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New DealerRater Research Shows Why Your Customers Write Five-Star Reviews

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Why do your customers write five-star reviews of your dealership and your salespeople? On the other hand, why do your customers write withering criticisms that hurt your reputation?

At a time when eight out of 10 shoppers use online car reviews and car dealership reviews to inform their purchase[i], these are no small questions. So, at DealerRater, we decided to find answers.

We examined 1.4 million reviews of dealerships and salespeople that customers wrote on DealerRater.com and Cars.com in 2017. We compiled the most common phrases that appeared in both the most positive and negative reviews to uncover the common themes. We published the results in a new report, What Makes a Five-Star Dealership Review?

As we discuss in the report, we discovered some compelling reasons why customers love dealerships — and we identified the main reasons why customers complain about their experiences. These two stand out:

  1. VIP experience from a dealer’s people. More than 41 percent of reviews single out the ability of a dealer’s employees to provide a great customer experience as vital. A superior buying experience is important, but more critical to consumers is great service overall, including an excellent fixed ops department.
  2. Personable pros on the show floor. More than 19 percent of reviews prove that an approachable, knowledgeable and professional staff is important. Being “friendly” and “having a sense of humor” are frequent themes in positive reviews.

The results underscore how important it is for dealers to train your employees in the art of customer service. Your customers are accustomed to getting a VIP experience now at other retail establishments, and those expectations carry over into the dealership’s service lane.

I discuss the findings of the research in more detail in a post for DrivingSales. In addition, here is a link to download the report. I hope you find it useful to help you grow your business.

[i] Cars.com, “Review Usefulness and Recency,” November 2016.