Automotive Reputation Management Software
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Automotive Reputation Management
David Mogensen, head of Google’s YouTube Ads Product Marketing team and an automotive industry veteran, listed 3 things for a dealer to keep in mind regarding an automotive shopper. The first one he listed was to have a robust online presence that covers every step of the car buying process.[i] He also remarked that the average car buyer will only visit two dealerships in the process and that the search term “car dealerships near me” doubled from 2014 to 2015.
This is especially true for up and coming drivers. AutoTrader and Kelly Blue Book analyzed Generation Z’s car buying habits.[ii] Generation Z are those born between 1998 and now.
According to that study, they are the 80 million new drivers that will be making first car purchases in the coming years. Generation Z’s influence through parental or household purchases amounts to an estimated $200 billion in annual spending power. They are not writing the majority of the checks, but they will influence where that money is spent.
But your dealership’s online presence and reputation management for car dealers strategy should also account for all ages. Every generation from the Baby Boomers to Generation Z rely heavily on the internet to find information on cars with the following breakdowns:
- 75% of Gen Z;
- 80% of Millennials;
- 77% of Gen X; and
- 75% of Baby Boomers.[iii]
Clearly the internet is the most important tool for consumers when deciding a on car purchases. Your online presence can help consumers decide where to make that purchase.
How Dealer’s Are Perceived on the Internet
“Dealerships Ignore Online Reviews at their Peril” is the title of an article written by David Barkholz, a reporter with Automotive News. [iv] The headline is certainly attention grabbing, but he came to that conclusion about reputation management for car dealers after analyzing hard data. Specifically, a Cars.com study which compared dealership ratings between those that responded to customer reviews and those that did not.
Cars.com Vice President for Strategy was cited as stating, “stores that responded to online reviews tended to get higher star ratings than those that didn’t.” That proof is highlighted by showing the states with the highest and lowest dealership ratings and how often they responded to customer reviews:
- Delaware’s average dealer rating was 4.7 stars (out of 5) and responded to 60% of reviews;
- South Dakota’s average rating was 3.9 stars and responded to 10% of reviews.
Reviews were relatively equally divided among the different aspects of a car dealership:
- 38% of all reviews were for used-vehicle sales;
- 37% were for new-vehicle sales;
- 24% were for vehicle services.
Mr. Barkholz acknowledged that monitoring and responding to online reviews can be tough for busy managers or internet staff but also remarked that consumers “who increasingly look at reviews when deciding where to shop or get service” see dealership responses as acknowledgement that the store cares about feedback. He also remarked that responding to negative reviews can show a potential customer that the store “is willing to go to extra lengths to correct a poor experience.”
Cars.com is not the only source that thinks online reviews are an important way to judge a dealership. In order to even be considered for DealerRater’s Dealer of the Year Award, a dealer has to have 25 new reviews over the past year and an average of at least 4 out of 5-star rating. The highest rated dealer in the US, and the winner of the Dealer of the Year Award in 2014, had an average rating of 4.875 stars and 723 reviews.[v]
Monitoring Reviews with Auto Dealer Reputation Management Software
As Mr. Barkholz noted, it can be time consuming to respond to reviews. So let our software do that work for you. Our auto repair shop and car dealer reputation management software monitors over 100 review sites for you. When a new review is posted, you will receive notice within 24-48 hours. With us monitoring your reviews, you no longer have to search individual sites like Cars.com, DealerRater, Facebook, Google, or any other sites listed here.
Not only does our reputation management for auto dealers solution notify you of any new reviews, we also give you an easy platform from which you can quickly respond to that new review. This means not only are you quickly responding to that particular customer’s comment, you are also showing prospective customers that you take each experience seriously.
Getting Feedback with Car Dealer Reputation Management Software
Our platform also gives you a direct feedback tool. You can ask customers to leave feedback through our automotive reputation management software, which will be directly visible on your dashboard, which is your page within our software from which you manage all of these features. This direct feedback gives you real-time intelligence on how your most recent customers are feeling about their purchases.
If a customer had a positive experience, we ask them to leave a review and direct them to a review site of your choosing. By directing these customers directly to an automotive review site, you nudge them in the right direction to tell the public about their positive experience.
If a customer had a neutral experience, we ask them to follow you on social media. This gives those customers an opportunity to look through your resources as well as to stay connected with your dealership so they are updated with any news or specials you are pushing.
If a customer had a negative experience, we give them a comment field that goes directly to you. This opens a private dialogue between the customer and you so the conflict can be resolved before the customer posts a negative review. It allows the customer to vent his or her frustrations directly to management instead of the rest of the world.
According to Mr. Barkholz’s article, negative reviews averaged 150 words while the overall average for length was 62 words. We cannot prevent all negative reviews. We can, however, give a customer with a negative experience direct access to your management team to address the issue right away and take some of the edge off the raw emotion that is so common with negative reviews.
We have, hopefully, shown you the importance of managing your online reputation. With our car repair shop and auto dealer reputation management software, managing your reputation will be quick, easy, and help you to connect even more with your customers. To learn more specifics about our solution for reputation management for auto dealers, visit this page.
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References:[i] https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/five-auto-shopping-moments-every-brand-must-own.html [ii] http://agameautotrader.com/agame/pdf/2016-gen-z-study-autotrader-kbb.pdf [iii] http://agameautotrader.com/agame/pdf/2016-gen-z-study-autotrader-kbb.pdf [iv] http://www.autonews.com/article/20150413/RETAIL07/304139991/dealerships-ignore-online-reviews-at-their-peril [v] http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/car-news/dealerrater-announces-top-rated-car-dealers