Online Dealership Reputation Management

January 14, 2008

In 2008 a new phrase has been coined “Online Dealership Reputation Management”. In other words, good old fashion customer service meets the net. Over four years ago MyDealerReport.com brought a level of accountability to the automotive industry with the introduction of dealer ratings and reviews. It has taken this long for the industry to catch up, but it better late than never. Well, I wouldn’t say late, rather right on time.

I have to applaud the industry for embracing this new assignment of transparency. It is not easy for anyone to be criticized in public. However, we are discovering more positive voices concerning dealership customer service, than negative. The dealers who have be utilizing our site to enhance their relationships with consumers have seen a significant improve in their reputations.

With this new push for online dealer reputation management the old train of thought “What have you done for me lately” must be replaced with “How can we help you for life”. Relationship building takes time and effort, therefore dealers must not focus only on today, but tomorrow, next month, next year etc. A great reputation is formed from a long series of positive interactions (touch points).

Are there bad dealers and unreasonable consumers? I am sure there are, but it doesn’t matter. What counts is the dealers ability to address the issues that arises. Dealers must always be the bigger man when a dispute develops, its their reputation on the line or should I say online. That is the primary reason we developed different tools to aid dealers with settling issues with consumers, therefore making them the Bigger Man.

Dealers should and must get involved immediately. The lack of activity puts them at risk and shows a lack of desire to build a long lasting relationship with consumers. The phrase “Online Dealership Reputation Management” has been coined , now it is time for dealers to cash it in.

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