The below guest blog was written by Brian Pasch – Founder of PCG Companies, Author, Keynote Speaker – and originally published on LinkedIn.
Your dealership should have a process in place that ensures that online reviews are posted consistently by your customers each month. The three A’s for success are: Awareness, Assessment, and Ask.
Awareness – If your dealership is having difficulty increasing the number of reviews on Google or third-party websites, you should first confirm that your team understands the influence and visibility of online reviews. You should require that all employees read the 2016 PCG Auto Shopper Influence Study, which is available for download at: http://bit.ly/GetShopperStudy. It is critical that sales and service associates understand that online reviews will benefit them as well as the dealership.
Assessment – You need to measure your team’s enthusiasm about the dealership’s customer service experience. I know that this sounds like an odd question, but are your employees really proud of your showroom and service drive experience? Are there unresolved management issues that have created tension between managers and customer facing employees?
I have seen cases where dealership employees get bogged down in the few customer service hiccups that happen each month at the dealership. They develop tunnel vision which prevents them from seeing the bigger picture; the majority of your customers are happy. Make sure that you talk through any issues that would create psychological barriers for your staff to proudly ask a customer to write review.
Ask – If your team is proud of your dealership customer service experience, I would start focusing on training your team to ask for reviews in the service drive. The average dealership in the U.S. has seven times more consumer transactions per month in service than in sales.
Update Your Active Delivery Script
Your service advisers most likely already remind customers your manufacturer will be surveying their experience, which is often included in an active delivery process. Update your active delivery script with a few simple lines, that can go something like this for a customer named Jim:
Jim, in addition to the survey our manufacturer will send you, online reviews are very important to me. Local consumers, just like you, see online reviews when they search for our dealership.
Jim, since you told me that you had a great experience today, would you take one minute before you leave to post a review on Google or ___________ using your mobile phone for me?
If yes: Do you need me to show you how?
The blank represents any review website that you want to promote that month. You will always want to get more Google reviews because they are seen the most number of times each month.
Simple Changes Will Make A Big Difference
This simple addition to your active delivery script will help you jumpstart your online reviews. You must show your service advisors how to direct consumers on their mobile phone to write a review. The process is simple, but your employees have to be fast in helping the consumer get to the posting page.
When your customers post reviews, make sure that they are on their cellular network and not on the dealership’s Wi-Fi network. You can also ask permission to text the customer a link to your review page(s). This will make it very easy for them to complete the review process.
Make sure that all sales and service associates are using this updated script. If they make this little change, you could become the highest rated dealership in your market. This will allow you to have a strong reputation marketing campaign to differentiate your dealership in a very competitive market.
Your dealership should have 300+ reviews on all major review platforms associated with the auto industry. Start with the websites that have the greatest visibility. Here are the top five places to start:
Yelp has always been a source of frustration with auto dealers. The company seems to hide authentic reviews from customers of auto dealerships. Your goal for Yelp should be to have a steady stream of reviews but they must come from active Yelpers. You can modify your active delivery script to inquire if a customer is active on Yelp. If they say yes, then they should review your dealership on Yelp before any other website.