By Andrew James
Just like car buyers look at dealerships’ online reviews, dealers and dealership employees look at online reviews when deciding which vendors to use at their store.
Everyone is a consumer and wants to hear product and service experiences from other consumers in their situation –it’s human nature.
According to SearchEngineLand, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Automotive retail is no different.
There has to be some level of trust in a dealer’s mind before virtually any kind of purchase is made from a vendor.
Online reviews are a powerful way for dealers and dealership employees to share their experiences with their peers.
Vendors can capitalize on this opportunity, as online reviews are very much a two-way street.
There are many benefits vendors can gain from online reviews when looked at through the right lens.
Here are five advantages vendors should know:
1. There's A Site Dedicated To Collecting Vendor Ratings
DrivingSales is the only online review site in retail automotive that verifies each received vendor rating by calling the dealership and verifying with the person who left the online review.
The dealership is called three times.
If DrivingSales is unable to reach the dealer or dealership employee who left the review after attempting to call them and leaving a voicemail, the review is blocked.
Dealers and dealership employees can only rate a single product or service every quarter, which discourages the system to be gamed.
Claiming your page on DrivingSales’ Vendor Ratings is simple and can easy get vendor’s quality products and services in front of dealers.
2. Online Reviews Give You Free Testimonials and Exposure
Online reviews provide vendor’s happiest dealers a platform to share the benefits and value delivered to their dealership.
With the right plan in place, vendors can invite customers to share their positive experiences and the goals vendors have helped them achieve on online review platforms.
This is a great way for vendors to get exposure to potential customers and lead them to visiting their website, scheduling a demo and, hopefully, making a purchase.
3. Online Reviews Boost Brand Awareness
Whether responding to a positive or negative review, vendors should always adhere to their brand’s standards.
Because online reviews are public, it’s a great opportunity for vendors to digitally portray how they treat their customers.
By responding to customers’ online reviews professionally and directly, vendors can show, both existing and potential customers, how much they value their customers.
Vendors should always highlight their “company voice” when responding to online reviews.
4. Online Reviews Increase Search Engine Rankings
Google favors highly-rated websites.
According to Search Engine Watch, online review signals account for 9.8% of the total Google ranking factors.
It’s imperative vendors track their online reviews, but try and improve them with a clear strategy on each of the major online review platforms.
If vendors leverage Google and Facebook’s online reviews correctly according to their algorithms, vendor’s brands and websites will get in front of more dealers.
5. Online Reviews Provide You With Product And Service Feedback
Vendors can discover areas to improve their product(s) and services by simply listening to their customer’s feedback.
There are several online review tracking tools available to help vendors analyze online reviews across several channels such as Google and Facebook.
Vendors who consistently analyze their online reviews can learn the strengths and weaknesses of their product(s) and service(s).
Vendors should embrace feedback and learn how they are being perceived in retail automotive.
Online reviews open doors for vendor’s product teams to consider new functionality or review old habits that may need to change to better meet dealerships’ needs.