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Are you looking everywhere you should for customer reviews about your dealership? It’s as simple as typing “[Your Dealership] Reviews” into Google and going through the links, and should be a regular practice, as well as stopping by review sites like DealerRater.com.
Recently on the DealerRefresh Forums a dealership representative was asking about best uses for Twitter. While she did receive some specific advice on social media, she was also directed to first notice how her dealership was being reviewed by customers. A quick search about her dealership brought up one review, and it was not a kind one. That bad review would be the first thing any prospective customer would find should they research the dealership first, not a great Facebook Page or Twitter feed.
I am a customer as much as I am anything else, and when I look into reviews for businesses I don’t care how many positive comments there are. I am still going to check out the negative reviews and read every single one of them to find out WHY those people are saying NO when others are saying YES.
When reading a negative review I ask myself, is the issue this person is complaining about an isolated incident or unfair claim, or is there something fundamental in what they are saying that, reflected in the positive reviews or not, should make me consider going somewhere else?
You may not be able to control if someone leaves negative feedback about your dealership, but you are in full control of how to manage the aftermath. Take notice of who is saying negative things and follow up with that customer even if they are one unhappy person in a sea of glowing praise. Especially then. Respond on your Facebook page or if there is a way to reply to the review directly so that potential new customers see that you are willing to work with them to resolve complicated issues.
When I worked directly with dealership customers and had to handle complaints, I rarely dealt with the initial contact from the customer, but had to calm down a riled up individual who was that much angrier because they had been given the runaround by everyone else. Issues cannot always be resolved, and not always during the first communication with an angry customer, but how you respond to the situation can mean the difference between successful resolution and a negative review blasted around the web that could turn new customers away.