Customer Feedback is a Tool. Does Your Dealership Use It?

What do people think of your dealership?

If you were to personally ask each of your customers their thoughts, chances are the response would be overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, that’s not how online reviews work.

All too often, companies are at the mercy of their least happy customers, who are far more inclined to leave a review than a satisfied customer. Considering 86 percent of consumers hesitate to buy from a company that receives several negative reviews, you simply can’t stand by and hope for praise to roll in.

On the contrary, you should actively seek out and engage with feedback. Customer reviews are much more than a blurb of text that appears beneath your dealership’s name in a Google search.

Feedback is an extremely powerful tool. Here’s how you can use it to carefully grow your public image.

Maintain an Environment where Happy Customers Flourish

Imagine you’ve just delivered a grade-A sales experience. Your customer exits the dealership with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. Why let all that positive energy go to waste? Instead, harness it.

Doing nothing is almost always easier than doing something, so you can’t rely on even your most satisfied customers to take the initiative to leave a positive review. It’s up to you to break that inertia.

Your customers are far more likely to leave a review when prompted to do so. Asking nicely never hurts, but you’re much better off supplying them with customized point-of-sale materials that guide them to the review sites with the biggest impact.

A survey link printed on a receipt is destined to end up crumpled at the bottom of a car’s cup holder. On the other hand, directly walking a customer through the review process with follow-up surveys and timely emails makes it easy to share their praise with thousands of prospective buyers.

The relationship between a business and a customer is a two-way street. Encouraging feedback plants the seeds for customer loyalty to bloom in the long run.

Give Extra Care to Your Dissatisfied Customers

Despite everything you do to make every dealership interaction a great one, you’re bound to end up with a few disgruntled customers.

As tempting as it can be to tune out criticism amidst an abundance of praise, doing so will never help grow your business to its full potential. Go against your instincts and focus on your harshest critics, responding to their comments and offering remedies to their complaints.

Not only might this approach patch things up with the upset party, but nearly half of consumers say they’re more likely to patronize a business if it responds to negative reviews.

And that makes perfect sense. People yearn to be heard and to feel like their input matters. A business that takes the time to engage with its customers is one that appears trustworthy and open to bettering itself.

Of course, reaching out to someone who has publicly expressed discontent with your business can be daunting. Consider consulting a third party that monitors the web for mentions of your dealership and provides detailed notifications of negative criticism so you are fully equipped to respond and cultivate a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

Your in-store sales process is designed to give customers the best experience possible. But, before you enter a home, remember that you’re always going to see the lawn out front first. Take control of your online reputation so all your hard work inside the dealership benefits you just as much outside of it.