How many times has your dealership suffered because of a bad review that turns out not to be justified? How often have potential car buyers and service customers taken their business elsewhere because of an unappealing online presence?
Auto dealers should pay attention to managing their reputation and it’s surprisingly easy when the tools and means are readily available. Here are some questions and answers that you should consider in managing your dealership’s reputation.
What is the importance of a good online presence?
When it comes to auto dealer reputation management, having a good online presence is the first step in managing your reputation. Most people find out about your dealership through search results on Google, social media platforms such as Facebook, and review sites such as Cars.com, Edmunds and Yelp. That means reputation management on these and other online platforms where your dealership appears is vital.
To ensure you’re on top of your online reputation, be sure to partner with a reputation management expert like Digital Air Strike or designate someone at your dealership whose full-time job is to monitor all online platforms and look for and respond to all reviews and comments. Staying on top of your online presence ensures that customers notice that you are concerned about their experience even after the purchase or service.
How do you respond to negative reviews?
One of the critical events for auto dealer reputation management is a bad review. A dissatisfied customer may complain about your business for whatever reason. Responding to negative reviews requires being transparent and professional.
This means that you acknowledge the feedback without admitting fault re honest and brave about accepting feedback. It also means that your tone of response counts.
For instance, imagine that you are confronted with a negative review about how the customer didn’t get a free car wash after service. You first want to acknowledge the feedback and then offer to take the conversation offline and follow up by phone. It’s never a good idea to get defensive, be argumentative or make promises of discounts or free offers online.
Protecting your online reputation is as much about how you respond to reviews as it is about getting good reviews.
How do you get people to review your business?
On the other hand, getting positive feedback will help an auto dealer’s reputation management. One of the best ways to get more positive online reviews is to survey your customers and ask that they complete a brief survey about their experience with your dealership. Then make it easy for happy customers to post their positive feedback as a public review on top review sites.
Getting feedback and reviews from customers has other benefits. For instance, a good review of a particular salesperson’s service may give you useful data for a performance evaluation in the future.
The feedback from customer surveys is also a great way to get alerted to any problems at your dealership and give you the opportunity to fix a situation before it does become a negative online review and before the survey from the manufacturer arrives.
This is a just a brief overview of auto dealer reputation management. If you’d like a custom analysis of your dealership’s online reputation including quick tips to fix what we find, request a free intel report today here.