We commonly hear from our auto dealership clients that they have trouble finding ways to get their happy customers to share their thoughts online. In addition to providing value for your SEO and AdWords campaigns, online reviews are important for encouraging new consumers to visit your dealership. More and more people are using online reviews to determine a dealership's reputation and other customers' experiences.
Online reviews, both good and bad, are incredibly influential in the customer decision-making and buying process, and they need to become a priority action item for the sales team and managers at every positive customer touchpoint.
Not sure how to get started when it comes to encouraging customers to write reviews? Think about the many happy customers you see in a week. Have you asked any of them to write a review about their experience? Think about how many reviews you could generate for your business if you asked every happy customer to write one. People want to share their thoughts and the positive experiences they’ve had with others, but they typically only follow through when prompted.
Here are three actionable steps you can implement today within your dealership to start encouraging more happy customers to leave positive reviews:
- Begin with leaders at the dealership. Assigning this task to leaders first will encourage the habit to cascade throughout your dealership. Have them start the trend of asking customers to post an online review. To make things interesting, create internal incentives and encourage friendly competition among the team members. If each leader can get just three reviews per week, they’ll add up quickly. Discussing this with a customer doesn’t have to be awkward. Explain how easy it is to go onto sites such as Google or Yelp and write a review about your business. Let them know how important it is to you and how much you’d appreciate it.
- Post a sign. The simple method of printing out a request and displaying it on the door or counter of your dealership can prompt happy customers on their way out. Make sure you give them direction about what sites to visit by adding logos of major reviews websites, such as Google and Yelp.
- Add links to your email signature. Think about the many emails that you send each day. Set up a link to your online profiles with a message such as “We want to hear from you! Let us know about your experience.” It will show up in every email you send, right in front of customers, so all they have to do is click the link and review your business.
When car shoppers are interested in buying a car, they go to the internet first to research which dealership is the best option. Many times, having no reviews can have the same detrimental effect as negative reviews, driving shoppers away from your dealership and through the doors of your competitors. Keep in mind, people love to share their thoughts and opinions and to offer recommendations, so make sure you're asking for their feedback and directing them on how to share their experiences.
For more on building and improving your online reputation, check out our free webinar replay, Reputation Management Secrets: How To Grow And Protect Your Brand Online.
All the best,
Amanda Willigmann is an Inbound Marketing Copywriter at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia area advertising agency.