Reviews can make or break any company’s online reputation, but car dealerships can really rely on what others are saying. They have a considerable impact on bringing your dealership and brand credibility. A majority of people will do research before choosing which dealership to go to. Reading reviews take up a large portion of that. It gives them validation from real-life consumers and an insight into what they will be expecting from you.
BENEFITS OF REVIEWS
Customers are typically filtering reviews by using the 4-star category. Research shows that customers use the 4-star filter when looking at reviews. If your current review score is below that – there is a potential that it is being overlooked by potential customers. Reviews that are generated from requests are on average higher than the ratings of unprompted reviews. This can help increase your review average tremendously which will boost up your company when customers are looking at that 4-star category.
Having higher ratings will also increase your rank in Google search results. Google experts say that if a company has a high: review count, ratings, and review text – it will become easier for potential customers to find you.
Although reviews are one of the best ways to build your online reputation – it can be a challenge to get them. The first step is figuring out which customers would leave the most fitting review for your company. You want to look for people who are loyal customers and are satisfied with their experience. Asking for feedback can also help build a relationship with your customers.
Timing is key – you don’t want to rush in for reviews. You need to give the client time. Rushing in can end up ruining the chance to get a good review. You must give them just the right amount of time to try out your product/services. You want to ask for the review within two weeks of when a customer has had the chance to try the product, or right after performing a service.
HOW TO ASK?
EMAIL CAMPAIGNS: One of the most effective ways to generate new reviews is by requesting through email campaigns. Our Reputation Revival program was built around this foundation. It sends emails to recent purchasers asking them how their experience was. When they’ve had a good experience, they’re taken right to Google to leave a review. When they’ve had a bad experience, it puts them in direct contact with your GM, or whomever you want so that your dealership has the opportunity to make it right.
Short And Simple.
If you’re sending out your own email, you want to keep it simple. Don’t complicate it too much. Longer messaged emails tend to push a customer to skip over that email. Make sure to keep your message light and sweet. Try to avoid any unnecessary verbiage that could end up confusing your customers.
Make sure that there are instructions included in your email. Include a link to the review page, or a Call to Action button linking to Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews/etc. These instructions need to be easy to understand and quickly accessible. They are not going to jump through hoops trying to leave a review, so make it as easy as possible for them!
Personalize The Email.
Putting thought into the verbiage of the review request can change the outcome of the review. Writing a more personalized note will show that you acknowledge them and that it isn’t just a generic email going to everyone. This helps build the relationship between your company, and the customer and can lead to a higher starred review.
Providing a review template for your customer can also avoid the chance of the customer leaving a negative review. These templates should be curated towards the customer, their experience, and the product and/or service.
Test Your Campaigns.
When you come up with a campaign suited for your company – be sure to test it out. To achieve the best responses from your customers, you may need to adjust the campaign. Watch and review and continue to do so. Requesting reviews through emails may need adjusting throughout time.
SENDING REQUESTS THROUGH SMS: Many customers are leaving reviews from their mobile devices. This gives you an advantage!
Text messages are opened at a much higher rate than emails and opened much faster. The verbiage needs to be carefully thought out. You want to keep it short and simple, as the email – but a message needs to be even shorter. Thank them for their business, personalize it towards them and ask for feedback. You want to keep it friendly and positive.
Hello (Customer Name),
Thank you for your business with us. We hope you are enjoying your (product name). We strive to provide the best experience possible. To help us, please take a moment to leave your feedback. Click here (review link) to review. Thank you, we appreciate the help!
ASKING AT POINT OF SALE: Depending on the situation – you can ask at the point of sale if their experience with your company was a positive one.
This can make asking more intimate, and much more personalized. However, this does not provide the customer time to try out the product or service, so you want to keep it light. It can be as simple as providing a review on-site via iPad or tablet at the end of their visit. If you go this route, you want to make sure there is a review form fill that is easy for them to do. They are not going to sit there to log in to their accounts to review. It must be something that won’t keep the customer for a long period.
HAND-WRITTEN THANK YOU CARD: Some businesses may want to take a more personal route than digital requests.
Another option can be to send your customer a hand-written thank you letter/review request letter after you’ve made the sale. This provides more human interaction and builds on the relationship between you and the customer. Small gestures go a long way in the long run.
Of course when you’re generating reviews, you’ll need to take the time to answer them. Answering the good reviews is great to keep the lines of communication open with your happy customers and keep them coming back. Answering and making the bad reviews right can go a long way in how potential customers see you when doing their research. Our Reputation Management can take care of this for you!
For more information on Reputation Management or our Reputation Revival program, contact us today!
Theresa has been working in the automotive industry since 2012 and began her career after graduating from Stockton University with a major in Communications – concentration in Public Relations and Advertising in 2016. She began working at a luxury dealership handling all the graphic design and digital marketing. For the past five years, Theresa has been fully engaged with automotive marketing. She is very excited to be working for an agency and build relationships with all of her clients!