Online reviews allow shoppers to see what your customers say about you. You can claim to provide outstanding service, but you can’t really prove that claim without customer reviews.
Pros and Cons of Reviews for Car Dealerships
Dealers may worry that reviews for car dealerships won’t always be positive. For the most part, though, it appears reviews are positive. Edmunds looked at all the reviews posted on its website for a single month and found more than 90 percent were positive. Some recurring keywords and phrases in those reviews included:
- Above & beyond
The “above & beyond” description applied to situations such as a salesperson working late to help a customer, delivering a vehicle to a customer or a dealership offering perks like cold drinks and snacks for customers.
Customers will occasionally write negative reviews. However, the value of negative reviews is that they may point out problems you didn’t know about and can easily correct. For example, if a customer complains that salespeople weren’t knowledgeable, you could act on that information and step-up training for your sales staff.
When you’re aware of a negative review, respond to that customer’s review appropriately, whether that’s offering an apology or a discount on vehicle maintenance. Sometimes, customers just need to know you care about their opinions. But to have that kind of interaction with customers, you need to know where they’re posting reviews.
How to Stimulate and Manage Reviews
Unless a customer is extremely satisfied or dissatisfied, they’re unlikely to make the effort to research how to write a review about you. So tell customers how to find you and review your services on sites like Yelp, Trustpilot and Google+. Better yet, when you email your customers, provide a direct link to sites where they can review your dealership.
If you want to motivate more customers to review your dealership, consider offering an incentive. You could, for example, offer a monthly prize drawing that requires customers to write a review for a chance to win.
Some shoppers would prefer to leave a quick comment, rather than a paragraph-long review. Establish a Facebook business page for your dealership, so you can capture feedback from those people.
Monitor review sites and your social media profiles so you can thank customers for good reviews and respond to those who were unhappy.
A Valuable Promotional Tool
People have been relying on word-of-mouth recommendations for products and services for generations. Online reviews are just the modern incarnation of that tradition. And perhaps the biggest perk of online reviews is that they’re the only absolutely-no-cost promotional tool at your disposal.