Online Dealership Reputation Management

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 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.


3 Responses to Online Dealership Reputation Management

  1. Glen Allsopp says:

    I think online reputation management would be the best overall term, which can apply to any market

  2. Richard says:

    I think this would be a great idea if it wasn’t already done by a few other websites, maybe you should do something that will set you apart form the competition. Maybe including Canadian dealers would be a good idea, get into that un-tapped resource. But thats just a thought..

  3. I’ve had direct experience with this issue, both as dealer dealing with the problem and helping other dealers to overcome their own reputation issues.

    In my opinion, this situation is currently unfair and slanted against Car Dealerships. Here is why:

    First, car dealers have a poor reputation held over from a day gone by. There are still some bad apples as well, so the trust level is lower. People are more willing to believe even outrageous claims against dealers.

    Second, car dealers are being exploited. Some websites do not allow the dealer to respond to complaints without paying a high fee. All this does is hold them hostage, and let’s be honest, forcing a dealer to pay to remove a complaint, doesn’t actually solve the complaint anyway.

    Another solution I have seen dealers turn towards, is reputation SEO. By launching a string of satellite and microsites, and pushing them higher in rank, you can take the negative reputation websites and move them off the first 10 or 20 rankings on search engines. Far beyond where most people will look.

    It can be time consuming, but managing a reputation online is essential to a dealerships profit and bottom line.

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