The simple punchline? You should not treat customer reviews passively.
On the contrary, you have a very important and active role to play in the customer review process, as discussed in our recently published DealerRater Guide to Online Reviews. In my last few blog posts, I shared how and why dealers should manage customer reviews by monitoring and responding to them. But as important as it is to monitor and respond to reviews, you can jumpstart sales growth, improve customer retention and retain star salespeople by encouraging customers to write reviews of their experience at your dealership.
About eight out of 10 shoppers use online car reviews and car dealership reviews as part of their decision-making process. We found that consumers who feel strongly about their purchase or experience feel compelled to write about it, but sometimes they need a push – and this is where your salespeople or service advisors play a critical role. Here’s how:
- Train your sales and service teams to always ask customers for a review post-purchase. Reminder tools such as emails and rating cards can be very helpful but even more powerful when coupled with a verbal ask. (And, as we’ve noted on our blog, both negative and positive reviews are useful.)
- Train your teams on how to ask for reviews. For instance, salespeople should:
- Explain why a review is important, which will reinforce the impression that you care about your customers and their opinions of you. Position the ask as a “personal favor” – we’ve found anecdotally that the customer is more likely to follow through in this case.
- Never offer to reward a customer for a review.
- Encourage customers to post photos with their reviews, as visual storytelling improves trust and engagement.
Some third-party platforms also offer apps to help solicit reviews. Our LotShot tool makes it easy for salespeople to take a photo of a car shopper with their new vehicle and send the photo to the customer with a review request and the ability to publish it to their social media network.
Contact us to see how we can help you manage your reviews as an asset. Meanwhile, download our DealerRater Guide to Online Reviews in order to learn more about managing online reviews to win.
 Review Usefulness and Recency, Cars.com, November 2016