By now, you should be well aware of the importance of collecting online reviews. That being said, maybe you’re wondering exactly how reviews can help boost your business. Or maybe you’re wondering which sites your dealership should focus on. To help you out, we’ve put together this laundry list of some online review sites your dealership should be aware of.
Why Are Car Dealer Reviews Important?
So you’ve heard reviews are an important part of an automotive marketing strategy, but have you stopped to do the research as to why? Well, to start with, potential customers read reviews before they decide to hand over their hard-earned cash. In fact, 93% of people read online reviews before making a purchase, according to our research. So, if a potential buyer sees a bunch of negative reviews about your dealership (or worse, no reviews at all), they’ll likely head to a rival dealer where they perceive they’ll get a better deal or service.
But wait—there’s more. Google loves reviews. Google’s algorithm uses reviews as a ranking factor, which means that a dealership with more and better reviews will rank higher on Google Business. And why is this important? Well, a whopping 88% of consumers who perform a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day, according to Nectafy. So, if your dealership is not showing up on the first page of search results, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
→ Need help boosting your business online? Check out these effective car dealership ad ideas.
6 Most Popular Dealer Review & Rating Sites
One of the hardest parts about growing your online presence is figuring out which sites you need to focus on and which tactics to try. We’ve got you covered—here are 6 popular review sites every car dealership should consider showing up on.
Hopefully, this is a no-brainer. Google Business Profile is highly influential when it comes to local SEO. Google’s algorithm factors in relevancy, proximity, and prominence when determining which businesses should rank highest in local search. Reviews will appear in search results along with a map of “near me” locations when individuals are searching for a dealership in their area.
Put yourself in a position to succeed by claiming your Google Business Profile. Getting reviews on this page can boost your local SEO. One downside is only customers with a Google account (Gmail or Google+) can leave a review on this platform.
Facebook Ratings & Reviews will appear on your dealership’s Facebook business page. Because it’s an integral part of your dealership’s page, it can’t be hidden or altered. Anyone with a Facebook account can sign in and leave you a review. Since 58% of Americans have an active Facebook account, you can probably count on this being a popular platform for your dealership’s reviewers.
Like Yahoo and Google, Bing is a search engine which displays customer reviews online. It’s free for your business to set up a profile. You can do that here with Bing Places.
According to Search Engine Land, Yahoo Is still getting 10% of search engine attention, so don’t count it out. While you might not use Yahoo as your preferred search engine, collecting reviews on Yahoo can only benefit your dealership.
Angie’s List (Now Angi)
This one might be a little unconventional considering their users have to pay for a membership, but because of this, the reviews here tend to be very well thought out and detailed. The reviews are given on an A-F scale and are not allowed to be anonymous, which helps prevent ranting and misrepresentation. It’s free to set up a page for your dealership. You can set one up here and start gathering Angie’s List reviews today.
Yelp isn’t just for restaurants anymore. You can find reviews for all kinds of businesses here. As with many sites, Yelp reviews are based on a 1-5 scale. If you do elect to collect reviews on Yelp, be sure and engage with your customers by responding to reviews, thanking them for their business, and responding to any complaints.
Best Dealership-Specific Review & Rating Sites
There are also a number of car and dealership-specific sites you can direct your customers to.
Cars.com is the second largest automotive listing site behind only Autotrader. The site boasts more than 31 million visitors a month. Cars.com offers consumers a number of different services, including vehicle listings, the ability to do a side-by-side comparison, and dealer reviews.
DealerRater is an online review site focused on auto dealers. The site includes nearly 2 million reviews and its content is exposed to 14 million consumers on a monthly basis. DealerRater also provides employee ratings, employee profile pages, and innovative ways for car buyers to get in touch directly with top-performing salespeople.
Similar to Cars.com, Edmunds.com offers consumers access to vehicle listings across the United States. The site also includes vehicle reviews, tips for purchasing a new car, and dealer reviews.
Carfax offers used car listings to consumers, and is an excellent resource to utilize for your dealership.
Be sure to set up an account for your dealership on these three sites and monitor reviews you receive and respond when possible.
Positive Car Dealer Review Examples
Now, let’s take a look at some examples of great reviews—it’ll give you an idea of what to aim for.
Elizabeth specifically mentions her salesman by name, explained what she loved about the process, and encourages people to go consider this business for the purchase of their next car. Also, bonus points to the business for responding to Elizabeth’s glowing review.
This glowing review from Isaiah touches on a common pain point that people experience with dealerships: up-charging. He also lists the names of the reps he enjoyed working with and shares a picture of his purchase. We give this five-star review five stars.
We love this review by Robert because it’s thorough, gives insight into the car shopping process, and eases fears about some common obstacles that people experience when buying a car.
Nobody wants a hassle-filled car-buying experience, and this reviewer wants people to know that they won’t get one when they choose to shop at Car Town. We love this review because it mentions the salesman’s name, gives some insight into the process, and reassures shoppers that they won’t feel stressed or pressured if they choose this dealership.
How to Respond to Car Dealer Reviews & Ratings? 4 Tips
You’ve scored a review—that’s a reason to celebrate. But the work doesn’t end there. Now it’s time to respond to the reviews—the good ones, the bad ones, and even the neutral ones. Here are some tips to lead you in the right direction.
So, how do you respond to car dealer reviews and ratings? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Thank the Customer
Whether the review is positive or negative, it’s important to thank the customer for taking the time to share their experience. Not only does this show that you value their opinion, but it also helps to establish a personal connection with them.
2. Say You’re Sorry
If the review is negative, it’s crucial to apologize for any negative experiences the customer may have had. Remember, the customer is always right (even when they’re not), and your willingness to take responsibility for their concerns can go a long way in building trust.
3. Offer a Solution
Once you’ve apologized, it’s time to offer a solution. This could be anything from offering a discount on a future purchase to addressing any issues with their current vehicle. The key is to show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to make things right.
4. Personalize the Response
While it may be tempting to use a generic response template for all reviews, it’s important to personalize your response whenever possible. Use the customer’s name, mention specific details from their review, and show that you’ve taken the time to truly listen to their concerns.
5. Be Prompt
Time is of the essence when it comes to responding to customer reviews. Ideally, you should aim to respond within 24-48 hours to show that you’re on top of things.
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Dealership Review Sites
What is the best car dealership website?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to where you should focus on getting reviews. We’d recommend starting by building a presence on Google Reviews, then choosing 1-2 of the dealership-specific review sites listed above.
How do I write a review for a car dealership?
First, choose a site on which you’d like to leave the review. Then, consider your experience with the dealership. The best reviews are clear, authentic, and honest. You should talk about your experience, give positive feedback about the things that went well, and be fair and realistic when leaving any negative feedback.
Get Positive Car Dealer Reviews to Attract More Customers
We get it, it can be tough to juggle your online presence across so many platforms. For this reason, we’d recommend adding an online review management platform to your digital toolkit. That’s where Podium comes in.
Podium helps car dealerships like yours boost their online presence, improve customer communication, add convenience to the buying process, and so much more. Interested in seeing what Podium can do for your dealership? Start a free trial today. It’s risk-free, no strings attached.