Why is online review management key for dealerships’ business success

  • 92% of car buyers browse the web before making any purchase decision (source: Google). The increasing digitalisation of automotive distribution is imposing a major change in the way dealers manage their customer relationships. To build a strong brand, you cannot simply count on the in-store experience but you have to get control of what happens online, which is where today’s clients form their judgement about a product or service and the company behind it.

According to the same Google research, users rely on online sources to explore features and price range of a vehicle, consider whether it fits their lifestyle and compare alternatives. So when they come to reach out to a dealer, they have a more or less clear idea of what they want and they are looking to address someone who they can trust to deliver on that promise. The way they do it is once again to explore their options based on convenience and, above all, reputation.

E-reputation has become a dealership’s strategic asset, one that takes time building but much less to compromise. Collecting and managing online reviews should therefore become a priority for any distributors who wish to stay competitive in today’s automotive market. As a matter of fact, online reviews are a powerful form of social proof and an essential step in building a dealership’s online identity. Positive reviews can lead to:

  • increased trust and credibility for your brand
  • higher conversion rates and therefore more sales
  • improved customer loyalty in the medium and long term

There is just one problem: Customers do not always leave reviews and they most likely do it when they are unhappy

While more than 90% of potential car buyers consider reviews along their purchase journey (source: NiceJob), leaving a review is not as a spontaneous activity as one would expect. And it is more likely to happen for those who have negative feedback. In fact, our brain is structured in a way that negative emotions are processed more thoroughly: negative experiences linger in our minds and trigger a heightened emotional response. The solution is for dealers to have a clear e-reputation strategy in place to constantly monitor the perception of clients and deliver recovery actions if need be. Such strategy must take into account different aspects:
  • encourage customers to rate and review their experience with the dealership
  • analyse the sentiment to amplify positive messages as well as detect potential issues early enough
  • address unhappy clients and put recovery measures in place to mitigate the negative impact on the business
  • leverage reviews as business drivers (e.g. dealership website, Google My Business page, advertising campaigns etc.)
  • improve internal performance based on the insights collected in the process

Effective e-reputation management to future-proof the business

Full knowledge of what customers think of our products or services is the first step towards building trust and enhancing business results. In order to deliver an e-reputation management strategy, automotive players should integrate specific tools designed to automate the collection of feedback from different sources, organise and analyse them and provide real-time insights into the organisation’s performance.

FidSparK: the e-reputation management solution powered by Artificial Intelligence

As part of the SparK Platform, the first Software as a Service (SaaS) platform developed for the automotive industry, FidSparK allows retailers to get full control over feedback collection and management.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys are automatically sent thanks to the CRM and DMS integration or filled in directly at the dealership
  • Social reviews are gathered from major platforms such as Google, Facebook and Autoscout24
  • Replies to reviews can be triggered based on templates or customised messages, also with the help of AI prompts
  • Negative feedback are extracted and redirected to an expert for a recovery attempt

    In addition to this, FidSparK can be leveraged as a lead generation tool to identify additional business opportunities among surveyed customers. Last but not least, it provides a comprehensive analytics dashboard to identify strengths and weaknesses across the organisation, generate reports and monitor competition. A MotorK analysis conducted on more than 1,500 points of sale showed how investing in tools for conscious management of e-reputation can lead to a 32-fold return on investment for dealerships. The same research also revealed that out of the turnover generated by FidSparK, 8% was coming from a clear recovery strategy which could turn an unsatisfactory experience into an opportunity to rebuild trust and strengthen the customer relationship. 

When trust is at stake, dealers shouldn’t leave anything to chance. That’s why e-reputation management is a fundamental milestone in their innovation roadmap. The automotive purchase experience is growing in complexity but digitalisation offers unique opportunities to work on a personalised customer experience, at scale.

Get in touch to find out more about FidSparK and how it can take your dealership to the next level.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Fill the form
to access the content