pliers to both the FLMDA eNewsletter program and the eNewsletter solutions being sold by ADP to dealers... No matter how hard Brian and I tried to put the deal together, when the technologists within ADP compared Outsell's technology to IMN, the Outsell systems and technology were simply more robust, better built and used far more database mining technology than IMN... I never gave up on IMN or Brian, but I have been in the room when he did not know I was there and he was speaking on a speaker phone... You will never hear me say anything too terribly bad about IMN or Brian Epro. The IMN Loyalty Driver is a good sound competitor to Outsell and the leadership in technology is something that can change back and forth over the years, but inevitably it is that very same competition that drives those technology improvements.
I have seen Brian Epro exercise some of the highest standards possible from a business ethics perspective, and so will remain a fan of his no matter how often he disparages me or the companies i work for or am aligned with.…
ription because you can't manage something you don't have. So my mission is to assist my dealerships to build a good online reputation to a point where they can market it to retain and gain new customers.
Getting in front of one's reputation ought to always the goal for dealerships, although far too many don't learn this lesson until after they are already being beaten up on the review sites by unhappy customers. A great part of my consulting is devoted to assisting dealerships to create a reputation marketing culture in all levels of their organization, so customers will have less to complain about and to set up simple processes that will deal with customer grips before they decide to share them with the world on the likes of Yelp.
Even with the best of all the above, bad reviews do get posted on the review sites. Every business is only one customer away from a bad reputation. It only takes one bad review to strongly influence customer choice as to where they will take their business. This is especially true for service type review which seem to be what generates most negative review for dealerships.
I look at those 1 and 2 star negative reviews as a wonderful opportunity for the dealership to show, through their response, that they care about their customers and are responsive to criticisms. I firmly believe that all negative reviews need to be quickly responded to by upper management, preferably the GM.
There are two reasons to respond. It is important that the unhappy customers feel that they have been heard and that they are invited to come back and get the problem rectified. Sure, there are some people who are never going to be happy, regardless of what response they get, though, the ones that do become satisfied more than likely will become loyal customers.
The second and more important reason to respond to for all the other potential customers who will read and be influenced by reading those bad reviews. Here is where the greatest opportunity lies. This is the opportunity to demonstrate all those great attributes of the dealership that the 4 and 5 star reviews on the page talk about. It gives the dealership a great platform to assure their potential customers that they are real caring human beings.
Although I have been preaching this since I first started consulting, it was just an unproven theory. It made sense to me, but still unproven. Recently, one of my auto repair shop clients, who enjoyed 147 five star reviews, got a particularly bad and vicious Yelp review. It started out labeling them,, "Shady McSheister's Auto Ripoff!" and then when on for 4 paragraphs outlining the complaint. Can't get much worse than that! I wrote the reply for them, as I do for many of my clients. A few weeks later the shop got a call from a man who wanted to bring in his truck for them to repair. Up front he told them that he was impressed with all the great reviews they had but what got him to choose them was their reply to that 1 star review. He said that demonstrated to him that the shop really cared. Bingo!!!!
Here is the general format I use when responding to such reviews. Remember, the content of every communication is determined by how it is received. It doesn't matter what you intended, it is what the customer heard or perceived that matters.
DO NOT ARGUE WITH OR ATTACK THE REVIEWER. The customer is always right in this venue.
Acknowledge their concerns buy restating the complaint so they know you understand.
Offer any explanation and/or politely and in a non-confronting way, correct any mis-statements.
Offer to make amends or make right
Remember you are really writing this for future readers so being right doesn't matter here, it is all about being perceived as caring and wanting to serve your clients!
As an example, here is the actually review I wrote (Note: I described her as getting "huffy" because that is how she described herself in her review.)
"It is true that we took longer than we normally do. I, the shop manager, had a doctors appointment plus we had two of our best mechanics out sick and work piled up. We usually are able to fulfill our time commitments or we will call our customers with updates. As you can see from our many, many great reviews we usually do much better and even one customer with a bad experience concerns us.
I am terribly sorry that we were not able to communicate better with you. When you called, you got "huffy" so quickly that I guess you did not hear that we were quoting what we felt were needed services, and not that we were charging you for unasked for services we already had done. We would never do that.
As you know, we did not charge you for the oil change because we felt bad about not having your car finished as we had originally scheduled it and how that had, obviously, interfered with your plans for the day. Again, our sincere apologizes."
ler phone calls – the good, the great, and the downright terrible!
In this presentation, panel discussion, and interactive workshop featuring Dealix executives, leading industry sales trainer David Kain of Kain Automotive, and a successful dealer group Internet dealer, plus audience participation, dealers will get tactical ideas for improving their phone call and phone lead handling process that they can apply in their dealerships immediately. Topics will include findings from Dealix’s latest study of phone leads - car buyer phone calls into dealerships and dealer responses; featuring actual recordings of dealers handling incoming phone inquiries into their stores – including terribly-handled phone calls, mixed calls with good and bad lead handling practices, and winning calls that got the consumer into the store and ended in a sale. The panel of experts will discuss what worked and what didn’t in the phone calls, how dealerships can do better, and how dealers can set up a winning phone lead handling process in their stores, from hold music to voice mails to call scripts. Prize giveaways will be included!
David Kain has a unique blend of dealership and manufacturer experience. As dealer principal of his family owned dealership, he learned how to make every dime count and produce sales each day. With FordDirect.com, as a founder and COO, he worked with a talented team to create an industry leading automotive Internet company. As a partner in Jack Kain Ford and Kain Family Ford, he recognizes how important it is to make every facet of a dealership profitable. Kain has a real passion for the automotive Internet, which resulted in his creating Kain Automotive Internet Sales Training and Business Development Center Installation. A summary of his speaking experience and publications he writes for include: NADA, JD Power Internet Roundtable, Dealer Track Innovation Conference, SATURN Corporation Dealer Meetings, Auto Re-marketing UCM Spring Training; Re-marketing Conference, ENG Search and CRM Conference, AAISP Conference and Auto Success Summit. NJCAR, DADA, GADA, NCADA, OADA, NNCTDA, UADA, KADA, GRNCDA, OCADA Internet and BDC columnist for Wards Dealer Business, AutoSuccess, Used Car Dealer Magazine and Dealix, AskPatty, Black Book Newsletters.
Anna Zornosa is general manager of Dealix, a Division of Cobalt. Before joining Dealix in 2007, she managed consumer-facing websites for Yahoo! and Knight Ridder Digital, among others.
Dimitar Alexandrov is a director of products for Dealix Usedcars.com and was a key contributor to its new design and re-launch in January of this year. He has been designing products for dealers and shoppers of pre-owned vehicles for several years, and was formerly on the product management team at Cars.com.…
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