8 Rules of Reputation Management

Number 1. Monitor all online commentary.  Do not focus solely on the review sites.  Critical discussions are happening about your dealership throughout the web including review sites, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, blogs, discussion forums, etc. and it is all important.

Number 2. Pay attention to all discussions involving your dealership.  There is nothing trivial.  These are your customers and prospects and their comments and feelings are important.

Number 3. Handle negative comments in the following manner:

a) Assess each comment to determine if it is real or spam.  There are significant numbers of spam comments today.  Some companies and individuals take the “if I can’t build mine up, I’ll tear your reputation down” approach.

b) If you feel the comment is fake, attempt to have it removed by requesting the website authority to remove it.

c) If you feel the comment is real, investigate the situation to see if you can determine who the individual is.  If you can determine the person, investigate the situation internally before contacting the individual, so you can deal with the customer in the best possible fashion.

d) Contact the individual in the most discreet manner possible and state that you would like to work with them to correct the situation. Always attempt to take the conversation off-line.

Number 4.  Always be respectful, courteous and considerate. There is never an excuse to not display manners.

Number 5. We would like to have the negative commentary removed/diffused, but the most important thing is to take care of the customer. Putting the customer first is good for business.

Number 6. Remember that we want to do everything reasonable to correct a situation.  This does not mean that we'll do anything. Realize that some people will never be satisfied and that some negative commentary is going to take place.

Number 7. It is vitally important that our satisfied customers share their comments online.  Encourage your satisfied customers to post their comments.  The number one way to impact this is to simply ask them to do so.

Number 8. It’s simple, but true.  The best way to build a positive online reputation is to take care of your customers off-line.  A well treated and happy customer can be your best advocate.

Following these 8 rules will deliver a system that will keep you apprised of your customers’ conversations and put you in control of managing your reputation.