No business owner likes to read negative reviews. On a personal level, they can be hurtful; you care about your business, and don’t like people speaking ill of it. And on a business level, negative reviews can take a huge bite out of your online reputation. It’s no exaggeration to say that a bad review on Facebook or Google can scare away customers and corrode your bottom line.
Still, bad reviews can happen. They may even happen to your used car dealership. The question is, if you spot some critical words on an online review site, what can you do about it?
We have five suggestions.
Step Away for a Few Minutes
It’s only natural to feel a little angry in the face of a bad review—but lashing out or responding in rage will only make things worse. Step away for a little while to make sure you can approach the review with a cool head. You may even wait a few days before responding.
You may not think you did anything wrong—but the customer thinks you did, and it’s important to acknowledge that. Write a response and simply let them know that you are sorry they had a bad experience. Remember, most people who write bad reviews only want to be acknowledged.
Try to Make Things Right
A negative review is frustrating, but it is also a great opportunity to offer some customer service. Offer to make things right however you can—with some sort of discount, refund, or other special treatment.
One of the best things you can try to do is shift the conversation from a highly public forum to someplace more private. Let the customer know how much you want to help them, and invite them to either call or email you directly. That way, you can avoid airing too much of your dirty laundry in front of other potential customers.
Hopefully, these efforts to acknowledge the person and offer a solution will result in the review being amended or removed. But if it’s not? Well, there’s frankly not much you can do about it. You can’t have bad reviews purged, even if you think they’re fallacious. Better to move on and help other customers have a meaningful experience. And make sure you ask those customers to write you some positive reviews—balancing out that negative one.
What today’s dealers need to remember is that online reviews are key to the buyer decision-making process—so having a strategy to manage these reviews is crucial. It’s also something our marketing team can help you with. Reach out to Get My Auto to learn more!