Trust is the currency for any business. A recent study by Oberlo revealed that 81 percent of consumers need to trust a brand to do business with them. This proves that establishing and maintaining customer trust is the key to long-term success – and should be the core principle of any digital marketing campaign.
In the digital era, business owners can’t build trust and credibility around their brand without a solid online reputation. And an online reputation cannot be cultivated without online reviews. This is true for car dealerships: According to SalesFuel, 59 percent of customers choose a dealership based on reputation through online automotive shop reviews.
But the internet can be a cruel place, and car dealership owners know that less-than-ideal conditions, such as bad customer service or high prices, can lead to bad reviews from unsatisfied customers. Therefore, proactive generation and management of reviews are needed to build a solid online reputation and become the go-to car dealership in town.
In this blog, we unpack the best practices for car dealer reviews collection and discuss the importance of online reviews in search engine optimization (SEO).
Best Practices for Car Dealer Reviews Collection and Management
A car is a significant purchase. Understandably, consumers would only want to do business with trustworthy new and used car dealers. Reviews are an indicator of customer trust, but most car dealership owners don’t know how to acquire them for their business.
The following are best practices for generating and managing car dealer reviews to strengthen your credibility online and attract more customers.
Ask for Car Dealership Ratings and Reviews
The best thing to do to get automotive shop reviews is to ask. Most customers are willing, but they need a little push in the right direction. A study conducted by BrightLocal in 2019 discovered that 76 percent of people who are asked to leave reviews for a business go on to do so. There’s no reason your customers won’t too!
How To Ask a Customer for a Review
So, how to ask a customer for a review that is guaranteed to produce favorable results?
Here are some ways to go about it:
- Via email – Email is the most popular form of review generation today. According to ReviewTrackers, 70 percent of customer reviews come from post-transactional review request emails.
- On social media – A business must have a social media presence to stay competitive. With 4.8 billion active daily users across social media platforms ready to interact with your business, new and used car dealers should take advantage of this large consumer base to collect ratings and testimonials proactively.
- Through your website – Be sure to add calls-to-action (CTAs) on various locations on your website, prompting clients to leave reviews on your preferred platform.
- In-person – This is an ideal method since car dealerships most often conduct on-site transactions.
When thinking about how to ask a customer for a review, it is essential to be straightforward. Also, mention in your request that their ratings will help you improve your products or services.
Make the Process Effortless
Let’s face it: Most customers are impatient. They’re not likely to take any action that they perceive to be complicated or time-consuming. For this reason, it’s your job to make the review collection process as easy as possible. Asking too many questions or directing them to too many pages drives them away.
So it’s a good idea to mention that leaving car dealership ratings and reviews only takes a couple of seconds. Adding the time qualifier and highlighting the simplicity of the process wins over a customer who’s on the fence about giving automotive shop reviews.
Engage With Reviews
The worst thing you can do is ignore a review. Responding to car dealer reviews is an easy way to engage with your customers, which will subsequently improve your brand identity. A simple response shows that you care about your customers’ opinions and appreciate their trust in your car dealership.
How To Respond to a Customer Review
When you start receiving testimonials, you’re likely to receive a mix of positive and negative reviews from your clients.
Here’s how you can knock your review responses out of the park:
Responding to Negative Reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable. Unfortunately, customers are three times more likely to leave bad automotive shop reviews after a negative experience than a positive review after a positive experience.
But negative reviews aren’t always bad for business. They can be an excellent way to gain insightful customer feedback and examine aspects of your dealership that need improvement.
However, if you do receive bad feedback, here’s how to respond appropriately:
- Assess the feedback – Before responding, internally assess the feedback to formulate a proper response. It’s easy to get carried away when you get a bad review, but reacting impulsively increases the chances of making a mistake and aggravating the situation.
- Apologize – Always say you’re sorry for a customer’s bad experience and empathize with them, even if you think no mistakes were made.
- Move the conversation offline – New and used car dealers can include this statement in the response: “If you would like to discuss this issue further, please contact us at [email or phone number].”
- Learn from your mistakes – Mistakes are inevitable when you own any business. But it is through mistakes that you learn. Use the negative reviews to make improvements in your processes and customer service.
Responding to negative reviews is vital to effective brand reputation management. But new and used car dealers know how challenging it is to run this type of business, and online reputation often becomes second priority.
Hiring online reputation management companies is the best way to balance your efforts between your core operations and marketing efforts. Professionals are more equipped to handle negative reviews for you and know how to respond to a customer review, negative or positive.
Responding to Positive Reviews
Online reviews are public – they show off positive conversations about your business to your potential clients. In addition, responding to a positive review is a great way to show appreciation to your customers.
When thinking about how to respond to a customer review remember this: Always reply sooner rather than later, ideally under 24 hours. Addressing your customer by name is also good practice because the response appears more personal and sincere.
How To Thank a Customer for a Review
Customers are loyal to businesses that make them feel valued. The good news is, that’s not very hard to do! By simply thanking them for their car dealer reviews, you are already strengthening your relationship with them.
Wondering how to thank a customer for a review properly? Use this template:
Hi [customer’s name], thank you for taking the time to write a review. Your satisfaction is our #1 priority, and we are happy to hear that you are satisfied with our service. Thank you again for your review!”
Feel free to customize it to make it more suitable for you.
Employ Reputation Management Consultants
Collecting and managing car dealership ratings and reviews takes a lot of time. And time is a limited resource for car dealers.
There is always the option to get reputation management services from professionals. Here’s why turning to professionals makes better business sense:
- Experts from online reputation management companies have years of experience growing businesses across industries.
- Brand reputation management specialists understand the importance of online reviews in gaining customer trust.
- They have an advanced reputation management tool at their disposal that helps them streamline the review acquisition process.
- Reputation management consultants understand the art behind review response. They know how to thank a customer for a review and appropriately respond to negative feedback to rebuild customer trust.
Leaving your review generation and response initiatives to them is the best thing you can do for your car dealership.
The Importance of Online Reviews in Search Engine Optimization
Online reviews do a lot more than establish your reputation online – it’s also an integral factor in SEO.
Customers trust search engines. Eighty-nine percent of online consumers start their buying journey by searching for products or services online, as reported by Smart Insights. Google, the world’s largest and most popular search engine, considers online reviews essential ranking factors. Therefore, the more reviews your car dealership has, the more likely it will appear among the top search results.
More and more businesses recognize the importance of search engine reputation management to gain more conversions. Failing to adapt to the latest marketing trends will lead to missed opportunities for deals.
Considering the power of trust, your auto dealership can’t ignore the importance of brand reputation management in positioning you as the leading provider in town.
Stay on top of online conversations surrounding your business with our reputation management services. The team at Rize Reviews is more than happy to help you with your search engine reputation management strategies. With our robust reputation management tool, we boost your brand power, create localized campaigns and collect data to create a rich customer database.
Reach out to one of our experts, and we’ll fortify your reputation through high-quality and trustworthy reviews!