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The power of positive reviews on sites like Google and Dealerrater are undeniable but the reality is customers who have a negative experience have a higher motivational force to submit reviews. Being proactive with your happy customers is the best practice for getting positive reviews so how are you being proactive? What are you doing to get more positive reviews from your happy customers? Are you doing anything with service customers?

Tags: automotive, reviews

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We have been encouraging dealers to attack this on multiple fronts.  The first is to empower the sales and service teams with Google Places App on their iphones and iPads.  By asking customers if they have a Google account, they can use the new App to post reviews inside the dealership.


If customers don't have a Google Account you can customize email templates, create post card reminders, and update your CSI phone call templates to all emphasize the review process.


In store review sites like also make it easy for dealers to collect reviews when happy customers are in the dealership.  Now that PrestoReviews are also being rolled up into Google Places, it creates another reason to consider and in-store solution.

In any case, I strongly encourage dealers to start with getting reviews posted directly on Google Places since they can use the high star counts in Google Boost.  The Google Places App is the fastest way to accelerate reviews on Places.


Great tips Brian! I really enjoyed your presentation on Google Places at Innovative Dealer Summit 2011!
Thanks Brian for the Google Places App tip - we've been hashing over ideas about how best to get positive Google User reviews, since as you mentioned not everyone has a Google account - there ya go!  See ya at #DD10 @automotiveseo

Hi Brian-


Are you saying that the salesperson would ask their customer to post a review on Google thru the Google Places app on the salesman's phone?



Responding to negative reviews is an important part of social marketing. By promptly addressing a negative review in a constructive and courteous manner, you can ameliorate the reviewer's dissatisfaction -- and show other visitors to the review site how you interact with customers.

Better dealerships and service shops should expect to receive fewer negative reviews than competitors. And, if a reviewer is way off base, review readers will pick up on this quickly, particularly in the context of your published efforts to make things right.

Customers do not expect perfection from car dealers or manufacturers. But they do feel entitled to fair treatment and a process for addressing their complaints. Social media like Google Reviews, Dealerrater, Yelp and Facebook provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate great customer service to a broad audience.
Bruce, I totally agree. People realize a business is not perfect and a certain number of negative reviews are natural. As you mentioned, it is how you address them that will have a longer term impact on people than all perfect reviews because that will raise peoples eyebrows.



I'm confused, but maybe you didn't mean to say you had to use the phones and App?  I've gotten Google Reviews directly on the property on the Dealer's IP without issue.  I can't speak for Google, but the caution that is in their FAQs is that relevance is the key, not location.  If a customer is on a wireless network with his iPad at a dealer and does a review, it's not any less relevant because it's behind the dealer's router.  Google is not clear on all that they watch for, except that reviews from the same IP can be flagged for POSSIBLE abuse; I believe this lack of clarity is part of their effort, in fact, to not let on all the flags and determinations they make about reviews for ANY business.


Because IP can be tracked to a phone, or at least to a common IP on the phone network provider, using a 3G or 4G device doesn't assure you have a "differing" IP amongst reviews, either.  The flag for Google consideration is the SAME IP giving a lot of reviews; if they look relevant and aren't from "insta-made" gmail accounts, which is the case I'm using here, on-site reviews make sense.






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