Reputation Management & Automotive Industry

About Automotive Reputation Management Online

A company’s online presence and reputation is just as important as face-to-face contact. Times are changing and more consumers are looking to social networking websites, company websites and consumer review websites for insight. The most important information a potential customer considers is consumer reviews after a face-to-face interaction with a car dealer. Keep in mind that each potential customer that opens the door to a car dealership is looking for the same outcome, friendly service to purchase the vehicle they want at a payment that they can afford. In some cases, that requires the dealership to jump through some hoops by working hard with banks to get the credit approval needed. Consumers also have to remember that not every bank is going to find their credit or income sufficient to grant a loan. This is often where the poor or negative reviews come from. Most consumers overlook this because they do understand that it is ultimately the bank’s decision as to whether you get the vehicle or not. Driver Pulse put consumers in charge in a recent study to see just how important an automotive dealer reputation management is.

Learn More About: Car Dealer Reputation Management

Recent Study Results

A recent study performed by Driver Pulse on their Facebook page shows that the online reputation of a car dealer is very important. Of the 2,060 responses to the poll, 1,462 consumers selected very important. Only 294 of the voters in this study said that an online reputation is not important. The study was conducted over a three week period and also helped Driver Pulse to increase their reader base. Polls are put up frequently to gain consumer insight. These polls are entitled “Shoppers Corner”. By viewing the questions posed in the polls and viewing the responses of other consumers, it helps you to decide what the most important factors of working with a car dealer are.

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Nusani | Reputation Management

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Online Reputations Begin with Face-to-Face Interaction

The reputation that a company receives begins with the in-person interaction between consumers and company employees. A consumer will report their experience by leaving a review or comment in an online format. This can be something such as a formal review, a social media comment, or testimonial left on a company website or a personal status message using social media networks.

Tips for In-Person Interaction Success to Boost Online Reputations:

  • Greet each customer with a smile
  • Introduce yourself and offer your services to assist them
  • Do not be too pushy; people shopping for cars like to have time to browse privately
  • Be polite when answering questions regarding a vehicle or financing options
  • Explain the fine print
  • Listen to the customer when they speak about budget and comfortable payment ranges
  • Focus on one customer at a time
  • Leave cell phones put away while working with a customer
  • Show them the numbers through each step of the deal making process
  • Always thank them for visiting the dealership and offer a business card for future communications
  • Encourage each customer to leave a positive review, quote or testimonial regarding their experience with the dealership

Using Social Media to Build a Positive Online Reputation

A vast majority of the population uses social media websites to gain insight from friends and family members regarding businesses, products and services. When social media is referred to, many consumers automatically think Facebook. There are other social media networks to appeal to such as Google+ and Twitter. On Google+ a car dealer can create a hangout on air session which broadcasts a video message and links it to their YouTube channel, website, Facebook page or any other online platform that they choose. This helps to build a positive online reputation. The reason is that the extra interaction shows consumers that you want them to be informed and that your car dealership is friendly. Online broadcasts including salespeople introducing themselves gives consumers the opportunity to decide which salesperson they wish to work with before entering the dealership. Again, online presence makes a big impact on the success of a car dealership.

How to Get Customers to Leave More Positive Online Reviews

Car dealers often believe that once a sold vehicle leaves the lot their work is done. That is definitely not the case. With every interaction a salesperson or service department employee has with a customer, whether it is good or bad, a review should always be asked for. Keep in mind that some consumers will say that a review will be done but they do not follow through. Ask each service department customer or vehicle purchase customer to leave a quote about how their experience was. Use the quotes that you believe are the most beneficial, as well as a random slightly neutral quote or statement, as a highlight via social media post each week.

As your car dealership works to improve or maintain a positive online reputation, remember that courtesy and friendly attitudes lead to positive reviews. The harder everyone at the car dealership works to satisfy a customer, the more satisfied with the service they will be whether they were able to purchase a vehicle or not. An online reputation is just as important as a physical reputation. Start building those good online reputations with solid face-to-face communications. Other than selling a vehicle to a customer, one of the other important elements of maintaining a successful online reputation is to obtain a positive written review from that customer. Those reviews pave the way to the car dealership’s success.

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