Digital Reputation Counts: Take Charge in Your Service Department, Part 1

Naked Lime Director of Web Services Brad Highland recently authored an article for Fixed Ops Magazine about the importance of reputation management for dealership service departments. We will be sharing that post with you as our latest blog series. Enjoy!

Several times in my career, I’ve taken a new job and moved to a new city. Along with finding a new place to live, I’ve had to find new service providers such as doctors, dry cleaners and car dealerships.

Online reviews have helped me find new providers, shedding light on which businesses are trustworthy, transparent and willing to address customer complaints head-on and “make it right.” A positive review can help tip the scale for me to choose a business; a negative one can turn me away.

I tell you this because my experience is not much different from most consumers.

In fact, the sales website Visual Visitor reports that more than eight out of 10 shoppers say an online review positively influences whether they buy a product or service. On the other hand, about the same number say negative information from an online review has changed their mind.

That’s why it’s important for your Service Department to have a strategy for listening to what’s being said online and for handling positive and negative reviews. That strategy can help you take charge of your Service Department’s digital reputation to help attract new customers and keep loyal ones coming back.

How?

Step 1: Make a ‘Plan of Attack’

Most dealerships aim to deliver a quality Service experience to every customer.

But even the best Service Departments can have unhappy customers from time to time. Ignoring those customers and allowing negative reviews to sit unchecked on social media or review sites paints an unsightly picture for potential customers.

On the other hand, tackling those negative reviews can help prevent customer issues from slipping through the cracks and potentially making a bad situation even worse.

To start uncovering what’s being said online about your Service Department, you’ll need a “plan of attack” to monitor and respond to online reviews. That plan should include:

  • How to monitor review sites and social media to help ensure customer issues are addressed.
  • How to engage with unhappy consumers and write professional responses to negative reviews.
  • How to engage with customers who leave positive reviews to strengthen relationships.

At a minimum, you should be monitoring the most popular online review sites to learn what’s being said about your Service Department. You can manually scan review sites or use one of a number of free or low-cost digital tools to help you.

But if you want to truly capture everything that’s being said online about your Service Department, look for a more robust tool or service that monitors the entire Web to identify comments on blogs, review sites and social media. You’ll be better able to find more issues, more quickly, in order to protect your reputation.

Come back next week for the next step to your complete digital reputation strategy. If you can't wait to learn more, call 855.NKD.LIME or email info@nakedlime.com.