Reviews are huge for your powersports dealership, and they’re more important than ever in the age of the internet. Now when people find you online, they make up their mind on the spot whether to go to you or your competitor based on the feedback your customers leave. In fact, about 90% of consumers decide whether to use your business based on positive reviews or avoid your business based on negative reviews.
Not only that, but reviews are becoming more important for search engine optimization (SEO). That means the more reviews you have, the more likely you might be found online over your competitor.
So what’s the best way to approach online reviews?
Set up your profiles
If you don’t already have Facebook, Google My Business or Yelp profiles dedicated to your dealership, sign up today. It’s becoming almost as important for businesses to have online profiles through social networks as it is to have a website.
Provide great service
There’s no trick to this, but it’s smart to remember that every single interaction you have with a customer can instantly become a reflection of your dealership if they decide to leave their thoughts online. Make every customer experience a good one, and if they have a problem, work hard to solve the problem in a timely and thoughtful manner instead of dismissing the issue.
Some of the best reviews are the ones customers leave that explain how your dealership worked to solve their problem – it shows dedication to customer service.
Ask for positive reviews
It’s simple, but the easiest way to get the kind of online reviews you want is to ask for them. Once you’ve provided great service, give a friendly reminder that your customer can find you online and leave some words about the experience they had. Provide a link if you have a specific account you’d like reviews on (Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc.).
If you offer a coupon for a review, you’re more likely to get positive feedback, which is why it’s a big problem in the eyes of Google. Never offer a bribe in exchange for receiving a review. Google knows this trick and will penalize your dealership’s online presence because of it.
Manage negative reviews
It’s almost inevitable that a customer will leave you a negative review whether or not you did everything you could to please them. You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and unfortunately that review can live on through your online profile.
However, how you respond to online reviews says a lot about your dealership. Offer your apologies and reach out with an email address or phone number to take the issue offline. If the customer continues to complain, don’t engage, and never give an attitude back – prospective customers will see that and think your business isn’t friendly or easy to work with.
You can’t control what your customers will say about you online, but you can steer the comments in a positive direction. Those positive reviews will help get you found and help potential customers choose to visit your dealership before they ever talk to you or even see your website.
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!