Why Car Dealerships Need to Manage Their Online Reputation

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For automobile dealerships, nothing is more important than their reputation. Their reputation is one of those crucial elements that will determine the number of customers they will have. A strong online reputation encourages customer loyalty, convinces potential customers to make an inquiry call to your dealership, helps new customers to buy and ultimately improves your bottom line.

According to a study conducted by Google, nearly 62 percent of car buyers check online reviews before walking into a dealership, and almost 95 percent of car buyers start their automobile search online. Businesses have accepted this reality and are seeking reputation management services from specialized firms.

With so many car dealerships falling victim to unfavorable customer reviews, the risk of jeopardizing their online reputation is a growing concern. According to a survey, nearly 77 percent of business owners acknowledge the importance of having a strong online reputation. A negative online reputation is such a huge concern that the damage ranks in the top five risks that concern businesses.

In a world where the customers are guided by review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, dealership owners need to take control of their image and reputation. The increasing popularity of the Internet and social media networks has provided customers with more opportunities than ever to share their opinions and feedback about dealerships and their service standards.

Most automobile dealership owners find managing their online reputations an overwhelming and defeating task. Actions such as monitoring third-party review sites, responding to online comments and asking customers to post positive feedback can help establish a healthy online reputation. Dealerships that are proactive in handling negative online comments go a long way toward fixing the damage.

Here are some of the key reasons why managing their online reputation is a necessity for car dealerships:

1. Increased bottom line: Most customers research cars online before making the final decision. Do you know what your customers are looking for? You must stay ahead of the game with effective online reputation management and monitoring strategies.

2. Enhanced credibility: When a lot of customers are raving about your service quality, your credibility goes up. The more credible your reputation is, the more business it will attract.

3. Setting expectations: When customers buy from your dealership due to positive online reviews, they are sure to experience unmatched service. These online reviews can help you set quality standards for meeting the high expectations of your customers.

4. Provide unmatched customer service: Make customer service the centerpiece of your brand identity. Through your website, blog and social media pages, you can let existing and potential customers know what's new and exciting at your dealership.

5. Understand customer problems: You can use online reviews as a tool for identifying common customer complaints and pain points. Online reviews can give you insight into what your customers like about your service and how you can improve to meet their demands better.

6. Improve brand visibility: The more active you are online, the more people will see you. Updated business information, new reviews, a responsive website and active social media pages will influence your search engine rank and visibility. The more potential customers see you, the more leads you will attract.

It is a known fact that customers prefer to spend money on brands they trust. One of the effective ways to maintain a strong online reputation for your car dealership is to be proactive about service and respond professionally to online comments. Word travels fast on the Internet, and managing your online reputation is vital to maintaining a positive brand image.


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