the power of reviews
Find out how to build your driving schools reputation online.
92% of consumers read online reviews before making their purchasing decision. Therefore, ensuring your driving school has a fantastic online reputation is paramount.
A business’ reputation online can either make or break it’s success, and for a driving school this it’s arguably even more important compared with other sectors. With 98% of people using the internet to search for local services, such as driving lessons, having a bank of positive reviews left by other learners will not only encourage others to book their lessons with you, but also increase your schools visibility over your competitors.
what is an online review?
A customer review is a review made by a anyone who has purchased and used your services, or had experience with, your driving school.
Reviews can be left by anyone and are publicly available for everyone to view. That can be learners who have had lessons with you both successfully and not so successfully, parents and friends of those who have used your professional services and general members of the public who have seen/encountered your vehicle on a day to day basis.
Online reviews hold a huge amount of authority when consumers go about researching local driving schools. Driving schools who have a wealth of positive online reviews will stand in better stead than driving schools with lower overall ratings or no reviews at all, so ensuring you start collecting and managing positive reviews should be a top priority.
There are many different locations you can start collecting online reviews, some for free and some with paid plan options. Whilst there is no ‘wrong’ place to start collecting reviews as all have their own merits, it’s important to focus on 1 or 2 at a time rather than trying to get reviews across as many as possible.
Working out where you should start collecting reviews is simple, just ask yourself “where is my driving school most prominent?”
Here are some of the top places you can start collecting your reviews:
Google My Business (free) – Great if you want to drive more organic traffic through to your website.
Facebook (free) – Fantastic if you are using Facebook as part of your online marketing strategy.
Trustpilot (free and paid plans) – Market leading independent review platform. Great for websites and increasing SEO score.
Feefo (paid) – Market leading independent review platform. Great for websites and increasing SEO score.
how to get reviews
It’s quite simple really, you just have to ask for them.
The best time to ask a learner for a review is after they have passed their driving test. The feeling of elation the learner will be feeling will transfer through to the glowing review they will leave you for all future learners to read.
If you are an independent instructor feel free to ask them in person or pop them a text a couple of days after they have passed. If you are a multi-car school you can use your CRM or email marketing system to contact learners on mass, or some review systems have automated this process for you.
If you are a top class instructor or driving school then collecting and managing your online reputation should be pretty straight forward. However, from time to time you will receive the odd negative review where you didn’t quite hit the customers expectations, or something happened that was completely out of your control, it could even be (dare we say it) the customers fault.
Negative reviews, whilst they might not seem it at the time, can in fact be just as beneficial to your business as the positive ones. Consumers often search for the negative reviews when researching where they should spend their hard earned cash and the businesses that respond and manage those negative reviews give off a fantastic impression to consumers.
So, remember to never delete a negative review. Instead respond to it in a calm, professional manner and try and resolve the reviewers concerns.
Depending on where they are collected, reviews can have a huge SEO benefit.
Search engines like trustworthy websites and businesses, giving priority to them in the results pages meaning more organic traffic through to your website.
Certain review platforms (such as Google My Business) will also enable you to have a star rating next to your website in the results page itself. As long as that star rating is good, your website traffic can dramatically increase as people gravitate towards those with a great reputation.
If you’re unsure as to what SEO is and how it impacts your website, check out our other blog here.