Reputation Matters... Online!
Written by: Lauren Labunksy, Dealer Spike
You've always known that your business' reputation was important.
Word of mouth and talk around town about your dealership has a big influence on the success of your business. Making local customers happy enough to recommend your store to others has likely always been your objective.
Now that we live in an internet-first world, it's a whole new ballgame when it comes to business reputation. If your dealership is receiving great reviews on social media, Google and review platforms (Yelp, etc.), you're in good shape.
If your reviews are not so great, you may be in trouble.
Not only do you have to worry about unhappy customers talking about your dealership in the local market, but you risk losing the business of any prospect who so much as googles your dealership.
Aside from the obvious (selling high-quality trailers and providing exceptional customer service), what can you to do to build and protect your reputation online?
- Start by googling your dealership and checking the results. By conducting a single search on Google, online users recieve immediate access to your dealership's online reviews and ratings on not only Google+ and Google My Business, but various other social media and review sites as well.
If what you find doesn't shine a positive light on your dealership, it's time to get to work.
- Make sure your dealership's information is accurate and consistent on all sites that list it (Google, YellowPages.com, social media platforms, etc.). This includes things like phone number, hours of operation, directions and more. Inaccuracies can result in a lower search ranking for your business, making it harder for customers to find you and leave you a review in the first place.
- Respond to ALL reviews - good or bad. Address the issues associated with the bad ones. Encourage customers to leave feedback for your dealership on Google, as well as other popular review platforms*. The higher volume of positive reviews your receive, the higher and more stable your overall ratings will become. Aim to earn a balanced amount of reviews on all different platforms, not just Google.
- In addition to leaving a review or star rating, you should encourage happy customers to write about your dealership and their experience*. User-generated reviews are considered highly-valuable by search engine algorithms. When customers write about their experience with your dealership (positive or negative), that content contributes to SEO for your business' website.
If you receive negative feedback, take that feedback as constructive criticism. There is, most likely, something to learn from it that will improve your business. This leads to better overall customer experience, which will likely result in more positive reviews. It all comes full circle.
The worst thing that you can do with your online reputation is ignore it. Monitoring reviews on a regular basis is necessary for earning new customers, as well as customer retention.
People pay attention to your ratings and reviews - the information is hard to miss, especially on sites like Google - and they will not be encouraged to buy from you if your reputation is less than favorable.
It has always been important to work toward customer satisfaction. Now, with the easy and accessibility of online reviews, it is crucial.
*It is against the terms and service of Yelp to solicit customer reviews.
ABOUT DEALER SPIKE
Dealer Spike is focused on helping dealerships increase leads and sales through online advertising. It helps dealers drive more traffic with distinctive websites and a suite of digital marketing tools. The company's team has real-world dealership experience and knows what it takes to put dealers on top.
For more information, visit www.dealerspike.com.