Automotive Digital Marketing

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Before I decide to make a purchase on any big ticket item,  I search the company’s name in Google and see the rating  the business received. I also read a couple of the customer reviews. I, like most shoppers, am turned off by bad reviews. Shoppers are using the Web now, more than ever to research and review companies.

Which rating service should dealerships pay most attention to? Google and here’s why:

I googled a local dealership here in Orlando, and the first rating I see is that of Google 22/30 which is great! Notice their (4.5 rating) review is ranked in the Google search below Yelp (1.5 rating)  and Autotrader. If you did this exercise for any dealership, you would find the results would be about the same.

So, how can you boost your star/rating power and in turn, gain more traffic to your dealership and potentially increase sales?

Communicate for engagement:

  • Solicit reviews from customers within 48 hours of working with them.
    • By creating and implementing a feedback program, you initiate a conversation with your customers, helping them to become truly involved in your brand.
  • Talk with disgruntled customers to solve problems in a timely manner, just don’t ignore them.
    • If one of your customers has a poor experience with your dealership and decides to go with your competition, there is little point in contacting that customer three months later.
    • Crisis management and customer service are examples of priority responses. Countering negative comments and reinforcing the positive will only grow in importance.
    • Look at the positive: a complaint is free intel—much cheaper than the research you pay outside vendors to conduct.

Understand Google Rating as well as other rating services:

  • Google accepts only internally generated reviews, not those forwarded to them by other websites. It’s important for dealerships to direct customers to Google through links on their website.
  • Google, since the purchase of Zagat, has gone from rating business with stars to scoring customer reviews on a 30 point scale. Here is the new scoring guide:


My point?Better reviews could mean more sales for your dealership! You can also ask specific follow-up questions in addition to having customers fill out a Google or DealerRater review. Doing this, can help create solutions for customer issues that will improve your business and keep future customers from having the same concern. By following these suggestions, you should be able to get a 5 star or 30/30 rating in no time!

What do you think? Are Google reviews vital to the success of your brand? Or does your dealership focus on another rating platform? Do you have any suggestions to improve your Google rating?


Views: 75

Tags: boost, google, rating, ratings., tips, to, your


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Comment by Ketty Colom on July 9, 2012 at 6:27am

Hi Aaron, for surveys that are done at the time of delivery, I would make these kind of surveys as short as possible. Here is also an article I found from the New York Times going into further detail:

Comment by Aaron Wirtz on July 6, 2012 at 4:36pm
Thanks for contributing to the ongoing conversation about the importance of Google reviews. I'm brainstorming some ways that our sales reps can use the Google local app on their iPads at the time of delivery-have you had any experience with this?

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