A car is one of the biggest purchases many customers will ever make. With both money and safety on the line, consumers want to find a dependable auto dealer that will sell them a reliable vehicle at an honest price. Because of this, more and more customers flock to review sites to learn more about car dealerships in their local area. In fact, 86 percent of car shoppers report conducting online research before even visiting a dealership.

They want to know whether other consumers have had a good experience with your sales team, what level of customer service they can expect when they visit your lot, and whether they can trust your staff to help them find their dream car. Make sure your dealership stacks up well against online competition by connecting with local shoppers through review sites like DealerRater.com.

What is DealerRater?

DealerRater is an online car dealership review site with strong exposure—around 14 million consumers browse reviews on the site each month, and reviews are also cross-posted on sites like Cars.com, Kelly Blue Book, and Autotrader. The site is trusted by consumers because it’s algorithm demands that reviews are checked twice for authenticity, once by an automated system and once by a real person, before they are posted.

DealerRater also provides dealerships with the opportunity to connect with potential customers and manage their dealership’s reputation through their dealer certification program. If you’re looking to improve the digital footprint of your automotive business and make sure your dealership is showing up in local search, you need to have a healthy presence on DealerRater. And you might consider their paid options to extend your reach and lend even more credibility to your reviews.

Why Choose DealerRater?

DealerRater offers a number of advantages to auto dealerships through their dealer certification memberships. You don’t have to pay to have reviews of your dealership on their site, but paid membership comes with additional perks that give you more control over your DealerRater reviews. All paid members can brag that they are a DealerRater Certified Dealer—letting customers know that they take customer satisfaction very seriously.

  • A DealerRater Connections account allows you to better manage your reputation, request reviews, promote top employees, respond to customers, and more.
  • A DealerRater Connections Plus account adds the option of automating review requests and sending them via text or email.
  • DealerRater Connections Premier also offers custom reports, a Success Partner to help guide you, one-on-one onsite training, priority support, and more.

Most auto dealerships report favorable impressions of DealerRater, and say that the site is a great source of warm leads.

Getting Started with DealerRater

  •       Choose a Plan

The first step in getting started is to select your plan. DealerRater offers three different plans with varying options and price points. Plan features are discussed briefly above, but you can find more detailed information on the DealerRater website. Look over the plans to see which level of membership is best for your dealership.

  •       Request a Demo

Once you have selected a plan, you can request a demo to ensure the plan you have selected is right for your business needs. Just click “Request a Demo” under your desired plan. The best way to get to know the platform and how you can use it to your advantage is to set aside time to chat with a knowledgeable DealerRater team member.

  •       Provide Information

If you choose not to schedule a demo, DealerRater will prompt you to provide additional information, including your name, dealership name, email address, and phone number. Accurately enter the information requested.

  •       Wait for DealerRater to Reach Out

DealerRater will reach out to you shortly with more information on how you can get started.

Earning More Reviews on DealerRater

Once you’ve established a DealerRater account, you’ll want to gather more reviews and optimize your presence to get the maximum benefit from the site. Here are some easy tips to get more reviews on DealerRater.

  •       Build Up Your Profile

Including as much information as possible in your profile will empower and encourage customers to leave more detailed reviews. With DealerRater, you can include names and photos of employees, making it easy for customers to provide personalized, authentic feedback on their experiences. Building up your profile is the first step toward attracting customers and encouraging more reviews.

  •       Ask Your Customers in Person

Many customers will happily leave reviews, but they don’t know where to leave them. And they are likely to forget. Politely asking your customers to leave reviews on DealerRater is an easy way to increase your reviews and get the word out that you’re on the site. You could also print up a reminder with the URL of the website, brief instructions on how to leave their review, and a spot for your staff to write in the name of the employee who helped them during their visit. This arms them with all the information they need to leave a great review.

  •       Use DealerRater’s Paid Features 

DealerRater plans offer a number of different ways to solicit reviews. A DealerRater Connections account will allow you to ask for reviews with LotShot. Connections Plus allows you to automate review requests and send requests through either email or text. Using these features can provide a convenient option for requesting reviews.

  •       Promote Your Profile on Your Website

Linking to your DealerRater profile on your dealership website can help direct customers to your profile. This can make it easy for customers to leave reviews and for potential customers to read reviews.

  •       Reach Out to Your Contacts

You can use your mailing list, email list, and/or text list to reach out to customers and alert them to your DealerRater profile. Politely requesting a review while sharing your profile link provides customers with a convenient way to share their feedback. It also allows you to remind past customers of how valuable their reviews can be to other consumers.

  •       Get Reviews Through SMS Text

Do you find that your customers are often forgetting to leave their review after they leave your business, even when you remind them through email and your website? Try SMS text reminders, which boast a 99% open rate. Podium offers SMS tools that allow you to text customers for reviews and better maintain your dealership’s reputation on many popular reviews platforms, like DealerRater.com, Cars.com, and Edmunds.com.

How Does DealerRater Stack Up Against Other Sites?

DealerRater and other sites like CarGurus and Cars.com offer free and subscription services for dealerships that provide additional features. But which dealership reviews site should you invest in?

In a perfect world, you would manage your reputation on all available reviews and ads platforms. But, if you have a limited budget and your dealership can only subscribe to one, you’ll need to consider your goals.

For example, CarGurus’s subscription focuses primarily on listings and paid marketing, like display ads, list inventory, and lead generation. Cars.com offers a focus on listings with reviews as a secondary incentive for consumers. DealerRater is entirely focused on reviews and allows dealers to promote their business without blatant advertising.

If you want to provide greater transparency to your customers and allow them to connect with specific employees, DealerRater has much greater exposure across multiple websites.

Only you know which option is right for your goals, but many successful dealerships combine online ads with reviews generation to achieve the perfect digital marketing mix. No matter your choice, using a platform like DealerRater is a great way to reach out to customers and improve customer engagement through reviews.

Podium’s AI BDC

Hey dealer, our #1 priority is that you are successful, that’s why we have something new for you! Podium’s AI BDC helps dealers transform potential interest into concrete actions like booking test drives and scheduling service appointments. Speed to lead is critical in today’s fast-paced market, and Podium offers an unparalleled advantage by ensuring businesses engage with leads within a couple of minutes—guaranteed. Podium’s AI Employee guarantees your business engages with leads within a couple of minutes; during peak hours, off hours, and every hour in between.

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Max Steckler
Max Steckler Head of Strategic Automotive Partnerships

Max Steckler, is an auto professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects auto dealerships and businesses with their customers.

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