People are talking about your dealership online, but do you know what they’re saying and where they’re saying it? The social web has made each and every person a publisher in their own right, and that includes your customers.
It’s not uncommon for people to post about their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and dedicated review sites. For customers, it’s great to search for reviews and comments about businesses in order to make a more informed decision about where to shop.
For businesses, however, this means that customer perception can make or break your business. Car dealers are especially vulnerable to online reviews because a car is a purchase that requires a lot of research, and the decision is rarely made on a whim.
The reality is, your dealership’s reputation can be the difference between a customer choosing to buy from you or deciding the dealership down the road will provide a better experience.
But why is that?
Your Dealership is Being Vetted Online
Your average car buyer today visits an average of only 1.8 dealerships before deciding to stay and buy a car, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Another study by DME Automotive found that a staggering 40% of car buyers visit just a single dealership before purchasing their new car.
This is because today’s car buyer is doing all of the research related to car buying before leaving the comfort of home. They’ll check out models in their price range, reliability, safety, and options.
But just as they research their future vehicle, they’re researching their future dealership as well. Sites like DealerRater help customers make an informed decision regarding reputable dealerships in their area. Google even displays business ratings right in search results so customers can see a star rating of basically every dealership in their local area.
Customers Are Looking for a Reason to Shop Elsewhere
One of the most important things to understand about online reviews is that customers aren’t looking for a reason to shop at your dealership, they’re looking for a reason to shop elsewhere. They’re on the hunt for negative reviews.
Your reputation can only be controlled to a certain extent, which makes reputation management such an important service for dealers. Because if you’re not searching for ways to manage your reputation, it will end up managing your dealership.
How to Alter Reality and Conquer Online Reviews
You can’t control online reviews, but you can alter reality and solve problems by facing down negative online reviews and criticism. Work with review sites to gain access and respond to customer reviews directly, ask customers to post feedback, and keep up with the sentiment surrounding your dealership.
Wikimotive’s Reputation Management team scours the web for reviews and mentions about your dealership to help you better understand your online reputation. We want you to know about issues as soon as possible so you can become the most popular dealership in your area!