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Reviews - reputation and financial viability are being held in the balance.

I once sat in a business meeting with a company representative pushing their reputation management program. He stated that it was only necessary to answer bad reviews and stated that he strongly opposed answering ALL reviews. I'm not sure what his reasoning was but I strongly disagreed and still do.

Answer ALL reviews and surveys in-house and in a personal manner. They all matter to your bottom line!

Time consuming? Time is money? Think about the money you spend on marketing to get new business. What is it worth to have your current customers do that for you?  This should be a labor of love!

We should all know by now the importance of answering negative reviews in a way that others see us in a good light.

But why would you fail to acknowledge those who ADVOCATE for you and tell the world of your good attributes?

Think about it... When someone compliments you or does something nice for you and you fail to thank them or acknowledge your appreciation, in fact you ignore their gesture, will they not be less likely to repeat the gesture?

They desire validation.

This is about advocates and appreciating their efforts to tell others about your wonderful service.

Advocates are free Word-of-Mouth advertising which is the best and most believable and influential of all of your marketing.

In the store, would you only "waste your time" handling difficult customers with complaints or do you acknowledge every customer with a smile and a friendly hello?

Contrary to most rewards programs, a simple considerate thank you

is often enough.

Copy and paste responses will not suffice. You lack a relationship with such impersonal responses.

Read between the lines of every review or survey and recognize personality types in their comments.

Someone who is very straight forward, "Oil change and tire rotation. Very satisfied." should be answered in the same manner, "That's great. Thank you John!"

Someone who exhibits an emotional response to your customer service, "I was greeted very pleasantly by the kind gentleman who greets service customers. He took my information and escorted me to the service professional who gave me his full attention.... The cashier smiled at me and thanked me in a friendly way... and the service professional showed me where my car was. They had even washed it! Awesome place! Make you feel like family!" should get a similar response.

"Mildred, Thank you for your kind comments. We appreciate you for being part of the (dealership) family and look forward to your next visit. Thank you for your business!"

Legitimate complaints deserve an immediate apology thanking them for the heads-up. If you have a solution that you're planning to implement, say so. If not, take it offline with a promise of a phone call from the Service Manager or GM. In any case, it's a true heads-up that it's time to evaluate your processes and procedures.

Positive or negative, people who write a review look for a response. Don't disappoint them. Apologize and mollify the complainer and show appreciation and encouragement for your advocates, every time!


Dig Deep and Prosper!



Written by
 Tom Gorham

Editor, From The Trenches

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community

Views: 146

Tags: Customer, Inbound, Management, Marketing, Mouth, Relationship, Reputation, Reviews, Service, Word, More…of


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Comment by Tom Gorham on June 15, 2015 at 4:39pm

Thank you Steven.  These are people performing word-of-mouth advertising for free.  We would be foolish not to pay attention and nurture them.  And yet so many dealers either farm it out, ignore reviews altogether, or concentrate solely on countering the negative reviews.

Comment by Stephen Favill on June 15, 2015 at 10:53am

I could not agree more! Those giving positive reviews should be nurtured, where else is repeat and referral business going to come from?

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