Like it or not, the digital world has finally merged into nearly every aspect of our lives. If you own or manage an auto dealership, you’ve had to evolve and change the way you do business to accommodate customers who do their auto shopping online. Dealerships everywhere have had to step up their online marketing and social media game. Another way the car sales world is changing is the predominance of online auto dealer reviews.
Embracing the Auto Dealer Review
One huge worry weighing on the minds of auto dealerships is the public nature of online reviews. What if someone has a bad experience and shares it on Google Reviews for everyone to see? Unfortunately, you’ll often find that the only people who will spend the time and energy to go online and leave a review are customers who are angry about something. This can skew your reviews and make your business look bad based on a few negative experiences.
This is why many dealerships have started embracing auto dealer reviews — interacting with customers who have a bad experience and offering to address any issues in hopes that they’ll update their review.
Some dealerships take it a step further by signing up with auto dealer review services like DealerRater. Rather than wait for the customer to find the review site, DealerRater charges a fee for dealers to set up a profile and send customers a link to review them after a new car purchase or service appointment. Actively seeking out customer reviews in this way helps ensure that you’re grabbing those positive reviews as well as the negative ones.
Drawbacks to DealerRater
While inviting every customer to review their experience is an excellent idea, DealerRater does come with some drawbacks. Some dealers shy away from the price, which runs from $699 a month to $1,299 a month plus set up fees, depending on the package.
The biggest drawback, however, is the multi-step survey customers must fill out in order to leave feedback. They’re asked to leave a star rating and whether or not they’d recommend the dealership, then asked to craft a titled review. Finally, they’re taken through a series of questions about the reason for their visit, which employee(s) they worked with, and are allowed to leave a star rating for categories such as Customer Service, Quality of Work, and Price.
Is it a simple process? Yes. Unfortunately, however, in today’s yes-or-no, thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down world, most people won’t take the time to fill out this kind of survey unless they’re incredibly pleased or horribly displeased with their experience.
Enter the Net Promoter Score
This is why when Performance Administration works with dealerships to implement complimentary maintenance and customer service retention programs, we utilize the Net Promoter Score via our Customer Experience Transformer (CXT) software. The Net Promoter Score gives you one metric: how likely would a customer be to recommend your service to others? The CXT measures this rating through one survey question asking customers to rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. There are no lengthy surveys to fill out, just the “ultimate question” — On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, how likely are you to refer us to a friend or family member based on today's service experience? Quite simply, how did we do?
The metrics you get back from the CXT are clear: a 9 or a 10 means that a customer is a promoter who is likely to tell others about their excellent customer service experience. A 7 or 8 places them in neutral territory (and indicates that there is work to be done to make your process more “Customer Centric”), while anything below that makes them a detractor — a customer who has had a negative experience and is likely to spread the word … and unlikely to return.
The CXT rating system differs from auto dealership reviews such as Google because there’s no room for a middle ground (as there is with Google’s five-star rating system). Anything below a 9 demands your team to follow up with the customer and find out what you can do to get a promoter-level score.
One final plus? Dealerships who use Performance Administration Corp. for their certified maintenance program gain access to the CXT software for no additional fee.
There’s no question about whether or not embracing auto dealer reviews is a necessity these days. The only questions are which system is designed to give you the most helpful feedback and what you’ll do about that feedback once you start receiving it.