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Control the conversation: 3 simple tips for managing your online reputation

By Colleen Malloy

Colleen Malloy BlogAccording to a Searchengineland.com study, nearly 90 percent of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. When prospects research your dealership online, what will they find?

Hopefully, they come across five-star reviews from new bike buyers and commentary about the awesome service your team provides.

Yet, the reality is, negative reviews do happen. And with 88 percent of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, it’s how you manage and respond to these reviews that will have a great effect on your dealership’s online reputation and, ultimately, your bottom line.

So, don’t let a few bad online reviews keep prospective buyers away. Read on, and implement these three tips for managing your online reputation:

Keep an eye on what's being said. With Google accounting for 70 percent of all online searches, Google Alerts is a great place to start monitoring what's being said about your dealership. Google Alerts will send you email alerts whenever your dealership’s name or domain name is mentioned online and lets you monitor reviews you may not find on your own. To set up a Google Alerts account, click here.

Claim local business directories. Even if you haven't created a business profile online on major online business directories, chances are, you dealership is listed. In order to maintain your online reputation, you need to manage all of your online listings — even those you didn't create. A good place to start is with the following:

This is just the tip of the online listing iceberg – your dealership information could be listed across dozens of online directories. It’s important to locate and claim every listing associated with your dealership.

Managing all of these online directories can become overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to look. That’s where services like ARI Premium Directory Management can give you a one-stop destination to simplify the process.

Respond Quickly and Professionally. It’s important to address bad reviews in a timely manner to show ownership of your brand and a commitment to make every customer experience a positive one.

When you come across negative reviews you should:

  • Address the customer’s issue
  • Make it clear you will be reaching out to the customer immediately
  • Avoid arguing online — take the conversation offline and discuss the situation privately

All it takes is one unnoticed negative review to cause a ripple effect online. Implement these three tips, and ensure your dealership takes a proactive role in influencing your online reputation.

Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!

Email: colleen.malloy@arinet.com

Phone: 414/973-4323

Website: arinet.com

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