How to handle negative reviews at your dealership.
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to search and learn about the companies that you want to do business with. Most consumers go straight to the reviews of the company. But let me ask you…when was the last time you took a hard look at your reviews or ratings? This goes for dealerships and for individual salespeople. Reviews paint the picture of you and your brand.
Creating a welcoming showroom environment is just as important as managing your social media reputation. In a study conducted by Google Consumer Surveys, online reviews impact 67.7% of customer’s purchasing decisions. The research also uncovered that dealerships risk losing one-fourth of customers when just one negative review is found. If your dealership has four or more negative reviews in Google search results, you are likely to lose 70% of potential customers. All it takes is for that one customer who was not satisfied or felt like he/she wasn’t properly taken care of to go out and write a bad review.
That’s why we have identified three ways to combat negative reviews:
Solution 1 – Response Time
Solution-focused responses that are timely and positive go a long way. If the negative comment is left with no response for too long, it can impact your SEO. A quick response conveys active listening, transparency and empathy towards working together to find the right solution. In some instances, it may be beneficial to take a small monetary hit by offering a coupon, a discount or a complete refund. An unhappy customer turned happy puts a positive spin on a negative review. The goal is to keep business with that customer. Converted customers often become your biggest brand advocates. Let’s face it, you can never permanently delete negative reviews, nor should you, but you can control the overall outcome.
Solution 2 – Outweigh Negatives
Every review is a roadmap to improving customer service and experience. Work with your SEM/SEO provider to compile positives. Then, take the positives and share them over social media as posts and to your website as testimonials. The goal is to dilute the negative with good reviews and quality content about your dealership. Other value-added content on social platforms, such as how your dealership sponsored a community event, will create positive association with your brand as well. Drown out negative comments by outnumbering them!
Solution 3 – Ask For Reviews
While all good sales teams ask for referrals, your team should also ask for reviews. In fact, some dealerships require sales to maintain a good score on dealer.com by making reviews a job responsibility. Not to mention manufacturer surveys, which require the dealership to get a perfect score of truly exceptional. Your dealership and team work hard to create a positive buying experience for your customers; make it easy for them to want to brag about their decision to buy from you!