How critical are online reviews to your business? Maybe more critical than you think. About 91 percent of auto shoppers read online reviews before deciding which dealerships to shop. And research shows a few dozen reviews can increase the number of clicks generated by a Google search three-fold.

Google and Facebook are increasingly becoming the go-to resources for information about auto dealers, and your reputation is displayed prominently on the results pages of any search, whether you ask for it or not. That’s why you have to manage your online reputation — it’s essential for boosting your visibility and shaping how consumers perceive your brand.

But a solid strategy for improving your online reputation has many components. First, you have to ensure information about your business and locations is consistent and accurate across general and automotive business listing sites. After all, that’s how car buyers find you. Another important step is to increase the volume of positive reviews about your dealership to offset any existing negative ones and ensure your reputation matches your true level of customer satisfaction. The most powerful way to get more positive reviews is simply to ask for them, but how you ask for them will make a major difference.

Next, monitoring and responding to online reviews promptly demonstrates your commitment to customers, and enables you to fix any issues quickly. You can build customer advocacy by engaging with customers and leveraging feedback to drive continuous improvements in how you operate your dealership. Sharing positive customer feedback via social channels and your website is a final essential step.

Managing your online reputation is a tall order, but one you have to grapple with. Fortunately, there are proven tools that can help you tackle the task.

I’ll be covering online reputation management in more detail during my my session at the 22nd Digital Dealer Conference & Expo. Join me to learn how to enhance your reputation online, improve customer service experience, and drive financial results in your dealership.

Author: Mark Lange

Mark Lange, Chief Marketing Officer at Reputation.com, began his sales career cold-calling for Merrill Lynch, selling municipal bonds. He quickly realized he’d be better in a supporting role — and has since devoted 20 years to helping salespeople sell more effectively. He has held founding marketing, sales, and product leadership roles in successful information and enterprise SaaS businesses, and led the sales team for a $1.2 billion line of business at SAP.
EMAIL: mlange@reputation.com

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