Hey team, thanks for all the great plays you are sharing over at Winit2011.com this month and for letting us know how your dealership is scoring big with Dealer Reviews!

In the last Highlight Reel, we dove right in and talked about how important it is to ask for reviews.  One of the questions on the Winning Plays board, however, was how to ask in a way that gets customers to write reviews — according to this poster, it just seemed difficult to get their customers to participate.  But getting your customers to write reviews doesn’t have to be the most challenging play to master at your dealership. Let’s take a look at the various places in your dealership where you can tackle this important task, and how to make that ask in a way that gets results.

Create a culture that embraces reviews – and rewards the players that score big.

Before doing anything else, foster a culture at your dealership that makes reviews a priority.  Build review acquisition into all of your dealership’s processes, including sales, F&I and service.  Take time to go through both good and bad reviews at meetings, and engage your team in a conversation about what led to that review.  If it’s a negative review, are there any processes at your store that need attention in order to prevent repeat complaints?  If it was a good review, give credit where credit is due.  Print out good reviews and allow your staff to display them at their desks, and consider instituting a spiff program that rewards your staff with gift cards and other perks for scoring big with customers.

Step up your game in the service department.

Because your service department sees so many repeat customers, it’s a great place to start asking for reviews!  By asking for reviews, you’re showing customers that you value their business and want to ensure they have a great experience.  Placing signage in your waiting room, handing out “thank you” cards, hanging signs on a customer’s rear-view mirror and sending follow-up e-mails, all with links to your dealership’s reviews pages on sites like Cars.com, are all great  strategies to put in your playbook that make it easy for your service customers to write reviews.

Score reviews from sales customers.

Buying a new vehicle is an exciting time for a customer – use that excitement to your advantage by asking for a review at the point of sale, both verbally and by handing out cards directing them to your review sites.  Also incorporate asking for reviews into your follow-up phone calls and e-mails thanking them for their purchase.  In all of your communications, be sure to mention that your dealership takes pride in its online reputation and would greatly appreciate that customer’s feedback, then make the process simple by providing links to your review sites.  Simplifying the process as much as possible for the consumer increases your chance of scoring their feedback.

Rally for reviews at reception.

Your star players at reception are the eyes and ears of your dealership. They greet and thank everyone that walks through your doors. Encourage them to ask the customers they see if they would mind writing up a quick review on their experience.  Be sure to leave “how did we do?” cards at the front desk, and train your reception team to ask.

For more great plays on scoring big with reviews, check out my video at WinIt2011.com, then head over to the Winning Plays board to read about how other dealers are “In It To Win It” with car shoppers.  Don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes for your chance to win an iPad 2!