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Reputation Management: What Do You Expect From Your Service Provider?

What Does Your Dealership Expect From Your Reputation Management Service Provider?

Ryan Kenny, Automotive Reputation Management Specialist by Ryan Kenny, Automotive Reputation Management Specialist

Excellent Good Bad Dealership ReviewsThere is a common misconception about the field of Reputation Management and companies that offer this product or solution.

Many business owners mistakenly believe that hiring a Reputation vendor will erase months, in some cases even years worth of unflattering reviews from 3rd party review sites without much in-store effort.

The truth is, anyone who tells you they can remove negative reviews and flood your 3rd party listings with 5 star reviews is either lying or potentially committing illegal and deceptive acts, which will eventually come back to haunt your business. Great reviews must be earned through implementing customer-centric business practices and training your staff on the importance of providing excellent service.

Many dealers find themselves unprepared when they discover they have negative reviews online and seek out the help of people, like me, to come in and “fix” their online reputation.

As a Reputation Management Specialist, the hardest part of my job is helping dealerships understand that removing negative reviews (if I had the ability to do so) does not solve the underlying issue that’s causing the negative reputation in the first place. 

Your dealership’s reputation and online perception is a product of your company’s culture and the business processes you currently subscribe to. While it’s true that not every review accurately represents the true circumstances that took place, your overall online reputation usually reflects how your store is performing, at least in the eyes of your customers.

Many reviewers go to great lengths to write long, detailed accounts of their experience at your dealership with their emotions and expletives firing in every direction. Instinctively, we become defensive and want to fire back. Part of my job is to help illustrate some of the valid points made by customers, especially if there are recurring complaints clearly not being addressed in store. The same way that our bodies use pain to tell us something is wrong, online reviews should be used to tell you something isn’t right at your dealership.

It’s important to recognize that the customer took valuable time out of their day to provide you with feedback so that you can improve your business.

Some dealers opt to use a Reputation Management vendor to deal with their online reviews so they can ignore the problem and go back to focusing on selling more cars. Reputation Management is not a turn-key Band Aid that will magically turn your store into a 5 Star dealership. Make no mistake, my company and countless others are more than happy to provide you with ongoing consultation, review monitoring and response coaching.

Yelp Dealership ReviewsBut contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a bat signal or top secret phone line to Yelp and Google to remove those pesky negative reviews on your behalf and neither does anyone else.

 “RepMan” providers truly are excellent tools for assisting in reactive reputation management.

 Anyone who genuinely wants to manage their reputation effectively while being able to take on the daily tasks of selling and servicing cars should utilize a reputation management service provider. But remember they are tools. Without the entire dealership fully engaged on a DAILY basis, your results will remain disappointing. It takes time, effort and determination on your part.

Albert Einstein Definition of InsanityMany dealerships do the same thing over and over again and expect different results when it comes to how they react and treat customer reviews.

Most consumers do not believe that it should take three hours to perform a basic oil/filter service.

If it does at your dealership, don’t be surprised when customers consistently gripe about it. Recurring complaints like these should be a signal that there are bottlenecks that need to be addressed. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the voice of your customers will only earn you more bad reviews. Those who are serious about earning a solid online reputation should take full ownership of it, get their entire staff bought in, and use a Reputation Management vendor as a supplemental tool to take your online reputation to the next level. Your store’s reputation starts with you!

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Automotive Reputation Management eBookThe Street Smart Guide to Automotive Reputation Management

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About the Author
Ryan Kenny, Automotive Reputation Management Specialist Ryan Kenny joined Cobalt in the summer of 2012 as a Reputation Management Specialist, bringing with him 15 years of Auto Industry experience working in various capacities at dealerships and automotive vendors. Ryan’s background is utilized on a daily basis as he works to improve the online reputations of his many dealer clients. Ryan holds degrees in both Business Administration and Automotive Marketing. You can reach Ryan at kennyr@cobalt.com..

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Mike Gorun: Your Online Reputation Is Hurting Your Customer Retention: 6 Tips To Create Customer Loyalty and Maintain Your Online Reputation

Your Online Reputation Is Hurting Your Customer Retention: 6 Tips To Create Customer Loyalty and Maintain Your Online Reputation

 

Your Online Reputation Is Hurting Your Customer Retention: 6 Tips To Create Customer Loyalty and Maintain Your Online Reputation

Statistics show that a customer who has a good experience will tell 4 to 5 people. However, a customer who has a bad experience will tell more than 20. In addition, they will usually leave a negative review to go with that word of mouth to leave a permanent finger pointed at your dealership in a bad way.

Maintaining your online reputation is crucial to new customers and previous customers deciding whether to make you their choice. If you don’t manage complaints and deal with them effectively, you are losing what could be a loyal customer and preventing prospects from ever becoming loyal customers.

But maintaining that reputation doesn’t start online, it starts at your dealership with each and every customer.

Here are 6 Tips to Maintaining a Great Online Reputation:

         1.    Have someone assigned to monitoring your review sites.

It is important to know what is being said about you in the digital world. By knowing when a negative review is posted, you can have someone handle the complaint immediately, and hopefully have the customer revise their complaint into a compliment, (preferably BEFORE anyone sees the complaint).

        2.    Know How to Handle Complaints.

Everyone in your dealership should be able to “manage” their own complaints. If you are the only one equipped to handle complaints, this may monopolize your time, thus eliminating the time needed for planning, strategizing and development your department and your dealership.

        3.    Prevent Negative Reviews with Great Follow-Up.

A follow-up phone call should be made to each and every customer 24 hours after their purchase or service visit to make sure that they are completely satisfied. It is important that the person making these calls have the authority and knowledge to handle complaints and who to assign a customer to should they need to return. Having a minimum wage college student handle this for you may actually cause more miscommunication and dissatisfaction in the long run. Put someone in place that understands how a dealership runs and has a strict guideline for how to handle a complaint.

       4.    Give Great Customer Service.

I know this one should be a given, but I want to emphasize that great customer service includes knowledge, honesty, quality and sincerity. You can’t just put a smile on your face and expect people to worship you. You have to know your product so that you can answer their questions and gain their trust. Be sincere and let them know that you are there to help them, not rip them off. When you are not sincere, it shows and makes the customer leery.

        5.    Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Positive Review.

A lot of customers don’t even know that you have a review site or even think to post a review unless they are upset. Asking a satisfied customer to post a quick comment about why they love your dealership will give your online reputation a huge boost. Whoever you have making your follow-up calls could request this, or if you have a follow-up email created to go out to customers you could include a link in the email to make it easier for the customer. But it is important that if you include this in an email that you give the customer the option to voice a complaint. This can be a link that will allow them to submit a complaint to the General Manager. Otherwise, only having a link to POST a review could lead to more damage.

         6.    Know How to Handle a Negative Review.

When a negative review is posted, you need to do damage control and FAST. Before you contact the customer, do your research.

  • Who was the advisor and technician or salesperson?
  • What did they purchase or what service did they have done?
  • Will they need to return to the dealership?
  • How long have they been a customer?

When you contact the customer you should know and anticipate what they will say, want and need. Your ONLY goal should be to please that customer, not defend your dealership.

 

In conclusion, by preparing for complaints and negative reviews and knowing what to do to prevent negative reviews and unsatisfied customers, you will be able to proactively manage and build your online reputation to secure a life long supply of loyal customers.

We would like to know what strategies you have in place to build your online reputation and what you would recommend to our followers. What have you done to build your online reputation?

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Automotive Reputation Management for Car Dealers

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.

Car Dealership Review and Rating Sites

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:

1. Google Places

2. Yelp

3. DealerRater

4. Edmunds

5. Presto Reviews

6. CarDealerCheck.com

7. MyDealerReport.com

8. CarDealerReviews.org

9. Yahoo! Local Business

10. Dealership Ratings

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…

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/WmfVhor6RYc?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b

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:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/FY1-KKoW5X0?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b

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!

This Blog Post was inspired by a Tim Jennings blog post asking for ADM Members to list additional Dealership Review Sites worth mentioning…

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:

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