“A lack of reviews is not a reputation management strategy”
Are you monitoring your dealership’s reviews? Do you know what customers are saying about your brand? Today’s car buyers are looking for a high level of engagement from your dealership. Nowadays, the initial contact dealerships make with customers is online. Positive reviews provide customers confidence when working with an unfamiliar dealer and allows for greater lead generation. A strong reputation management strategy is essential to compete in today’s automotive market. Dominion Dealer Solutions’ Prime Response reputation management technology offers dealers an automated email system that reaches out to customers to ask them about their experience at your dealership.
A huge challenge for dealers today is their lead generation efforts. They are being stunted by a bad reputation or lack of reviews. This user generated content is in the path of consumers. How these consumers are now engaging with the dealership is coming through Google, or using Cars.com and Edmunds. All of these avenues now use reputation and social content in their mix. So it’s very important to be able to manage your reputation.
A dealership needs to have reviews. An absence of reviews is not a reputation management strategy. The reason for this is very simple, if there are two restaurants on a street, do you want to go to one that has lots of people engaged and telling you about it, or the one that has nothing. It’s a pretty simple choice and there are hundreds of car dealers in every city. That’s why it’s important for those reviews to be in place.
The best solution for managing your reputation can be done right in the store, and that is your general manager could stand at the front door, and could shake the hand of every customer that walks out. But what I described there is not sustainable. Because you’re general manager can’t be at the front door and meet every customer. That’s why it’s important to be able to put an automated turnkey system in place that is going to be able to help you with this challenge.
Dominion has a suite of reputation services called Prime Response. This solution connects up to the database of the store. DMS, CRM, and automates an email going out to every customer who came in. Basically, reaching out to that consumer and asking them “Did you have a good experience in the store?” Now they can choose “Yes” in the email and go online and leave a review, at a review site that is beneficial to the store. Or if they hit “No”, we’re going to put them on an internal survey that is private, and is only shared back with the person in the store that can help resolve that issue.
So Dominion Solutions is very deep, we’ve been doing this since 2010. And because we’ve had this much time working on this product it’s very effective for stores. And what do I mean by effective? Well, driving reputation is basically like doing direct marketing. We’re trying to drive consumers to take an action online. In this case were trying to get them to leave a review.
We have a very small number of people to work with if you think about the average number of people that come through a store in a month, In order to get those customers to engage and leave a review online. To get a portion of them to do it. We have to be very, very effective. We have to drive conversion in our emails. We have to dial in the subject lines .Where we send them online is very important. For instance, we’ve integrated directly with Cars.com and Edmunds, to be able to bring that system even tighter and drive more conversion.
In the past, one person could have shared with another person their bad experience. Today, one person could share their bad experience online with thousands upon thousands of people. So it’s crucial that a dealership manage their reputation, because it will be shared with the masses.