Used car dealers have heard every single joke about their profession that you can imagine and then some, so it’s not a big secret that the profession alone can start you with a bit of a reputation deficit. How does a used car dealer develop, and keep, a good reputation online? Here’s how to engage in used car dealer marketing online and what pitfalls you might face along the way.
Review Sites are Your Best Friend
Car dealers in particular operate directly from word of mouth, and that’s something a used car dealer’s marketing strategy should take advantage of. Word of mouth, online, tends to take the form of the Internet review. This can be posted to a website such as FourSquare, a bulletin board community dedicated to local news and reviews, the local newspaper, or dealer-specific websites such as Dealer Rater or Edmunds.
You can easily arrange alerts that monitor each site on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. As each review appears, you’ll know precisely what’s being said about you and then have the capability to respond as a part of your used car dealer promotion strategy.
Stake Your Online Claim
Be sure not only to have a website and a social media presence as part of your used auto dealer marketing, but also to contact every review site you monitor and “claim” your business. This will allow you to respond more nimbly and is often a speedy, simple process.
Make Sure You Can be Reached Quickly and Easily
Bad reviews tend to appear for one of two reasons: A would-be customer has a bad experience with a salesman on your lot or a customer has an issue with a vehicle you’ve sold them. Both are more likely to go online if they’re unable to reach out to you to discuss the issue. Make it part of your used car dealer marketing strategy to head bad reviews off at the pass and be accessible. Provide both email addresses and phone numbers, and do your best to reply promptly.
When You Do Get a Bad Review, Think Carefully Before Replying
Whenever you see a bad review, always ask yourself, “Will this review drive away the customers I want my business to have?”
Well-reasoned reviews, or at least relatively calm ones, should be taken seriously. Reviews that are profane, abusive, or malicious should be dealt with by contacting the website and asking that they be removed. Don’t let your pre-owned car dealer marketing get bogged down in fighting reviews no one will respect.
Whether you choose to reply in private by reaching out through the critic’s profile or publicly by replying to the review will depend on both the situation and the tools the site provides for you. Regardless of how you reach out, be professional and polite. It’s not uncommon for a bad review to make you angry, but set those feelings aside; they’re unproductive and shouldn’t be a part of your used car dealer marketing.
Apologize for the situation, if appropriate, and ask what you can do to mitigate it or otherwise help out. If you can’t offer what the critic asks, clearly explain why that’s not feasible and see if you can come to an accord in the middle.
Whether you’ve got a great reputation or people expect to see you with a cigar in your mouth, ReputationDefender can help. Whether it’s getting customers to write reviews or turning a bad review around, ReputationDefender can guide you across the hard road that is keeping your online reputation intact.