Hello Dealer Knows:
I know I should have been paying attention to it before, but I recently stumbled upon a bunch of bad reviews of our dealership, both in our service department and sales. What are some action items we can do to start yielding positive reviews?
Any guidance would be appreciated.
Bob P – General Manager
Joe Webb replies…
First things first, you need to develop a response and apology strategy for newly found negative reviews (and a grateful response for positive ones.) Time is of the essence when responding to negative reviews and it is imperative to not be antagonistic. However, that’s another Ask the Expert entirely. 🙂
If you want to garner positive reviews, it begins by just getting your sales and service teams to ASK customers for one. It starts there. Let me say that there is no “quick fix” for reputation management, but some things you can do to start enforcing its importance in the stores. (All reviews/ratings should be directed to Google, Edmunds, Yelp, Cars.com, and DealerRater. (There are several smear sites out there that you can respond to, but not worthy of directing any review traffic). In the end, the best way to overcome negative reviews is by drowning them out with positive reviews. (DealerKnows looks for a 9:1 ratio). And I cannot give any steps to garnering positive reviews without saying that the most important thing you can do is by actually taking care of customers the right way.
A few things that can be done in store to promote positive reviews:
1) Postcards at the service cashier desk that are stapled to every single RO/Customer Receipt asking for feedback/review of the service they experienced. (You need to ask everyone, even if it gives you some stinkers. Maybe your service department will start treating people nicer if they know that every customer is being given a slip of paper asking for their feedback.)
2) Label stickers (and eventually printed backs) on the back of every salesperson’s business card that states something to the effect of..
Reviews from our customers mean the world to us.
How did I do? Tell me here –
(It is simple to create a shortened url and direct it specifically to your Google Plus Places page)
3) DealerKnows is known for their best-in-class automotive email templates and follow-up process. One element of that is a post-sale email template going out to every sold customer 1-day after purchase that politely asks for a review at either your Google Plus Places page or Edmunds.
4) (MORE ADVANCED) Create another website/landing page that you can direct customers to with multiple review sites listed for the customer to choose. (One example of this is https://iloverairdon.com )
5) (MORE ADVANCED) Give every Finance Manager a 3g wireless iPad (only connected to 3g), and before presenting menu options of warranties and protection plans, asking all customers to submit a review right there in store on the iPad.
There are countless additional ways to yield positive reviews, but some of these simple point-of-sale scenarios seem to bring the most impact. Doing any of these should start to move the needle to more positive reviews, but executing all of them above would have you likely dominating your entire market within a year or two.
Hope this helps and thanks for the question. Sorry if I got long-winded.