Not only should your dealership’s website be a seamless interaction space, you should be responding to negative reviews and all inquiries that your online presence creates.

Prospects Are More Prepared

Your Dealership’s Online Reputation MattersThink of the last time you purchased something online: what ultimately made you feel comfortable buying something on the online space? Did you check reviews, “stars”, and rankings of the product or the company? Odds are, you did a little bit of this before you entered in your credit card information. Your buyers are doing the same thing before they decide to walk through your doors.

Online shopping has become a norm, and created what some are calling the “Amazon effect,” where customers are comparing prices, makes, models, and dealers, all before they purchase anything. Most buyers now are informed buyers, who know what they want before they talk to your salespeople.

This is, in part, to speed up the car buying transaction process, since the average time to finalize a deal is about three hours. Prospects do research ahead of time, so they can get in and out as quickly as possible – no one wants to spend hours making a decision to then have to spend another few hours filling out paperwork.

Online shopping has changed the expectations of buyers in nearly every retail setting. Therefore, it’s important to boost your online reputation: customers are reading what others are saying about you.

Responding to Reviews

One of the most important things you can do to improve your online reputation is to work on your search engine optimization (SEO), and interacting with customers through online spaces. There is a strong connection between review response time and SEO rankings. In other words, the faster your response time, the higher you’re likely to rank on organic searches – which is a bonus to the transparency that customers want and expect from stores now.

If a customer posts a negative review and you respond, it shows you’ve read, understood, and addressed the customer’s concerns rather than ignored it. It also allows customers to see both sides of a negative review, and it can give a future customer a peek into how your location handles grievances and frustrations from other customers.

You should also be responding to positive reviews, as well, and just a simple “thank you for the kind words” does the trick. This shows that your location appreciates the positive words, and that you’ve noticed and read all feedback that has been posted about your location.

It would also be beneficial to have one person respond and keep track of the reviews and responses to maintain a consistent brand image. Use a steady, consistent tone, with succinct responses. Have a response strategy in place for negative and positive reviews that sound genuine and are short and sweet, all while maintaining professionalism and transparency.

Your online representative should have a clear brand image that you want to portray, to help avoid posting anything that conflicts with your location’s ideals or polices.

Online Reputation Is Key During COVID-19

With stay-at-home orders still in effect in some states and no real end in sight of the coronavirus pandemic, your dealership should be maintaining every aspect of your website and online domain to draw in leads.

While the auto industry is certainly in a little bit of a slump, it’s not down and out. People still need vehicles, and if you’re not taking advantage of subprime leads, you could be missing out on used car sales with a motivated market.

If you’re in the need of subprime leads, talk to us at Auto Credit Express. We’re an award-winning lead generator, and we’ve been in the subprime business for two decades. We’ll help send motivated subprime leads, as well as new and used car sales leads, to your doors.

To start the conversation, give us a call at 888-535-2277 or use our online contact form.