Online reviews—particularly on Google—can be a major asset to your used car dealership. They help instill trust, they boost your SEO visibility, and they can give you an edge over the competition.
Unless, of course, those reviews are negative, in which case they can very quickly become the bane of your existence.
But for as demoralizing and as potentially damaging as bad reviews can be, there are ways to address them, and potentially to turn them into positives. Here are a few tips for how to respond to negative reviews your dealership receives.
How to Handle Bad Reviews
- First, cool down. Reading a negative review can make you feel really angry—but responding in rage isn’t going to help you any more than yelling at a customer who comes into your showroom. As a business owner, you always have to be the bigger person—so step away and cool down before responding.
- Apologize. You know that old saying, the customer is always right? There’s a lot of truth to it. Even if you don’t feel like you did anything wrong, always apologize to the customer for their negative experience.
- Acknowledge the problem. Again, you may not really think there’s an issue, but it’s important to help the customer feel like you hear them. Simply restating their concern, showing that you do in fact understand what they are saying, is critical.
- Try to make things right. Bad reviews give you an opportunity to practice some customer service! One way you can do this is to ask how you can make amends with the buyer. Show that you’re willing to do what it takes to help them have a better experience at your dealership.
- Try to take it offline. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to offer a name and a direct phone number where they can call and have their issue resolved—away from the public eye.
- Remember that you can’t force anyone to take down their bad review. Often, making good-faith customer service attempts will result in that negative review being taken down, or updated to be more positive. Remember, though, that you can’t make this happen—and sometimes, you just get stuck with a bad review. That’s all the more reason to focus on getting more positive ones!
Online reviews are meaningful to consumers, and also to Google’s search algorithms—so take them seriously! And if you get a bad one, don’t panic. Just use these steps to try and turn things around.
Learn more about effective branding for your used car dealership by contacting Get My Auto.