Do You Have Enough Customer Reviews for Your Dealership?

Online reviews are now more important than ever for a car dealership’s performance, from the lot to the service drive. Low review counts can make customers avoid your dealership or decide not to complete a purchase, so it’s not just about your average rating.


That can spell the difference between a successful dealership and one that fails.


Let’s quickly go over why customer reviews are so crucial for auto dealership profitability before getting into tactics to increase your review count at your dealership.


Building trust through reviews before a purchase


Positive feedback can enhance sales by fostering trust among potential clients and setting your dealership apart from the competition.


Only internet reviews and searches are used by 67% of car owners to select a service center.


Negative evaluations, on the other hand, can hurt a dealership’s reputation and earnings by discouraging potential consumers from visiting your dealership in the first place or returning for service.


A car dealership with a rating of 3.5 stars or higher will draw nearly 5 times as many customers as a dealership with a lower rating; other studies indicate an extra 1.5 times increase when going from 3 to 4 stars.


67% of vehicle owners say they chose a dealer for service based solely on online searches and ratings when it comes to the service drive.


Reviews offer a sincere and objective evaluation of the services and goods offered by your dealership. Positive customer testimonials can act as social proof and give potential buyers more confidence in their decision to buy from a specific dealership.


Negative reviews, on the other hand, might hurt your reputation and result in a sharp decline in sales.


Quantity ratings are just as important as quality ratings.


In a previous post, we covered how to keep your reviews positive and how to use them to grow your business. The focus of this piece is on the number of reviews.


If there are 5 reviews, customers are 270% more likely to buy a car or service than if there are none.


Why does it matter how many reviews you have? Believe it or not, the quantity of your evaluations is frequently just as crucial as the quality. Few 5-star reviews generate much trust, while many more 4-star reviews do.


In fact, if you have five reviews as opposed to none, your clients are 270% more likely to buy a car or service.


Furthermore, the top 3 spots in Google’s local search have an average of 47 reviews when it comes to internet visibility.


You need a lot of reviews if you want people to stay using your product or even find you online.


How to make your review count higher


A huge volume of positive evaluations can significantly boost sales at your dealership. How can you increase the number of reviews overall?


Encourage clients to provide feedback when they receive services.


When a customer picks up their car for the first time or follows up on a servicing appointment, dealerships may ask them to post a review.


Giving them a business card with links to your favorite review websites (such as Google or Yelp) or asking for their email address can accomplish this.


Automate requests for reviews


You may automate the follow-up procedure, as we’ve already covered, to make sure every consumer is prompted to give a review.


Tools like Podium and RepLev are frequently used by dealership service departments to automate this procedure. This can be done by sending a text message or email to customers inviting them to leave a review on various review sites like Google, Facebook, DealerRater, and Edmunds.


If you’re using a customer relationship management (CRM) system like VinSolutions or DealerSocket, you could instead consider setting up automated follow-up emails for customers, asking them to leave a review.


As with any marketing communications, never spam your customers with these requests, and be sure they don’t receive any more reminders after they’ve already left a review.


Use inducements


Dealerships can boost the number of reviews they have by rewarding consumers who submit reviews with money or other incentives. This may be a potent strategy for persuading clients to spend a short while writing a review.


For instance, some dealers will offer a free oil change to any customer who sends proof that they’ve left a review (depending on the system you’re using, you may need them to email you a screenshot of their review in order to claim their reward).


Keep in mind that you should request sincere feedback rather than expecting them in return for a reward. This can harm your reputation and is frequently against the law.


That said, you can still be selective about who you ask for reviews — if a customer had an amazing experience, don’t pass up the opportunity to get a review from them. On the other hand, if the consumer had a negative experience for one reason or another, concentrate your efforts on resolving the issue rather than soliciting immediate feedback from the general public.


You’ll do better without a perfect score.


Oddly, customers are much more influenced by ratings of 4.2 to 4.5 stars than a perfect 5-star rating. In other words, you normally fare better with a large number of reviews with a subpar average than you do with a flawless 5-star rating.


The two reasons for this are as follows: first, most people believe a 5-star rating to be unreal. Second, oftentimes businesses with 5-star ratings only have a handful of reviews, and it’s easy to wonder if it’s just employees and friends leaving perfect reviews to artificially boost the company’s rating.


Today, customer reviews are essential to the profitability of any auto shop. Low review counts can cause customers to avoid your dealership or fail to follow through with a purchase. Focus on driving your review count higher, and you’ll find revenue goes up along with it.

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