Car dealerships depend on a strong reputation that’s built and sustained over time through productive relationships with renters, buyers, leasers, and car shoppers in general. It is through these everyday interactions, acts of professionalism via phone calls, and providing expert guidance to shoppers, that long-term loyalty is formed with customers and new customers are attracted. Oftentimes, dealerships will ask customers to fill out surveys or leave feedback detailing their experience with their service in an attempt to manage their reputation and adjust protocols accordingly. 

This indeed is an important tactic, but it ignores a key aspect of customer recruitment and retention in the digital sphere: online reputation management. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of ways to accelerate your online reputation. 

Respond to Customer Reviews

Perhaps the most obvious form of reputation management for car dealers is providing prompt, thorough, and professional responses to customer reviews left online. There’s a common connotation that reputation management only exists to correct wrong-doings or explain mishaps, but this is actually not the case. In all scenarios, ensure to your customers that they aren’t posting comments into oblivion. 

The Good: While responding to negative car dealer reviews is important, communicating with those posting positive feedback is equally helpful toward retaining happy customers. Appropriate comments for positive reviews could include, “thanks for leaving a great review” or “we’re happy you were pleased with our service!” 

The Bad: “Bad” reviews could basically be seen as anything that isn’t a good review. In other words, these comments could include a mix of positive and negative, they could contain constructive criticism, or they could just be one-off events. It’s important when responding to poor reviews that you never place blame on the customer or attempt to explain why something went wrong. These responses will continue to prove fruitless and similarly frustrate customers. 

The Ugly: There may be some reviews that are deemed more detrimental than others. Maybe there was a feud between one of your employees and a customer, or maybe a customer is claiming that they received a faulty or dangerous vehicle that was sold from your shop. In these cases, deeper attention and consideration are needed, and it should probably encourage a manager to step in and take action. 

Multiple Web Presences: 

We’re all familiar with the impact that customer-generated review forums can have on businesses. Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, and similar emerging platforms have proven to have tangible influences on business far beyond the computer screen. The first step in implementing proper reputation management for car dealers is to claim these online listings. Make sure that your account is constantly updated with deals or offerings, and quickly respond to any reviews that are left. In addition, claiming these sites can also help with SEO and Google ranking initiatives, as it further demonstrates your legitimacy and consistency online. Along with claiming these listings, consider the following: 

  • Create, maintain, and grow prominent social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to monitor all feedback that occurs on social media. Software services, such as Sprout Social, are designed to effectively monitor and isolate this activity to provide to you. 
  • Claim listings on sites that are industry-specific to the car dealership space, like DealerRater or CarFax. This will be where a majority of shoppers new and old will be interacting. 

Fully-Functional Website: 

Your website should include widgets and feedback sections that are easily accessible. Create forms that go directly to your dealership managers tasked with responding to both positive and negative car dealer reviews and respond within 24 hours. An upgraded website not only promotes a strong relationship with customers leaving feedback, but it also can attract new customers with the addition of exciting content! For great reputation management, your dealership website should include the following functions:  

Blog Section: Showcase to your customers that your dealership is a collective thought-leader in the auto industry. Blogs are a great way to inform, attract, entertain, and similarly can help with local Google ranking performance. 

FAQ Page: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages can be specific to your dealership and can even help to prevent future negative comments. Prompt website visitors to click on this page so that some of their questions are answered before leaving comments, thus improving that initial communication into a positive experience. 

“About Us” Page: This is your chance to introduce your team of experts, the areas you serve, your passion for helping shoppers find their perfect car and more. This helps to humanize your dealership and provide friendly faces to potentially skeptical buyers. 

How can beMarketing Help Boost Your Online Rep. Management? 

At beMarketing, we understand that you more than likely don’t have the time or the technical background to create, manage, and constantly interact with these review forums, complex website upgrades, and the seemingly endless flow of car dealer reviews. Fortunately for you, we have access to both the most comprehensive tools available on the market and an expert team of digital pioneers who specialize in online reputation management. We use by-the-minute tracking to craft timely, professional responses to reviews that appear online, and our web team creates stunning sites that foster meaningful conversations with customers. 

Not experiencing the results you need? Trust beMarketing to provide seamless solutions to showcase your brand image in the best positive light. Connect with us today!