A quick analysis of 640 reviews show Pep Boys’ mediocrity

Caption of Pep Boys sign against sky.
Photo: Mike Mozart

Pep Boys is an automotive aftermarket chain in the U.S, with over 930 locations and a total of over 8 300 service bays, and are referred to as “founders of the automotive aftermarket”. However, it looks like they will have trouble keeping customers if they do not improve themselves.

Why do we say this?

“Costs” is the most mentioned topic, occurring in 61% of all reviews. Of these, 30% involve a negative sentiment and 9% a positive one, and the remaining is neutral. A quick conclusion is that many customers think it is too expensive, while the majority of people mentioning this topic think it is a fair price and some thinking it is cheap. The occurrence has been much the same since 2012, with a slight dip in 2019 to about 50% instead of about 60%.

The worst-rated topic is “wrong assessment”, with 23% negative sentiment and 77% neutral. This is only mentioned in 3% of all reviews, but in 2020 it occurs in about 35% of the reviews. This is a prime example of a topic to run a deeper analysis of. However, there are guesses that can be made without. What we do know from this data is that something happened in 2020, and that thing brought about a great negative impact since there is no positive sentiment on this topic.

With 10% positive sentiment “scheduled appointments” is the most positive topic, while still having 12% negative sentiment and the remaining 78% neutral. The topic is mentioned in 16% of all reviews, so a respectable amount but nothing that stands out as low or high. It has occurred between 10% and 20% since 2012, but in 2019 it jumped up to almost 40%. The net sentiment rose along with this jump in occurrence. This indicates that these appointments are something that generally is appreciated by customers. 

Pep Boys currently have no topic that is mostly positive. The closest that can be found is almost as much positive sentiment as negative. This is, of course, nothing positive, it is an issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. The fact that there is no topic that customers think strongly positive about means there is nothing to ensure they return next time they need Pep Boys’ services. Customers are not necessarily dissatisfied with everything. However, not keeping them satisfied means they will try other available options when they can be found.

However, their worst topic “wrong assessment” is not as bad as one would think. It is still overwhelmingly neutral, meaning Pep Boys is not necessarily doing anything wrong. But, as previously mentioned, this is not always enough to keep customers from trying other alternatives in the hope they find somewhere they get a positive sentiment from. Therefore, Pep Boys should focus on improving at least some areas of their business. This in order to leave some positive sentiment in customers to keep them coming back. Otherwise, their future is not looking as bright as they might hope.

The research team at Gavagai performed this analysis using our AI-powered text analysis tool, Gavagai Explorer. All texts analyzed in this article are collected from public online data published on ConsumerAffairs.

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