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Normally I would answer this in an instant and say that your list of customers and prospects as well as your relationship to that list is your most important business asset. But... Now, in 2014 I'm not so sure about that anymore.
You see, your dealership is only ONE review away from having a bad reputation, and that one review can literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars lost revenue. You MUST learn how to protect and build your online reputation and how to market your reputation more effectively.
Let me tell you a quick story. You’ve heard of CarFax, right?
Yep, it’s the company that is the "go to" standard for anyone who is buying a vehicle to be able to have a full vehicle history.
Do you know how they became so popular so fast? Here's what happened.
CarFax knew the big money play was to have every dealership in the country subscribed to their monthly service. So guess what they did...they began educating consumers that if your dealer did not “Show me the CarFax” then you better run away fast.
Every person who was buying a car began FORCING the dealers to show them the CarFax. As a result all of the car dealers were painted into a corner... Either sign up for the CarFax service and provide what the customer wants, or lose business and close your doors.
The exact same thing is happening to you as a local business.
Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor, Super Pages, and a ton of others are spending HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS educating consumers that they MUST CHECK REVIEWS before doing business with a local business.
I’m sure you've heard the radio commercials or have seen them on TV too. Those ads are in magazines, online, in the newspapers, they are everywhere.
Also, sites like Amazon and eBay are training consumers to know that reviews matter.
This means you are being forced to start paying attention to your online reputation and your online reviews. Consumers are being educated to check reviews of a local business before doing business with them. Are you prepared?
Research shows that 72% of consumers trust an online review as much as if it came from a personal friend. The second most trusted form of advertising, behind offline referrals, is now online reviews!
With Angie’s List, Google, Yelp, Yahoo, and Bing plus the hundreds of other review sites online educating your prospects about reviews, business owners like you better be paying attention to their online reputation. No other form of marketing even matters if you have not secured a solid reputation online.
Think about this...
Two local dealerships appear to be almost identical. Except that, one has 10 good reviews and the other has 3 good reviews and 1 bad review... Which one would you buy a car from?
Most everyone would purchase the service or do business with the business with 10 good reviews. That’s because more people are recommending it and everyone had a great experience at this business. People are way more likely to believe what other people say about your business than what you say about it. Just one bad review can scare your prospect away, turning them to the more “trusted” company. If you have no reviews it’s saying, “nobody had a good enough experience to share with others.”
You must start encouraging the posting of reviews from your customers, clients or patients. You can't leave it up to them to figure out how. Its time to take a proactive approach. The businesses that do this are going to dominate and become the obvious market leaders in their local niche.
Your online reputation is now one of your most important business assets.
You've got to have a system that continually builds and markets your reputation online. Now get to work or give me a call (312) 244-3742 to have our review generation and reputation marketing systems implemented for your dealership. http://www.b24group.com