The car dealership of today is much different that it was a few short years ago. The advent of the Internet is constantly changing the way the game is played and you better too because your car dealer reputation is on the line. Your online reputation is far reaching and it can impact every part of your business. How are your new car sales, used car sales and even service sales? Is profitability up or down? Are your sales up or are they down? How is your showroom traffic? How is your income? Is it the same as last year, more than last year or is it down?
It doesn’t matter if you are a floor car salesman, Internet Sales Manager, Sales Manager, GSM or GM your car dealer reputation may be hurting your business. Everybody that works in a dealership is affected by what the consumer has to say about your dealership. The angry or disgruntled customer would tell ten people about their experience a few years ago, but today they are telling the world. They are logging onto the Internet and providing their side of the story (maybe even a little more dramatically then it was) and the world believes everything they say because the car business already has a poor reputation. Customers can forgive and forget, but negative posts about your operation will last as long as we have the Internet.
The simple fact that you are still in business means that you have many happy and satisfied customers, but one or two negative reviews will make people wonder. Four or five will make potential customers look a little harder and when ten people post a bad experience it will cause them to look elsewhere. Pretty soon you wondering why your showroom traffic is slowing and your sales have fallen below last years levels. Your car dealer reputation could be the reason.
What is Your Car Dealership Reputation?
You can’t stop people from posting negative reviews about your auto dealership, but you can take a good hard look at the way you do business and make the changes that need to be made. Before things get too far you need to go to Google and search your dealership name and the word review. Also search your name with the word Yelp, Dealer Rater, Yahoo Local, Google Places, Rip-Off Report, Angies List to name a few and check out each one of those links. What is being said about your dealership and what is your car dealer reputation?
Do you have a process in place that requires the salesman or manager to ask your happy and satisfied customers to go online and talk about their experience? Are you taking pictures or videos of your customers and publishing their quotes about their car buying experience on your website, YouTube, Facebook and everywhere else that will allow you to post? I am not talking about putting words in their mouth, but using the customer’s own words and even better is letting them talk freely on a video. Seeing and hearing the customer speak of their experience is more powerful than reading.
Take a good look at the way you treat your customers and your car sales training, then decide if that is what you want to written all over the World Wide Web. Try to consider the customers point of view and think about what they would say and whether or not it would help or hinder your car dealer reputation. You still have time, but you need to take action NOW!
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot