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Reviews Matter: The More Recent, The Better

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Dealer Reviews are more important than ever in today’s ‘go-online-first’ world.  Consumers, more often than not, begin their journeys online when they start their vehicle search.  Reviews can play a pivotal role in helping consumers decide how they will proceed to research and shop for their next vehicle.  Over 90 percent of consumers who shop online, regardless of product or service, say they use online reviews¹.  That’s significant!

In a recent study we conducted to learn consumer opinion of online reviews, respondents indicated more often that recent reviews were useful when compared to less recent reviews regardless of the product or service – not a surprise here¹.

The majority of respondents feel that reviews should be within the past six months, or more recent, when they read them in order to be considered useful¹.  When we specifically asked how they felt about car dealership reviews and car reviews, 44% of respondents also agreed that both should be within the past six months to be considered useful.

As reviews age, employees can turnover, processes that were reviewed can change for the better or worse, and inventory offered for sale could have significantly changed.  Utilizing the most recent reviews is beneficial to dealers as they provide a better tool for gauging current consumer satisfaction.  The benefit for consumers is  they can now make decisions on more recent and relevant information.  The end goal being to connect consumers with the right dealership, with the right person, and right vehicle at the right time.

Dealer Reviews can help flag and celebrate individuals working at the dealership and the departments that are most successful.  Additionally, reviews can pinpoint issues in a consumer’s shopping journey that can be improved by the dealer.

Given the reach of DealerRater across multiple touch points online, a single review can reach across multiple platforms where consumers are shopping to provide more value to all involved by being seen by millions of consumers not just on DealerRater and Cars.com, but other frequently visited third-party automotive sites potentially leading to an increase in walk-in traffic at the dealership.

So, now is the time to take stock in your current dealer review rating.  Consumers read reviews and write them for all to see.  Knowing the benefit of reviews as a powerful force for change and for driving influence and traffic to the lot, it’s important to continually monitor and reply to dealer reviews and make changes as necessary based on consumer feedback.  In the end, when you know how you’re reviewed, you can better influence consumers to show up and make that vehicle purchase.

[1] Review Usefulness and Recency, Cars.com, November, 2016.