Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dealership Online Reputation Management

I've attended over a dozen NADA conventions and there are always vendors hoping to sell you the magic behind Happy Customers. From sending fresh baked cookies to monitoring your phone calls, there are many different ways to improve the Customer experience. This year's convention introduced me to companies that will help you with your On-Line Reputation.

A Dealership can build a reputation on the Internet, unfortunately, just like the factory CSI scores, it's usually the unhappy Customers who speak out. So it's not difficult to develop a bad reputation, even when you haven't earned it.

Before you can do anything, find out where you stand with your on-line reputation. Go to Google and type in your Dealership's name. What shows up is your Dealership's website and in most cases a rating that Google has accumulated with reviews found throughout the Internet. If you have no rating, enter your competitions' names in the Google search, and see what their ratings are. It's scary! Even the world's best Dealer couldn't get all 5 stars. When you click on "Reviews," you can see from which sources the comments are coming, and you can see how easy it is for anyone to write a review - either negative or positive.

What's important is listening to the reviews from your Customers. It may be hard to swallow, but this feedback is extremely valuable to continually improve your business. After reading some reviews on one Dealership, the problem was even though the Customers were entering all the information on-line for a service appointment, when the Customer got to the Dealership the Customer had to start from scratch. We know that when a good reservation process is put into place, this problem can be fixed. In this example, we see Customer Comments can be useful to the Service Department. Do something positive with the Internet posts, don't ignore them.

To find posts on your Dealership go to and type in the Dealership's name and look how often your name comes up. As more and more Customers look to the Internet for their purchasing decisions, you'll want to insure that what Customers read about your Dealership is heavily weighted with positive feedback.

Being able to respond to the anonymous "feedback" is important to keep things positive. claims you can monitor all your feedback and allows you the opportunity to follow up and reconcile any negative comments. It's easier if you don't think of the comments as negatives, think of them as opportunities to improve the Customer experience.

But when it comes down to it, the only way to overcome any negative remarks is to encourage Happy Customers to post positive remarks. Kinda makes you yearn for the days when just sending cookies would make a Customer happy.

For more ideas like this to help improve your Dealership's Net Profits and Customer happiness contact Brooke Samples at brooke

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