Automotive Digital Marketing

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Why Ignoring Online Reviews Could Be Costing Your Dealership

managing reputation online reviews

It is important to start-off by saying, managing your Online Reviews is necessary. You have probably heard this statement repeatedly, but it is now time to put it into action for ignoring them, could be costing your dealership.

Your dealership has built an online community through using various social sites. You post status updates, read comments and respond. In doing this, it has helped to build your dealership’s reputation, but this is only a part of how to manage it.

Social networks are great tools in knowing what potential and loyal buyers think about your dealership, staff, and brand. However, you need to expand your reputation management to various other sites that are just as important.

Websites like,,, Google Reviews, Yahoo and Yelp are some of the sites your customers post reviews about their experience at your dealership and if you are not paying attention to what is being said on sites such as these, it could be costing you.

As soon as a review is posted online, it is public and the world, including potential buyers, can see it. It is your responsibility to read, respond, and to follow-up on the reviews, your dealership receives.

A Negative Review Example:

I went to your dealership today and was disappointed in the service I received. It took over an hour, for a simple oil change to be done on my car. I will not make that mistake again! I will not be going back to this dealership for service.” – Willie C.

The Cost:

When a customer posts a negative review online, it could cost you multiple potential buyers, including the person who posted the review. When people see negativity attached to a place of business, it can deter them from wanting to buy from that business. It is extremely important that you have a pair of eyes looking online to try to resolve any issues that may exist.

It is time to Manage Your Negative Reviews Online.

It is never easy seeing a negative review online, but it does give your dealership the opportunity to build its reputation. This is done through a response. Provide an empathetic statement to show the customer that you are listening to what they are saying and offer further communication on the matter or a gesture to try to resolve the issue.

Responding to a Negative Review:

An Example:We apologize Willie, for the time it took to do your oil change and assure you this is not the norm. Please give us a call (add phone number here) for we would like to offer you a free oil change the next time you come to our dealership. Thank you for letting us know about this and we do appreciate your business.” – Dealership’s Name

When responding to a negative review, be sure to address the reviewer by their name, this adds a personal touch; provide a way for them to contact you for further discussions, and a gesture (optional) of how to resolve the issue, in this case it was of them not wanting to return for further service.

It is important to note that your dealership does not have to give a gesture, such as a free oil change, for majority of the time an apology and contact information is enough, but from time-to-time, it may be a good idea depending on the situation.

By your dealership responding, you have shown the reviewer that you have listened to them and care about their business. This has also shown the public that you will try to set things right and lessen the chance of losing any potential buyers that have seen the review. It is amazing what a response can do!

The same goes for a positive review, they need to be responded to as well. It is important to not solely put your focus on just responding to the negative reviews, responses to positive reviews help you retain customers.

A Positive Review Example:

I have purchased 4 cars from this dealership and every time I am greeted with the best service and a smile. I will never go anywhere else! If you are looking to purchase a vehicle I would highly recommend you go here!” – Willie C.

The Cost:

Ignoring a positive online review can cost you both, potential and loyal customers. If you want buyers to come back or new ones to visit, it is extremely important that you show your appreciation. Letting the online world, including people in your local area, know that you are responsive can change people’s perceptions, make people want to switch from their current dealership to yours, as well as, help you retain customers who have been loyal.

Responding to a Positive Review:

An Example: “You certainly know how to make us smile! Thank you so much, Willie for sharing your experience! We truly do appreciate you and look forward to seeing you again soon!” – Dealership’s Name

There is nothing greater than knowing that a customer had a wonderful experience at your dealership. Positive online reviews are a perfect way for others to see what it is like to shop for a vehicle at your dealership and can make them want to become a customer too.

Positive reviews create a positive reputation. Again, these reviews are public and they will not only help you gain customers, but retain them as well. Show your first time buyers or loyal customers that their business matters and that your dealership appreciates their kind words. A response informs people that you are paying attention.

Stop ignoring the reviews about your dealership that are happening right now online. Manage your online reputation by using social networks AND review sites, which are the best and only way to ensure you are not costing your dealership from gaining and retaining the most important part of your business, your customers!

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Tags: automarketing, automotive social media, online reputation management, online reviews


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Comment by Alexander Lau on September 12, 2014 at 9:44am

Here is a nice product. Add this review plugin to any platform (with an additional of a simple script) and they've already had success in automotive. Perfect for VDPs (with some customization) or showroom pages.

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