Jim Radogna writes: “Let’s face it; consumers have access to much more information, and choices, than they ever did. You can hate the internet and all its information. You can hate the idea of “transparency”. You can hate all the regulations that dealers have to contend with. You can hate the consumer advocates. You can hate the media and all of its anti-dealer sensationalism. But guess what? None of it is going away. The “But We’ve Always Done It This Way” mentality just doesn’t hold water anymore.” Use the link provided to read Jim’s insightful article and leave him a comment…
Richard Bustillo’s perspective on managing customer reviews from a social media based reputation management perspective is refreshing because of his focus on the customer and achieving genuine satisfaction… Using dealership reviews and ratings as a means of identifying an opportunity to resolve a customer’s issue, thus creating a raving fan. Use the link provided to watch this “Automotive Management Minute” video with Richard Bustillo and leave a comment for Richard on the ADM page where this video is posted…
The implementation of “Review Filters” is inevitable by all major review publishers, including Google Places… During a phone call I was on with a Google employee, he made it very clear that Google is indeed looking at a variety of algorithmic approaches to preventing the display of fake reviews and reviews whose collection tactics do not meet with what Google considers sound business practices. Alternately, the success of Yelp both as a review site and a community has been considerably assisted by their complex filtering algorithms. As the business of Gonsumer Generated Content (CGC) continues to evolve, there will be many variations on the automated filtering of reviews. Some will be as simplistic as DealerRater’s blocking of dealership IP sourced review postings, and others will be far more complex, such as Yelp’s sophisticated review rating algorithms and review poster scoring models. Ultimately, I believe that a broad based review posting strategy, including an in-dealership review collection strategy using a portal OWNED by the dealership, such as BusinessRater.com or PrestoReviews.com along with an off-site review collection strategy powered by a site such as LouFuszReviews.com will be the optimized approach.
Use the link provided to read Brian Pasch’s article and download the Research Report in PDF file format…
This is an excellent example of how to optimize the use of Social Media in handling an impending Public Relations crisis by a car dealer… I have admired Tracy Myers for years as one of the most creative and innovative car dealers in America. The issue his dealership was singled out for could have easily been ANY DEALER IN THE COUNTRY… Tracy just happened to win the FTC “Gotcha” Lottery.� His proactive and fully transparent communications and activities will turn this PR nightmare into a story with a happy ending.� Like most challenges, Tracy approached this one as an opportunity to set himself and his team apart as the kind of business people want to do business with.� You go Tracy… You have been and continue to be one of my dealer heroes!
David Johnson’s video presents several great recommendations on how to turn social media heat into positive customer engagement… Something that many GM’s and GSM’s do on a daily basis in the offline world!
In my opinion, which is based on having seen this situation on several occasions, the most prudent approach is NOT to slam Yelp for this Filtered Review system they have in place, nor is it wise to ignore the way Yelp functions in regards to their handling of dealership reviews… The right thing for dealers, including my friends at World Hyundai and other dealerships with their best reviews getting moved into the Yelp Filtered Reviews section, is to understand how the Yelp systems operate and manage the process for encouraging customers to post their reviews on Yelp.
There are many reasons I like the Yelp Enhanced Profile for dealers, not the least of which is that it gives dealers an enhanced ability to monitor and respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. Also, it has been my experience that Yelpers respond much more positively and seek to do business with dealers who respond appropriately to critical or less than perfect reviews. However, by the same token, dealers who respond with arrogance or a bad attitude towards criticism will suffer greatly in lost business. Yelp should be handled with great care, but the rewards are right up there with any of the other review sites when handled properly by the dealer.
Welcome to Automotive Reputation Management for Car Dealers on WordPress.com. This blog is for your benefit in understanding the strategies and tactics that create an effective Reputation Management program for car dealers.
Here are my Top Ten favorite dealership review and rating sites listed in order of what I personally consider to be their desirability to have positive dealer reviews on them… In other words, if I had 100 positive reviews for my dealership and wanted to have ten of them posted to ten dealership review and rating sites, these are the ten sites i would choose:
The Video clip below was produced by PrestoReviews and is a great tool to use in meetings at your dealership for ensuring that people in your dealership’s management and leadership team understand how important having a Reputation Management Strategy is for every car dealership…
The following video was created and published by Checkered Flag Automotive as a means of driving additional reviews and ratings from their customers… I included this as a “Best in Class” example of a dealership encouraging their customers to post reviews about their experience at the dealership in the physical world, to the top review and rating sites in the online world:
Of the Ten Dealership Review and Rating sites I have listed, the only provider that allows dealership reviews to be executed by consumers while they are at the dealership (that I am aware of) is Presto Reviews. Scott Falcone and his team at PrestoReviews.com have built their entire model around dealers encouraging customers to post reviews while at the dealership and providing them with work stations to do so… Scott and his team at Presto Reviews encourages dealers to provide comfortable and quiet places with online access to sales customers while they are waiting to meet with a Finance Manager or complete the Finance and Insurance documentation, so they can post a review and rate their experience buying their new or used car that day… While it is still fresh in their minds, and while the dealership can still have an opportunity to correct any deficiencies reported. Presto reviews also encourages dealers to provide kiosks or other means for service customers to post online reviews on the dealership’s Presto Reviews site while at the dealership getting their car serviced.
One of the reasons I like the Presto Reviews model is that it fairly assures dealers that all reviews posted, moderated by the dealer’s Social Media Marketing Manager or Service Provider (if that service provider is worth anything at all), are from actual customers of the dealership and not nefarious individuals seeking to tarnish a dealership’s reputation for reasons outside of actually being one of their customers.
The other nine sites that I have listed in the beginning of this article each forbid reviews from being posted at the place of business. This is done to protect the integrity of the reviews from dealers who might seek to “stuff the ballot box” so to speak, and helps ensure that anyone with an axe to grind at that dealership can post a negative review without necessarily revealing their identity to the dealership.
Kudos to DealerRater.com for creating a validation process which allows DealerRater.com Certified Dealers to contact DealerRater users who have posted a negative review prior to that negative review being publicly visible. This allows each dealer to offer a resolution to each customer’s concern… And, if the customer is actually a bogus post, who does not come back to DealerRater.com to review the dealer’s offer within 5 working days, the dealer can request that DealerRater.com remove the negative review based on its high likelihood of being nefarious and posted by somebody other than an actual dealership customer.
Yelp goes so far as to have an Official Policy that strongly forbids incentives for customer reviews and highly recommends that dealers DO NOT ask customers to post reviews. In addition, Yelp’s technology is designed to recognize when a consumer is using a mobile device, and when that customer posts a review on their mobile device (at the dealership), Yelp holds the review as a “Draft” and will not let that review go live until the customer has reviewed, edited and resubmitted their review from a PC located at work or home… Of course, all of these measures make positive reviews for dealers on Yelp all the more attractive and valuable!
Tim lists the following Dealer Review and Rating sites as his most useful:
Google Local Business Listings
Other reviews sites Tim is aware of that show up in search for a dealership by name are: