WALTHAM, Mass. — DealerRater today announced that its Certified Dealer Program, which offers a full suite of online review-gathering and leveraging tools for car dealerships, has helped drive showroom traffic and boost sales by 20-25% at independent car dealer Certified Benz and Beemer, through a complete overhaul of its online image and reputation.
Certified Benz and Beemer of Scottsdale, AZ, is one of the top independent auto dealers in the country, with sales of approximately 120 vehicles per month out of its 47,000 square-foot facility. According to owner Jack Schneider, in June of 2010, while doing well in sales, the dealership was doing nothing about online reputation management; an online search revealed two negative reviews and little else. “We realized we had to improve our online reputation. We had so many happy customers but only bad reviews. With the increase in buyers conducting online research, it became clear that we should have our happy customers post testimonials,” Schneider stated.
“We’re a very transparent company and wanted our customers to talk about the real buying experience here – how we actually do things. DealerRater helped us differentiate ourselves from the normal thought process. I’m so proud of what my employees have achieved. We joined the DealerRater Certified Dealer Program in June of 2010 and now we have 489 reviews, around 98% of which are positive, with a 4.8 average score. We were even named the 2012 Used Car Dealer of the Year for Arizona! And that’s not all. Through managing our online reputation with DealerRater, our sales, which were already strong, have increased by about 20-25%,” Schneider added.
To help launch the program and make reputation management part of the culture of the entire dealership, Certified Benz and Beemer made it the focus of each weekly sales meeting. Contests were held and the staff was rewarded with parties for milestones such as gathering an additional 100 new reviews. The dealership also utilized DealerRater’s email templates to follow up with customers and encourage them to review the dealership online.
“It was a challenge to get everyone on board — once the salesperson sells a car they want to get onto the next person. Now they have to follow up with the customer and take the time to give them a rating reminder card and ask them to write a review, as well as send a follow up email as a reminder. However, as we began to see results, it was much easier to get everyone on board. Now a good 25% of our customers review us online, which reflects in the 20-25% increase in sales.” said Schneider.
Certified Benz and Beemer completely integrated DealerRater online reviews into the sales process. A three-ring binder sits in the sales office full of customer testimonials. The customer can flip through it while waiting or the salesperson can review with the customer to help close the sale. Salespeople can also view the reviews with the customer online. Reviews are framed and prominently displayed in customer waiting areas.
In addition, links have been built into every salesperson’s email signature with a template stressing what makes the dealership different, asking the customer to visit DealerRater.com and rate both the dealership and the individual salesperson. The salespeople have each worked hard to build their own personal reviews on DealerRater. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a potential customer to arrive and ask for a salesperson by name, having researched online and read both the dealership’s and that particular salesperson’s reviews. The dealership is now working on its service staff to increase the number of service customers that rate the dealership; currently 10% of the service customers write a review.
“DealerRater has really helped instill our customer service culture throughout the dealership. Everyone understands that we are striving for as close to perfection as possible. We’re a low pressure, full disclosure dealership with CARFAX report, service history, KBB etc. Every time we sell a car we want the customer to have all the information at hand to make a smart informed decision. With DealerRater we now also have our customers telling other customers what they have been through. It’s a real sales booster,” said Schneider.
For more information call 800-266-9455, or visit www.dealerrater.com
DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review website worldwide. DealerRater is the world’s #1 online resource for anyone seeking third-party information on automobile dealerships. DealerRater features more than 41,000 U.S. and Canadian car dealers, 700,000 user reviews and over 1,000,000 cars for sale. DealerRater attracts more than 8 million consumers every year who visit the site to search for car dealerships, read current reviews, write their own descriptive reviews, and find car deals – all for free. Car dealers are rated on the criteria of customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price and overall experience. In addition, DealerRater offers qualified car dealers a Certified Dealer Program as a reputation management tool to help them grow their online presence and achieve higher SEO rankings across the Web. Today, more than 4,300 dealers are members of DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program. For more information, visit www.DealerRater.com or call 800-266-9455.