When it comes to used car sales, trust is critical. We all know the reputation that used car dealers have—whether fairly or not—as being shady or dishonest. While that stigma is starting to fade, the fact remains that, before you can sell anyone a car, you have to win their trust.
The Internet complicates things. It’s never been easier for buyers to do an online search and quickly assess your dealership’s reputation—and the information they find will determine whether or not they ultimately give you their business.
Managing Your Dealership’s Online Reputation
For example, if a buyer Googles your dealership and finds online five-star reviews from previous customers, that can instill trust—and send foot traffic to your showroom. But if that Google search reveals customer complaints and bad reviews, you may lose business to your competitors. In fact, it’s almost certain.
That’s what makes it so vital for your dealership to be actively engaged in managing its online reputation—but how? While you can’t always control what people write about you on the Internet, you can actively court positive reviews, while also working to build trust through thought leadership.
Filling the Web with Positive Listings
First, it’s important to realize that, if you want Google searches to reveal positive information about your dealership, it’s up to you to create that positive information. Here are a few basic strategies:
- Make sure you have a strong dealership website that provides good, helpful information to buyers; use local SEO strategies to help your page rank.
- Start a blog, providing valuable information about the used car buying process—financing guides, how-tos, maintenance suggestions, etc. This is a great way to build trust and cultivate a positive reputation!
- It may also be worthwhile to generate positive media mentions; for example, if your dealership gets involved with a local charity or non-profit, send out a press release to let people know.
What About Online Reviews?
Online reviews, posted to sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook can also be make-or-break for your dealership’s online reputation. Some rules of thumb:
- Always monitor your reviews, and be in the know about what people are saying about your brand.
- If you receive positive reviews, take a minute to offer a word of thanks. That kind of engagement goes a long way!
- If you see negative reviews, offer customer service. It’s vital not to get angry, or at least not to show it in public; instead, ask how you can make things right.
- Ideally, your dealership will have someone assigned to review management on a daily basis.
- You should also be active in seeking out reviews. Ask your satisfied buyers to leave you their feedback!
The bottom line? Your dealership’s reputation is one of its most precious resources. As you seek to uphold yours, be active in managing reviews, creating positive content, and engaging with your buyers. Learn more about auto dealership marketing by calling Get My Auto today!