It's no secret that online reviews hold more clout with potential customers than ever before. Digital word of mouth is having an outsized impact on your dealership, whether you like it or not. But, it is absolutely possible to use online reviews to your advantage.
Dealing with customer reviews of your dealership boils down to two essentials: engaging with those customers in a positive, constructive manner and leveraging positive reviews to boost your messaging in other areas.
Master these two concepts, and handling customer reviews will be a piece of cake for your operation.
The sad truth is people who have a negative experience at your dealership are more incentivized to leave a review than people who have a good experience. It's just human nature to gloss over positive events as "the way things were supposed to go," while negative events are more jarring and thus provoke a more conscious response.
In short, it's not a question of if, but when, your dealership will have to deal with negative customer feedback. The natural response, of course, is to get defensive or leave your own negative review of the customer's opinion. You may see this as protecting your dealership's reputation by questioning the customer's credibility.
I can't stress enough that this is 100 percent the wrong approach, for several reasons:
Instead, make these points your guide in every interaction with customer feedback:
There are times, of course, when you will have to (politely) stick up for yourself or your business. Unfortunately, some people are just looking to spread a little negativity for reasons that ultimately have nothing to do with your dealership.
In those cases, take a firm but measured and conciliatory tone. If you know you're being attacked unfairly, be calm and professional in that interaction, and readers will, more often than not, come to your defense or at least come away with a positive impression of you.
What is quality content? Generally speaking, it's any creative messaging that achieves two goals: providing specific value to your customers and moving them to take a desired action.
There are convenient and cost-effective alternatives to constantly churning out original marketing content, however. One excellent option? Positive customer reviews.
With all these benefits available, it's imperative that you're proactive in gathering positive reviews to leverage and promoting your dealership on other sites your customers frequent (making sure your positive feedback gets pulled by search engines and helping to boost your placement in search results).
Mastering feedback engagement and repurposing positive reviews might not be easy. Still, if you can do it, your dealership will reap all the benefits of customer reviews while minimizing the downsides. That's a winning strategy you can put in place right now.
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