Online car dealership reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing. Before visiting your showroom, most car shoppers will perform research on the internet to learn about both their vehicle of interest and which dealership to choose. One of the quickest and most credible sources for a curious shopper to peruse is the dealership’s online reviews.
The most common places reviews are posted include (but are not limited to) the following:
Third-Party Automotive Site Reviews (Cars.com, Edmunds.com, and KBB.com)
A key, crucial component of car dealer reviews that is often overlooked is the review response. For both negative and positive reviews, the dealership’s response is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the dealer and the reviewer as well as indicate the tone of your business to onlookers.
A negative review provides an opportunity to demonstrate your desire to make things right. Car shoppers understand that a dealership is run by individual people and as such human error is possible. Typically, no matter how damaging the negative review seems, there is potential to turn around the reviewer and assuage the impression left on those reading the exchange by displaying genuine concern. By promptly and publicly addressing the unhappy reviewer, you diffuse the situation a bit. Offer appreciation for the feedback and a direct line of communication with an individual at the dealership with whom they can further discuss their experience. Even if you cannot make the reviewer happy, you save face and strengthen your dealership’s reputation by being available and transparent.
A well-constructed review reply demonstrates the character of your dealership team. Every exchange is an opportunity to WOW your community, your customers, and those who may be considering shopping with you. Never become defensive or argue in review replies – at the same time you should not apologize for any perceived wrong-doing, rather you should attempt to move the conversation offline.
Here is an area where most dealers totally drop the ball, you must also reply to all your POSITIVE reviews! We all know the public tends to make a lot of noise when they are angry and to remain silent when all is well. When a shopper bucks that trend and takes time out of their busy schedule to leave a positive review praising your dealership – YOU BETTER THANK THEM! Acknowledge the individual by greeting them with their name or screen name, thank them for the review, congratulate them on their new vehicle if it is a sales review, and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Include personal details from their post in your reply and wrap by offering an invitation to return to your showroom should they need anything in the future.
By taking the time to reply to everyone you show how much your dealership values the individuals you serve. Including personal details shows that you are genuine, and they haven’t received an auto-reply. Interjecting a bit of personality is a fun way to show off your dealership’s playful side. Don’t be afraid to be conversational and friendly with your tone. No matter what, be prompt and polite to everyone.