Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Yelp.com is growing to be the most popular local business review website today, with new reviews constantly added by its active and dedicated user base. Tech-savvy consumers young and old turn to Yelp to check reviews on everything from dentists to hair salons before they decide on where to shop. But Yelp is more than just a review website;: it’s a profoundly social online destination that acts as both a local business directory and a forum for real customer input. An overwhelmingly high number of 4 and 5 star reviews can result in remarkable success for a local shop, and negative reviews can cause the opposite. With more people turning to review websites like Yelp to browse and decide where to make their next purchase, car dealerships must take a proactive approach towards managing their online reputation.
Online reputation management begins offline, at your store’s location. You and the members of your sales team need to be conscious of the fact that customer dissatisfaction on your showroom floor can now translate to a negative review on widely popular websites like Yelp. Stay mindful of this connection between the offline and online world by giving customers an outlet to voice their complaints directly to a sales manager. The more you do to resolve an issue at your dealership, the less likely a customer will take to the Internet to voice their complaint for all to see. To manage your Yelp business listing, first claim your business owner’s account at biz.yelp.com. By verifying your business listing on Yelp, you can post diplomatic messages in reply to any negative or critical remarks left by previous customers. This practice of responding to reviews shows that you care about customer feedback, and that you’re doing your best to help correct or resolve a past case of dissatisfaction. You can also engage positive reviews and thank customers for their business.
Aside from doing the damage control with negative reviews, you can also use Yelp to strengthen your car dealership’s online presence. Check and make edits to the ‘Business Info’ on your listing to ensure that basic information, such as hours of operation, payment options and location are correct. Add more content such as a description, photos, a link to your car dealer website, and information about any specials to give potential customers a better idea of what you have to offer. By claiming your Yelp business listing, you can control what will be displayed under the “About This Business” tab. Providing relevant facts about your business and replying to reviews puts people at ease when they see that you are actively engaging your customer base and putting in effort to respond to feedback.