“How do I get more positive reviews?” seems to be one of the hottest questions our team gets asked on a daily basis. The good news is that we’ve seen a number of best practices work very well. Dealers that engage customers while they are still in the showroom tend to get many more positive reviews and implementing a specific plan to increase your positive reviews will help as well.
Here are five top tips that should get you on your way to seeing many more stars in your future reviews…
1. Send a personal email to happy customers—Require your sales managers to send a personal email to at least 50 percent their customers to thank them for their business and include a link to a review site. Rotate the review sites to get reviews on different sites. It helps to ask the sales managers to also copy you on all of these emails so you can make sure they are going out and in some cases see the response from the customer. Your IT department can set up a “rule” in your Outlook email system to automatically forward these emails to a folder if you provide a template to the sales team that includes a consistent subject line for the email.
2. Have an iPad at the store—Keep an iPad in F&I or at reception area and bring happy customers to it…so they can “like” you on Facebook and you can open a review site in front of them so they can leave a review before they even leave the dealership. An iPad also helps to position your dealership as a progressive business and it gives the customers something to do while they are waiting!
3. Card customers—Print a stack of “thank you” cards that include the address of your Facebook and Twitter pages as well as some review sites. Encourage your staff to hand them out when customers are happy with their purchase or service experience and include a spot on the card for your staff to write in their name so they can be personally mentioned in the review.
4. Run a contest and/or offer spiffs—Try running an internal contest (each good review where a staff person is named is an entry) or give a spiff to the staff member mentioned in each good review…this will help to get everyone on your team really on board with the three tips mentioned above.
5. Respond to all reviews—Last but not least, respond to all reviews that you get—both the good and the bad. By professionally responding with a thank you for their feedback and offering a way for them to contact you directly to resolve any issues, you might be able to turn a negative situation into one that is at least manageable. Responses to negative reviews should be brief and always include a real person the reviewer can reach to take the conversation offline.
Remember, it’s a numbers game. The more reviews you get, the more likely you are to get one or more bad reviews. Even if you are providing the best product and service, some people will tend to complain. Try some of these tips to help increase your odds of getting more positive reviews and when you get a negative review, see if something internally needs improvement or if it is an isolated incident. Fixing an issue that you may not have known about previously can help limit the number of future negative reviews and ultimately get you more of the positive kind.
Alexi Venneri is cofounder and chief operating officer of Digital Air Strike, one of the fastest growing automotive social media and reputation management companies specializing in full service programs that give dealers an unfair online advantage. Alexi can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 206-669-6989.
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