According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) the nation’s 16,682 franchised dealers sold 17.1 million new automobiles in 2019 with sales totaling $1.02 trillion. There are 129,000 used car dealers in the United States that account for sales of over 39 million used cars each year.
It is a very big and very competitive business. The most successful car dealers recognize the importance of online marketing and the powerful impact of positive online reviews.
70% of car buyers always check online reviews before contacting a dealer.
72% of car buyers and 63% of service customers would drive 20-60 miles to a dealership with good reviews.
Negative reviews have convinced 94 percent of consumers to avoid a business.
What do people see when they Google your car dealership?
68% of car buyers rely on customer reviews to make informed decisions. More than 80% of Millennials turn to the internet when researching their next car purchase, and over a third are willing to buy a car online.
Reputation Rhino provides review monitoring and review management solutions for the following popular review and customer complaint sites:
We also focus on monitoring automotive review sites, including CarGurus, Cars.com, DealerRater, Edmunds.com, and MyCarFax.
As part of our Business Review Management Services for car dealers, Reputation Rhino offers Review Monitoring, Reporting, Review Outreach & Response.
We Monitor all relevant reviews posted for your business on the most relevant business review and complaint sites every day.
We provide monthly Reporting with detailed metrics so you know who is reviewing your dealership, when they are reviewing, what they are saying, and where they are posting their reviews so you can identify and respond to trends and allocate advertising and marketing resources accordingly.
We provide Review Outreach services to your existing customers. We target those individuals who have had a positive experience with your car dealership and direct these customers to leave reviews on the most visible online review sites so they can have maximum impact.
We also provide a Response to all relevant car dealer reviews by our team of experienced online reputation management professionals. This personalized service allows us to act as a representative of your dealership to acknowledge and recognize positive reviews and escalate and resolve problems posted online in an effort to convert negative customer reviews to positive reviews.
97% of customers read responses to reviews — not just the reviews — when determining where to buy, and 71% of consumers are more likely to use a business that responds to reviews.
We can set alerts daily, weekly, or monthly upon request and change these settings easily.
We can even share positive reviews (e.g., 4* or higher on Facebook and/or Twitter).
DealerRater is the world’s largest car dealer review website with more than 6 million sales and service reviews across 42,000 U.S. and Canadian dealerships. 34 million consumers visit DealerRater.com each month. DealerRater is owned by Cars.com.
Customers are able to provide a written review of their experience with a dealer. Customers give an overall rating on a five-star scale, as well as Customer Service, Quality of Work, Friendliness, and Price. The reviewer must certify that they are not associated with a dealership.
There are several ways to remove a review from DealerRater. If the DealerRater review is a violation of the copyright interest is another, the copyright owner can submit a takedown request pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
DealerRater will remove reviews that include the following content:
To remove reviews from a previous ownership from your DealerRater page, you are able to contact the DealerRater content team directly to provide documentation verifying the ownership change.
Cars.com, which also owns DealerRater, is a popular online auto retail platform that also publishes customer reviews for car dealers. Up to 50 million people visit Cars.com every month.
Customers are able to write a free-text narrative review of their experience with a dealer. In addition, customers give an overall rating on a five-star scale, as well as Customer Service, Buying Process, Quality of Repairs, and Facilities. The reviewer must certify that he or she and any family member is “not associated with a dealership or service center, past or present.”
There are a few different ways to remove a review from Cars.com. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires an online service provider to remove content that is a violation of the copyright interest of another party.
Cars.com will remove reviews that include the following content:
Edmunds.com is a popular automotive site with car pricing, ownership costs, vehicle ratings, road tests, future vehicles, community, and automotive lifestyle content, as well as customer reviews. Over 18 million people visit Edmunds.com every month.
Customers can leave a sales or service review on Edmunds.com. For a sales review, customers provide an overall rating on a five-star scale and a written review. For a service review, customers also provide an overall rating on a five-star scale, a written review, and answer a series of yes/no questions such as:
Edmunds.com will not remove reviews that a dealer considers unfair or factually inaccurate, but it will remove reviews that violate its Terms and Conditions. Employees of car dealerships (and friends and family) are not permitted to leave positive reviews for their employer. In addition, dealers are advised not to offer financial incentives for a positive review.
If you believe a review is fraudulent, such as a review from an ex-employee or competitor, you can report that review here.
Only customer reviews submitted within the past two years are used to compute the star ratings for dealers in Edmunds.com.
Our social media management team are online marketing experts who know, based on data analytics and experience, what to post, when to post, who to target, and why and will help develop a consistent, clear, and credible “voice” for your auto dealership online. For car dealers, social media has been a powerful tool for brand awareness and engage current and future buyers.
At 2.2 billion, Facebook has more monthly active users than Twitter (336 million) and Instagram (1 billion)—combined. Facebook continues to reign in popularity over other social media channels. 7 out of 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site.
Instagram is a highly engaged global community with more than one billion active accounts. People come to Instagram for visual inspiration and the simple design allows captivating visuals to take center stage. It is an ideal program for auto dealers to highlight new models and exclusive sales and financing options. Advertising on Instagram has the power to move people — inspiring them to see a brand or business differently or take action.
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by ‘pinning’ on images or videos to their own or others’ boards and browsing what other users have pinned. With a combination of great demographics (predominantly higher-income female audience) and highly visible and shareable content, Pinterest is a powerful branding opportunity for any visually-oriented business like auto dealers where you can show the interior comfort, features, styling, build quality, and cargo room in a much more graphic way than traditional advertising.
With over 68 million users in the U.S., Twitter is a powerful platform to improve brand awareness and expand your reach to connect with new and existing customers. While it is not ideal for visual content, it can be useful for short, time-sensitive notifications.
Reputation Rhino is led by an extraordinary team of experienced legal, marketing, technology, and public relations experts who can customize an affordable and highly effective online reputation management strategy designed to:
According to Cox, 77% of those shopping for a vehicle will use their computer as their primary search tool. That means your car dealership’s reviews will be visible to the majority of your potential customers. And since a car dealership’s reputation is priority #1 for 59% of buyers, car dealer reputation management is imperative to relationship-building and trust before the sale. Car dealer and automotive reputation management include online review monitoring, outreach, and response on dozens of review and complaint sites. It also involves the acquisition of positive reviews from satisfied customers to promote your brand and reduce the visibility of any negative reviews.
Because there are so many reviews and customer complaint sites for car dealers, such as CarGurus, Cars.com, DealerRater, Edmunds.com, and MyCarFax, maintaining a positive auto dealership reputation is no small task. All of these sites should be monitored for new reviews and comments, and each one should be addressed with a response and ongoing engagement. Because positive reviews are so important to a car dealership’s reputation, we also recommend that loyal customers be asked to log reviews and testimonials. An auto dealership reputation management company can take control of your online reputation, so you can spend your time running your business.
There will be negative and positive online reviews for your car dealership, and each one will contribute to your overall reputation. In the case of a negative review, first, confirm that it’s from someone who’s actually had an interaction with your dealership. Thank the person for their feedback and ask what can be done to rectify the situation. You will most likely resolve the situation and other potential customers will see your commitment to customer satisfaction. If you know the review is fake, flag it, and contact the site. When you find positive reviews, always reply with gratitude and language specific to their comments, being careful to avoid generic responses.
59% of car buyers say that online reviews are the number one deciding factor in their car dealership choice. This outweighs location, selection, and even price. That’s because it’s been found that vehicle shoppers put overall experience above everything else…and reviews will give them a good meter of what they can expect. When online reviews for any car dealership are overwhelmingly positive, that’s a good barometer for sales opportunities.
Social media is a major hub for establishing a car dealership’s reputation. According to CMO, 84% of all people shopping for vehicles are active Facebook users, 24% of them have used Facebook as a resource for buying a car or truck, and 38% of all consumers say they’ll use social media for their next vehicle purchase. When a social media management professional knows how to engage an audience on social media and creates a voice for your dealership that speaks to future and current customers, this type of reputation management leads to more leads, more sales, and lasting brand loyalty.