The way that car buyers are searching for and finding your dealership has changed. You can spend thousands of dollars a month on traditional advertising or marketing to create awareness for your business, but if you have a bad online reputation, potential customers will keep looking.
This is because instead of going directly to your website to find your dealership, consumers will look you up using a search engine. And depending on how much time you’ve spent focusing on online reviews, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.
If your reviews are bad, then all of that money you have spent to create awareness might go to waste and you’ve lost a customer before they even walk into your showroom. So, what can you do to make sure your online reputation is driving customers to your dealership instead of the competition?
The key is taking a proactive approach to your online reputation. If you’re passive and let online reviews happen organically, you run the risk of letting the rare unhappy customer have control of your reputation. But you can take control of your reputation by doing the following:
Claim your listings on relevant directories
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify all of the business directories that are relevant to your business and claim them. The process is very simple and straightforward for many directories.
The steps include:
- Navigating to the directory
- Searching for your business by name and address
- Filling out basic information about your business
- Submitting for verification
Once the site has verified that you’re the right person to manage the listing, you can start the optimization process. All of your listings should have consistent contact information, high-res photos, an accurate description, and up-to-date hours of operation.
Collect and Manage Online Reviews
Once you have claimed your listings, now the real work begins. You need to start inviting customers to review your business. If you are delivering a top-notch customer experience, most of your customers would be willing to leave a review, but often won’t do it unless they’re prompted.
However, even though your customers are willing to leave a review, they probably won’t follow through unless the process is ridiculously easy. This can be accomplished by implementing an online review management platform that streamlines the invitation process and removes all of the friction that previously existed in the invitation process.
Reap the Rewards
Businesses that have a balanced presence across a wide variety of online review sites look trustworthy. And they won’t need to worry about what will happen if a customer Googles them because they’ve put in the effort and know that customers will have the information needed to choose their dealership over the competition.
Gain a how-to guide for building a solid online reputation by joining Dan Wright for his session: “Are Your Bad Reviews Costing You Business?” – which is just one of the 100+ educational sessions – at the 22nd Digital Dealer Conference & Expo this April 11-13th in Tampa, FL. Register now and start building your agenda.
Author: Dan Wright
Dan Wright is a Sr. Regional Sales Director at Podium, a SaaS platform that helps businesses influence purchase decisions by streamlining the collection and management of online reviews. Wright has a keen understanding of the importance of customer experience from his years working in sales at Qualtrics.