Nearly 70 percent of car buyers always check online reviews before contacting a dealer.
That’s according to an investigation into online dealer reputation, which suggests that over half of all car buyers select a dealer based on internet reviews.
Indeed, a quarter of buyers say online reputation is the most important factor when choosing a car.
‘Pay attention to your online reputation’
Amy Mueller, VP of communications at CarGurus, the company behind the investigation, hinted that there’s no hiding place for lacklustre car dealers in the age of social media.
“The growth of the internet and social media has made it easy for people to share their buying experiences – good and bad – with fellow consumers. As a result, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your online reputation.
“Customer reviews set the tone for how your dealership is perceived by future customers. They’re crucial drivers of new sales, and your dealership can’t overlook their importance. Every review is an opportunity to engage with your customers and build your reputation, so make sure you’re taking advantage.”
Unsurprisingly, young car buyers place a great deal of emphasis on web feedback, with 91 percent of motorists aged 18 to 34 placing as much trust on online reviews as on word of mouth.
Managing a car dealer’s reputation
CarGurus has the following advice for car dealers hoping to maintain a good online reputation:
- Encouragement: asking for feedback builds trust, boosts brand awareness and sells more cars
- Monitoring: pay attention to reviews. Set up email alerts and monitor Google
- Responding: acknowledge reviews – good or bad – as this shows that you take the feedback seriously
- Use reviews: customer feedback makes for powerful marketing tools. Use the reviews on social media and in promotional material