Online reviews are a very important resource for auto dealerships. They can provide useful feedback, areas to improve, and great praises. Reviews can influence potential car buyers in a big way before they even visit your car dealer website or your auto dealership. Most people trust reviews, so you should monitor them closely. Show that you care about your customers’ experiences by responding to reviews. Here are some of the worst mistakes that any dealership can make with online reviews.
1. Ignoring reviews
Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it is useful feedback for your dealership that you didn’t have to pay a penny for. When your dealership gets positive reviews, it will help your online image and credibility towards new, potential, and current customers. You should cherish your positive reviews, thank those who posted them, and ask satisfied customers to add to them. Constantly monitoring your reviews is the best way to stay in the know about what people are saying about your dealership and your vehicles.
Negative reviews need to be treated differently, but they should never be ignored. Pay attention to trends in what your customers might be unhappy about so that you can improve. Try reaching out to people who have had a bad experience offline. Offer your apologies, and provide your contact information to discuss their complaint more. Offline, you can try to rectify mistakes or offer compensation for an issue that occurred. Sometimes negative reviews handled well can result in positive word of mouth and a new advocate for your dealership. Be sure to respond to positive and negative reviews within about a week.
2. Buying reviews.
Used car dealerships have an exceptionally hard time coming off as trustworthy and caring. If you buy positive reviews for your auto dealership, people will notice. It’s not authentic, and any possible short term benefits will not last. The long term negative impacts could really hurt your dealership’s image. Another thing to consider is that buying reviews is against the code. Any major website that hosts reviews will penalize companies that buy reviews.
People want to be assured that they are being treated fairly and working with honest people when they invest in something as expensive as a vehicle. No one wants to feel like they were misled by fake positive reviews. Don’t try to play the system. Instead, focus on giving people something positive to say about your new or used car dealership.
3. Arguing with reviewers.
Let’s say your dealership received an awful review on a popular review site like Google or Yelp. How would you respond? Did that customer have a point? Does your dealership need to work on customer service, explaining contracts better, or not trying to upsell customers? Be open to the opinions of customers, and pay attention to what they have to say. Try to see things from their perspective before discounting any negative comments.
Replying to a negative review by placing blame elsewhere or answering in anger is never a good choice. It shows that your dealership is not professional and only cares what customers have to say if it’s something that praises you. Maybe you messed up and need to apologize. There’s a small chance that they’re lying about an experience they had with your dealership. That doesn’t give you liberty to respond unprofessionally. Instead of trying to discount negative reviews, lessen their impact with many more positive reviews. People are likely to be understanding if there are a couple negative reviews within a long list of positive ones.
4. Failing to utilize positive reviews.
Your positive reviews and testimonies should be sprinkled throughout your auto dealer website, marketing materials, and emails. People love to see what your past customers have to say about the service or vehicle they received from your car dealership. A simple testimonial in a promotional email can impact peoples’ view of your dealership in a big way.
Asking for positive reviews is absolutely okay, and it’s even encouraged. However, don’t be too pushy. Persistently seeking praises from your customers will eventually get old. If you do get some positive reviews, cherish them because they can counteract your negative reviews and give your dealership a better position in the auto industry among consumers.
Any online reviews serve as valuable feedback, so your dealership should treat them as such. If negative reviews are taking over, try to address the issues being talked about. Also, consider asking satisfied customers to leave a positive review. Most people are happy to leave a good review if they’re asked.
Check out these 6 Vital Tips to Improve Your Dealership’s Online Reputation if you’re looking for more information!