I spend my day talking with dealers across the country about reputation management. One of the dealers that I'd been speaking with made a terrible decision over the weekend and I wanted to share with everybody here.
Pasted below are the first google reviews (this is a fairly big dealership in a busy metropolitan area), do you see where this dealerships is making a huge mistake?
If you said the mistake was the fraudulent authors of these posts, give yourself a pat on the back. These reviews from "Local" and "Certified Users" are completely false. When I clicked on them, I found they had posted nothing but 5 star reviews, signed often with different names and the one I was looking at reviewed 4 different car dealers talking about their great experience buying a car (they must have a lot). I expect to see legit reviews calling these out in less than a week.
Anyone that thinks consumers are stupid enough to fall for this needs to wake up. "Old School" tactics of trying to deceive customers into a sale is a losing game with 21st century consumers' access to information. I like that dealers are realizing that customer reviews have a massive impact on business, but tricks like this lose more business than they gain.