Think of the first thing you do when you’re looking to purchase a car – you look at online reviews. If there are positive reviews, you’re much more likely to go to the next step of the buying process with that business. If there are negative (or a lack of) reviews, you will most likely move on to somewhere else.
No amount of advertising and social media can impact consumers the way reviews do. The internet is a powerful thing, and one bad review can be enough to drive many potential customers away.
In a 2013 study by BrightLocal, a whopping 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews just much as they trust personal recommendations from their friends and family. Let’s face it; local businesses rely heavily on local traffic to get people in the door.
So what does that mean for your auto dealership? If you don’t already have a steady stream of customer reviews coming your way, or if people can’t find them online, it’s time to think of a new strategy.
The tricky part is that you can’t just ask your customers for positive reviews, because they are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased. Some review sites can even penalize your business for soliciting reviews.
Below are a few strategies to get more positive reviews without asking:
It’s possible that your customers don’t even know that your dealership is on sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local or any other popular review site. So, it’s your job to make sure they know! Make it easier for people to find your dealership online by posing a “Find us on (Review Site)” message on all social media platforms and embed a widget on your website and blog. Be creative! The key is to engage online visitors well enough to look your dealership up on a review site without any added pressure.
Utilize AdWords to reach those who have recently purchased a car or service from your business and let them know that you’d love their feedback about the experience! Drop the remarketing tag on a page that marks the end of your conversion cycle. For example, you can drop it on your “Thank You” page after an online interaction or embed it in their online invoice. Try having your remarketing campaign land on a short survey or a page that invites consumer feedback.
To avoid aggravating your customers, end the campaign when they land on the desired page or after a fixed amount of time. Your ad content will have to be first-rate to stand out against other ads, so take this time to showcase your dealership’s unique personality! Be colorful, be creative and remember to test the results!
I recently visited a local business and since I had a great experience, I took it upon myself to write a positive review about them on my Facebook page. They almost immediately shared my post on their Page and commented with a friendly ‘thank you’ message. Because they made me feel like my review had an impact, I am even more likely to write another one the next time I visit.
Acknowledging positive reviews can be an incentive for others to review without asking them to. Be sure to thank individuals publicly on social media platforms and highlight reviews on your dealership’s website or in it’s newsletter.
Also, don’t ignore any negative feedback! Take that opportunity to listen to your customers and promptly address the issue. You could turn a dissatisfied customer’s experience into a positive one by acknowledging their pain points and offering a solution.
Provide Incredible Customer Service
There is one fool-proof way to get reviews without ever saying the word. I’m talking about knock your socks off, amazing customer service. Treat every single one of your customers like gold. Make them want to rave about their experience to their friends, family and of course, all over the internet!
With outstanding customer service and a few online tactics in place, your dealership will be booming with reviews before no time!