You might remember from grade school how fast a rumor can spread from person to person. Now, think of how fast that same rumor could spread today (and how far it could spread) thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and blog sites. Ouch. Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.
While you don’t want to believe that someone would say anything negative about your dealership, getting a bad online review has become as inevitable as flat tires, running out of milk, or getting lost.
Follow these steps to deal with unfavorable online reviews:
1. Monitor the Web: In order to know what customers are saying about your dealership, you’ll need to scour the web to hear the word on the street. Most people won’t call to tell you they have a problem, yet they also won’t hesitate to complain on social media sites or forums. Think about it like this: if you have to bail on a friend last minute, isn’t it so much easier to text him to break the bad news rather than calling him?
2. Think It Through: It all goes back to what your mother used to tell you: “Think before you speak.” When you find a negative comment, it’s easy to want to respond right away and defend your business; however, you don’t want to jump the gun and say something you’ll regret later. Take a deep breath, think it through, and respond when you’re acting on best practices, not anger.
3. Respond: Make sure customers know you have heard their concern, apologize for any inconvenience you may have caused, and let them know you are working to fix the problem. Not only will troubled customers’ attitudes likely change for the better, but other customers will take note of the customer service you provided and appreciate your dedication to helping your customers.
4. Promote the Good: The good news is that not all online reviews will be bad. When you find customers who rave about your dealership, ask them to post the review in other places as well. Word of mouth can be a great thing, so it pays to use it to your advantage when a happy customer is willing to spread the good news.
Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Know what customers are saying about your dealership and follow these steps to prepare yourself for the online reviews you find so that you can make customers happy and keep them coming back.