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  • Is Yelp The Best Way To Find An Auto Repair Shop?

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    Trying to find a new company or product can be a difficult decision if you don’t know who to trust. Studies have shown that 70% of people check online reviews of places and products before they make their final decision, but what site is the best place to look for these reviews? Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service wants to make sure your decision for an auto shop is well-informed and based on trustworthy reviews that aren’t fabricated, so we’ve broken it down for you here.

    Yelp vs. Google

    Yelp and Google are without a doubt two of the most popular review sites people check before buying a product or service—so which is the best place to look for an auto repair shop?

    Some of the benefits of Yelp are that it is the #1 site people like you turn to when looking for reviews, which means it’s also one of the most popular places for people to leave reviews, both good and bad. It doesn’t allow companies to remove negative reviews if they don’t like them, and it has a filter that attempts to weed out falsified reviews left by people who have been pressured into leaving positive reviews or paid to do so. You can also view all the reviews on Yelp without having to be signed in or creating an account.

    Google also allows you to see reviews without being logged in, but it currently allows business owners to “manage” the reviews that are left on their business’s page, meaning they have the power to decide which reviews take priority and are shown to you first. It’s also not as easy to navigate as it is on Yelp, and since most consumers go to Yelp first, Google is less likely to have an abundance of reviews for one place.

    Fake reviews

    One of the main concerns about online reviews found on Yelp is the growing number of fake or dishonest reviews posted. This happens when a business offers discounts or gift cards to consumers if they leave 5-star reviews, or if they hire someone to write fake positive reviews on Yelp for them. It can also occur if a competitor of that company has paid people to post negative reviews to divert business. While this is mostly an issue with restaurants, it can be true for all businesses, including auto repair shops, and since your car’s health is involved in that decision, you want to make sure the reviews you’re reading are honest and trustworthy. Yelp has taken it upon itself to try to filter out fake or misleading reviews and flag businesses that push positive reviews for cash on their site. Their algorithm to filter out dishonest or fake reviews has been improved upon over the years, but it still isn’t perfect, leaving some consumers in doubt.

    Not the best, but not bad

    Overall, more than 90% of the reviews on Yelp are genuine and trustworthy, and Yelp is aware of the fake review problem and is constantly working to weed out the dishonest reviews and tighten its algorithm. The best approach to online reviews for auto repair shops, and anywhere else, is variety. Yelp is a great place to start reading reviews—and you’re likely to find more reviews there than anywhere else—but reading reviews on other sites such as Google or the testimonials on the business’s webpage and Facebook page are good ways to get a sense for the overall communal opinion on a business. Take overly glowing and gloating reviews or overly negative and bashing reviews with a grain of salt, and do research on the company before making your final decision. Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service has reviews on Yelp, Google, and our webpage that we don’t pay for. We encourage you to check them out if you’re considering an auto repair shop in the San Jose, CA, area.

    Yelp, Google, and more—read unbiased reviews for Leale’s.

  • Top 5 Signs You’ve Chosen the Right Auto Repair Shop

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    Your car is one of your most valuable possessions, not only because of the cost but because of the value it has to your family. Whether it’s going on camping trips in your RV, dropping the kids off at school, taking you to work, or traveling across the country, a lot of great memories are made in your vehicle. When it’s time to take care of it, who can you trust?

    Here, Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service in San Jose, CA, gathered the Top 5 signs you’ve chosen the best auto repair shop to take your baby to.

    1. Great reputation

    A number one sign you’ve chosen a great auto repair shop is the reputation they have in your community. Ask your friends and family who they trust with their cars and check out some reviews online to see what people have to say. Word of mouth is a great resource, and if the shop’s website has a testimonials page with a form to submit your story, that shows confidence in their work and allows you to get some feedback from previous customers.

    2. Certifications

    The second thing you should check for are the certifications of the shop’s technicians. Most shops will either proudly display their certifications in their customer waiting lobby or on their website. The ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) seal for technicians is something to keep an eye out for because, while not all reputable shops will have this seal, it’s still a good indication of a professional repair shop. If they don’t have the ASE seal, look for other certifications in specialty areas or for particular manufacturers of vehicles or products. If they’re certified for the brand your car or faulty automotive part is, then you’re probably in good hands.

    3. Guarantees, warranties, and pricing

    A shop that offers service guarantees or warranties is a shop that is confident in their technicians and their work. Not only do guarantees and warranties protect you from shoddy service, but they give you peace of mind that the shop knows what it’s doing. Pricing is another important indicator because you usually get what you pay for—though it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when finding a great auto repair shop. Look for prices that aren’t dirt cheap but are still reasonable, and if the shop offers deals or specials, it means that they’re reliable and popular enough that they can afford to give back to their customersؙ—a good sign of a great shop that you should take advantage of.

    4. Community involvement

    If your shop is involved in the community, it means they care about the people they provide service to and want to give back to the area that they call home. Service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau, civic involvement plaques, and certificates handed out by the community (like “Voted Best Local Auto Shop in 2018”) are pretty good indicators that the shop you’re considering is community-friendly. Such recognition is usually displayed in the lobby or reception area.

    5. Friendly, professional staff

    Finally, you want your shop to make you feel welcome and reassured, not confused, stressed, or in doubt about their service. The shop’s technicians should be able to explain things to you in layman’s terms so you can understand your car’s issues and how they’re going to fix it, without them being demeaning or condescending. They should also be professional and friendly, encouraging you to come back again.

    The big picture

    While it may not be easy to find a shop that has all of these qualities in your area, it’s important to go by your gut instinct. Look for these signs of a good shop, and canvass the lot to see if they’re working on other cars of the same value as yours. If the staff members are unsmiling and the place seems unorganized or overly dirty, you might want to keep looking. Places like Leale’s Transmission & Auto Service, with great service and exceptional value, can be few and far between, but this list of things to look for should help you find the best shop in your area.

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