How Your Online Reputation Affects Your Sales

How do people find out about your dealership? That is a question all owners should be asking themselves. If your goal is to bring in the money then you need to know why that money came to your dealership and not a different one. So with that in mind let’s talk about Reputation management.

So in essence, here’s what we are gonna be talking about

  1. People’s viewpoint on reviews
  2. How reviews affect your sales
  3. What to do with those reviews

Let’s be honest, we’ve all found ourselves on the road thinking, “Gosh darnit we need to find a place to eat.” So of course you have a friend hit up Yelp and you find the restaurant you want eat at. But let me ask you this: have you ever eaten at a 2 star restaurant? I mean, come on, no one wants to be the guy who makes an angry comment online about their less-than-pleasing meal, so you don’t even bother.

Now how much would that food have cost you? $6 maybe? With this economy you can’t afford to waste money, and that’s just $6! Now let’s say you wanna buy a $15k car. Do you really wanna buy it from a two-star dealership? You won’t even take a chance with a $6 meal, let alone with 15 thousand dollars! You would have to be insane to do something like that! Like most other people, you would only want to buy a car from at least a 3 star dealership or, if possible, a 4- or 5-star dealership.

Now at this point it’s no secret that reviews affect your business, but the real question is just how much does it affect your business? Well, according to a study done by Dataium and DealerRater, the chances of a costumer showing up at the dealership increases by 90% just by having a 3- to 5-star rating.

And that 3- to 5-star rating also makes it 5.3 times more likely to convert a lead to a customer when dealers have consumer-written online reviews. Just having at least 7 reviews within a 6 month period means you will receive 3 times more VDP views when compared to those who have little to no reviews. And why does all that matter? Why do you want more views? Why do you want 3- to 5-star rating? Well, it increases your online reputation for one. A good reputation can be the success of dealership, while a poor one could be the death that same dealership. In fact, a business is currently suing someone who wrote a bad review, claiming the writer has cost the business, 300 thousand dollars!

This picture is from some great guys at AutoRevo, and it really shows the importance of social media in the car dealership world
This picture is from some great guys at AutoRevo, and it really shows the importance of social media in the car dealership world

The reality is that sales can be the difference between success and failure, but don’t let that scare you. So let’s consider not worrying about reviews and instead taking action to ensure that you, the owner, can continue to bring in the sales. Interestingly enough, the word “friendly” was associated with 20% of the reviews that had a 4- to 5-star rating. That’s right, just being friendly can increase your chances of getting that lead.

But just pretendfor a second that you’re a buyer. Now money is tight in today’s economy and for some reason it seems like everyone is either lying or trying to cheat you out of your money. You want a dealership you can trust and, well, so does everyone else. Yet another common denominator to getting the sale is that people want a dealership they can trust. What’s another thing that people like? Being responsive; yes, calling back your potential customer has a huge impact. In fact, being responsive is common in good reviews. Caring about your customers will lead to those good reviews. This, in turn, leads to an increase in sales, which means more money for your business!

But let’s talk about having no reviews—spoiler alert! It’s almost as bad as having bad reviews. A dealership with no reviews gets about 52 daily VDP views, but a Dealership with 7 or more reviews increased the VDP views by 100! By having no reviews you miss out on potential customers. Needless to say, that’s unacceptable. But get this—according to an 8 month study done by Cobalt, 30 views on a VDP decreased the time a car spends on the lot by 44%!

So to sum everything up, good reviews = sales and no reviews = no sales. The internet is where everyone goes to see if they want to buy a car. They do research by reading reviews and then make decisions based on said reviews. So I gotta ask, are you ready to manage your Reputation?


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