Does your online reputation impact revenue? Can you manage reviews to increase revenue?

Leading auto repair brand, Meineke, with close to 900 locations, looked to Merchant Centric to help answer these questions. Meineke’s brand is well known with an established customer base. They have systematic customer surveys to measure customer satisfaction by location, so how much could a few reviews and stars online really matter to their bottom line?

Meineke’s Market Position

Meineke is in a highly competitive marketplace with several well-known larger competitors like Midas and Firestone, along with hundreds of thousands of other local repair shops competing for the same consumers. Below is a comparison based on more than 50,000 customer reviews.

BrandLocationsNumber of ReviewsAvg. Star Rating
meineke-logo88915,0163.6
firestone-logo2,00326,3503.4
midas-logo1,48811,0633.3
Meineke’s overall online ratings are high compared to other well-known brands, but they know there is also strong competition from local repair shops and other brands making up the industry. With 90% of consumers turning to online reviews to decide which business to use, Meineke wanted to see if their ratings were impacting their revenue and how they could leverage their reputation for an advantage over the competition.

The impact of a 1-Star Difference on Meineke Revenue is 17%

Meineke provided Merchant Centric with revenue data for all locations to analyze in conjunction with Merchant Centric’s proprietary database of historical reviews collected for over 24 million business locations in the U.S. Looking at a recent time period, Merchant Centric found that a 1-star difference in ratings between Meineke locations related to 17% higher revenue on average.

So what did Meineke do?

Meineke asked Merchant Centric to manage its reputation for all locations, including its sister company MAACO, for three months to see if that could positively impact its online reputation and revenue. Using Merchant Centric’s Full Service Reputation Management and Reputation Repair services, Merchant Centric engaged with over 2,500 customers and also successfully removed 122 negative reviews for Meineke that violated review site guidelines.

What were the results?

After the three-month pilot concluded in Q1 2016, Merchant Centric compared the results to the same quarter in 2015. Ratings for the quarter during the test were 0.29 of a star-rating higher and revenue increased more than 4% on average per location, for the quarter.

Ratings on average increased and so did revenue.

rating-and-revenue-change

Meineke was so impressed with the results that they have invited Merchant Centric into their family of approved vendors, and are working with their franchisees to roll the program out on an ongoing basis.

“At Meineke, we believe there is a direct correlation between review management and a location’s revenue. Specifically, review replies act as an extension of our customer service process by showing both existing and prospective customers that we are receptive to their needs. Online reviews provide a mechanism to even change customers’ minds about the business. After a successful three-month pilot, Meineke has chosen Merchant Centric to be our partner in providing review moderation and reply services.”

Matt Labuda
Digital Marketing Director
Driven Brands Inc.