 10-sec and 15-sec “billboards” on stations that skew younger (adults/men 18-34 years)
· Street teams and hiring events
· Job placement on social media sites

THE OSTLER GROUP
We ARE full service.
From individual store marketing plans to targeted, problem-solving solutions, The Ostler Group is a full service agency that offers complete advertising solutions. We are strategically driven and will identify challenges and opportunities to help grow your business. Whatever your objectives and goals are, we will help you meet them. Our strategies work. Let us make them work for you.


More Posts

TOG Blog

By Landon Wallace 31 May, 2017
Online review websites, like Yelp and Google Places, create a community where consumers go to
provide and gather information on local businesses. The hope of all business owners is that the
reviews on their page(s) will give potential customers faith that their experience will mirror that of
Jane D. from Anytown, USA. “Great Service! Give these guys a try!”
But, often the reviews on your pages might read: “Terrible! Don’t go there!”
So, it might seem like a great idea, at first - offer an incentive ($10 off your next oil change!) to
customers in exchange for an online review on Yelp or Google. A step further is to offer a better
incentive for positive reviews (you know, to push down those negative ones). Or, even just to ask
customers, mailing list subscribers, friends/family or anyone else to review your business.
Google, and especially Yelp, toe a hard line when it comes to the reviews on their sites.
Online reviews are intended to be organic.
Google, and especially Yelp, do not allow
companies to give any sort of compensation
for customers leaving online reviews. They go
even further than outlawing compensation –
they discourage businesses from asking their
customers to write reviews, at all.
Here’s how to conduct yourself on the up-and-up when it comes to these review sites:
• Tell customers you’re on Google or Yelp – ask customers to “Find Us” but be careful not to ask
them for a review.
• Display the branding of the online review site to all of your customers by using logos on
signage, messaging on receipts, etc.
• Embed your favorite reviews on your website, share them on Facebook and Twitter, and link
back to your locations’ page.
• Critical reviews can be an opportunity to build goodwill with your customers. Show your
customers you care by listening to them and responding to reviews. Customers can and
usually do update their negative ratings if their issue has been resolved.
By Landon Wallace 13 Apr, 2017
ESTABLISH REPEAT BUSINESS WITH A PRE-PAID LOYALTY PROGRAM

- Digital Interface (no coupons, punch cards or certificates)
- Vehicle Specific
- Customizable (number of oil changes, oil types, price)
- Compete with dealers and manufacturer maintenance packages
- Opportunity to increase ancillary services at each visit
A pre-paid loyalty program is a way to offer customers a
convenient way to pay for oil changes in advance, at a discount.

THE OSTLER GROUP

If presented properly, pre-paid loyalty programs can build relationships with customers that can
last for miles down the road. It’s this on-going relationship that should be emphasized in your
sales philosophy. Customer loyalty is the key to profitability. The reason is simple. It costs more to
acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.
By Landon Wallace 28 Mar, 2017
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS LEAD TO CUSTOMER RETENTION

Customer Retention is one the most important, and most perplexing, issues that businesses face.
There are three basic rules to customer retention:

1. Put the customer first. View their experience through the customer’s eyes. Every
touchpoint: the advertisement, the store visit and follow up messaging, should be reviewed
(and modified if needed) in order to give customers what they need to have great experiences.

2. Develop a relationship with them. Developing long lasting relationships with customers is
like hosting an enjoyable party. Guests are greeted warmly by name, personal connections are
made, and most people leave happy. Although it is impossible to deliver flawlessly every time,
a consistent and authentic experience are what customers want the most.

3. Follow up in personalized and meaningful ways. It is critical to collect and verify accurate
customer information on each and every visit. This enables the development of a relationship
by customizing communication to a specific person. Accurate collection at the store level
(name, address, email, vehicle information and proper OCS input) will yield a more personal
relationship with customers.

Immediately post-visit, thank you emails accompanied by experience surveys provide an opportunity
to turn around an unfavorable experience. A consistent email campaign with useful information
helps maintain top of mind awareness. Reminder Mail helps customers stay current on their
maintenance. And Lapsed Mail will help reengage customers that are severely past due for a visit.

Maintaining a customer-centric focus and personalizing communication will directly manifest itself
in having guests return to the party more often. That’s something everyone will enjoy.
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