Most independent automotive repair shops yearn for a steady supply of positive reviews at sites like But Yuki Import Service of Los Angeles has placed a few prominent signs in the waiting area that politely ask its customers not to post positive reviews at any websites.

What gives? According to Max Kobayakawa, glowing customer praise has produced a level of response that simply overwhelms the small shop. It's understandable, given reviews like these:

  • "Over the years I've referred about 12 people here and they are all happy with Yuki, and have told other people about them. Max and Victor are straight up, knowledgeable and fair. They are my number one referral for anybody that needs a mechanic for a Japanese car … They've fixed minor things with my car for free before. If every service company operated like Yuki, the world would be a beautiful place."
  • "[T]rust the other reviews. I went here based on the info in yelp, and was very happy with the service. [T]he mechanic actually talked me out of services that I had requested. That is a first for me."

Appreciative though they are for the enthusiastic reviews, Yuki hopes its customers will save word-of-mouth referrals for people they actually know—friends, family and colleagues. We hope, meanwhile, that Max and Victor will forgive us for bringing them additional attention!

The Marketing Inspiration is straightforward: extremely happy customers will sell your product or service. You might even find that they do it too well.

More Inspiration:
Paul Barsch: The Moneyball-itzation of Marketing
Ted Mininni: "Green Packaging Matters to Us"
Paul Chaney: Entering the Age of the Stream

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