Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
In the past the dealership did not handle things well with our customer relations and consequently we have paid the price by having the worst on-line reviews I have seen.
I am new to the dealership and am implementing a turnaround plan that seems to be starting to work, slowly but it is working.
I am so frustrated with Yelp. I just cannot get positive reviews to stick on Yelp. I am well aware of their filters and do not try to back-door yelp to try and get reviews posted. My customers write something nice about us and it never, I mean never sticks… even when the customer is a yelp user?
I am really frustrated. How is a dealer who has changed its ways supposed to make the turn around with sites like yelp? Then the Yelp rep has the nerve to call me today to sell their program to me. If I knew it would help I would buy, but I hear it does not matter.
I have nothing positive to say about Yelp, is it just me or am I missing something, Feedback.
The frustration you are experiencing is being felt around the country. Identifying customers that are active on Yelp.com, that have passed the Yelp filtering by posting reviews for many businesses, are very hard to find. With the current filtering and policies in place at Yelp, dealers will continue to be frustrated.
Thanks for the great feedback.
Micah's guidance is very much corroborated by my own direct experience with Yelp... I highly recommend that all dealers who are proactive with their reputation, and who monitor and respond to what their customers have to say, invest in the Yelp "Enhanced Profile" upgrade. Plus, as Micah points out, asking non-yelpers to post a review for your dealership is virtually guaranteed to cause that review to get filtered and pulled from being visible on your dealership's Yelp profile.
But, there is one other Yelp policy issue you will want to keep in mind... Officially, Yelp does not condone or in any way recommend that you ask customers for a review on Yelp. Now, let me make it clear that i disagree with this Yelp philosophy and have debated their stance with several Yelp executives both in public and in private meetings. But, as it stands, Yelp senior executives will say that they do not want businesses to solicit Yelp reviews. However, placing signage that Yelp provides in the form of decals that go on glass entry and exit doors to your showroom is something that many businesses do and is quite effective... More effective than I ever thought it would be!
I also find it interesting that many people in the car business are surprised to learn that Yelp is as much a social network as a review site. One of the "Best Practices" I recommend to anyone working in a customer facing role at a dealership is to become a Yelper and be active within the Yelp community. This is a great way to connect with other people in your market area and in many cities the Yelp events are a blast! The last Yelp party I attended in Phoenix had well over 150 active Yelpers there and many of them were business owners who want to connect with other Yelpers and do business with them... Being an active Yelper often indicates to people that you will deliver customer service above and beyond the norm.
Please feel free to visit my Yelp profile and friend me at http://paglia.yelp.com/
The ADM Professional Community has a Yelp profile at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/automotive-digital-marketing-gilbert and we would love to receive reviews and recommendations from ADM members there!
Where does one find banners and stickers for use on property?
Ban yelp the way consumers would ban an unscrupulous car dealer. There are plenty of ways to hedge your reputation management strategy including your Google strategy for that matter. We shouldn’t fall prey to those charlatans that purport dealers need this product or service to integrate their offline and online strategy. I’m beginning to think a custom mobile app is really the answer where dealers can get instantaneous feedback, even recorded audio comments, from their clients.
Albert, managing your dealership's presence on Yelp is really not about Yelp at all, it is about that dealership's customers who are members of the Yelp Community. Customers do matter, and banning something that customers like to use is in the same category as hiding your inventory so customers "have to come to the dealership in person to see what we have in stock..." The bottom line is that THEY DON'T! They go somewhere else... Dealers that properly use Yelp will enjoy a competitive advantage over the dealers that do not... That should be pretty easy to understand.
Micah, when a dealer is working directly with Yelp, they can be far more effective by steering clear of rubbing it in their faces when what they are doing is the opposite of what yelp recommends. I agree that what Yelp recommends has little or nothing to do with a dealer acting in their business's best interest, but will argue that if you are working with Yelp, a basic understanding of Yelp guidelines, business member policies and recommendations is, in fact relevant.
Randy, I just went through the Midway Dodge Yelp Business Profile in depth and brother, I feel your pain! I do want to compliment you on responding in a very personal manner to the negative reviews, it looks like you understand customer service and I was glad to see that you did not chastise the reviewers or dispute their issues. I am curious, on the negative reviews, have you verified that these people are actual customers that have done business with Midway Dodge?
Also, some of the complaints sound pretty rough, like collecting sales tax at the time of sale and then making the customer pay it again on the same purchase in Wisconsin... How can that be? If it was corrected and the sales tax collected refunded to the customer, it would be appropriate to either ask her to post the outcome, or state as such in your response which is publicly visible.
What really should be the red flag is not Yelp, but rather the nature of the customer complaints posted to Yelp which would seem to indicate a far worse problem than your dealership's Yelp score. On the other hand, if they were all lying and your dealership did not actually do the very detailed customer service malfunctions, then you are right to stand up for the store and get some Yelpers to post positive reviews based on the great experiences they really did have at Midway Dodge.
As I mentioned before the dealership had some issues in the past. Some of what is written in the reviews is accurate and has been addressed with the customers. Since I have been with the dealership (3-months now) we have re-staffed, reorganized and re-grouped and have put most of the negative issues behind us. The hard part now is putting distance between the old and the new. I even have an old disgruntled employee who launched a Face Book page over a year ago title “I Hate Midway Dodge” I have done everything I can to get Face book to remove the page with no success. I have tried to locate the individual who posted the page and he is nowhere to be found. Its things like that which frustrate me because it seems I have no quick fix to extinguish these issue and they can influence my new customer base so easily. I do understand that this is the punishment for the way our dealership conducted business in the past. I am pushing The New Midway Dodge hard in all our media and including positive reviews and testimonials everywhere. I strongly feel taking the positive message to the customer in every way possible before they see some of the negative is one way to convince them we have committed to giving them a satisfying buying experience .
One of the things I've noticed is that the Yelp situation you step into can take a lot of time to change and depending the store, may never change. I know of dealers that have been trying to build up their rating for years, yet their star rating is pretty much always the same give or take a 1/2 star. A 2-star dealer for instance always seems to be that despite their best efforts to get more reviews. I'm not saying the issue is hopeless, but the fix (in my opinion) isn't in getting reviews. It's in the culture within the particular dealership.
Has that changed? I'm not saying it hasn't, but are people going out of their way to blow customers away with awesome customer service? Especially when the customer is looking for things to be made right? For instance, if someone calls and has a problem on a car they just bought what happens? Does the sales person pass the buck or personally followup on the issue, talk to service and then even wait for the customer to pull up in the service drive to greet them, give them an overview of the plan and make all the proper introductions? If people all over the dealership are going the extra mile in unexpected ways the reviews will come.