In the automotive business, we expect there to be critics. We understand that there are detractors to our business. No one understands the value of “the voice of the customer” better than an automotive dealer. In fact, there’s been a whole business built around “relationship management” specifically for the automotive industry.
Social media has taken this concept ten-fold and has given a larger voice to those that have been wronged, misguided and mistreated. It’s given strength to consumers in ways they never had before. But what happens when the tables aren’t balanced? What if you went to a place of business in spite of an advisor’s description…and had a great experience? Would your voice be louder and more effective than the person who had a poor experience? What if you didn’t have a choice to judge for yourself? What if the social media source “filtered” out only good reviews in an effort to have you advertise with them? Would that make the “voice” of that site more credible or less? If people believe what they read online is true… is it?
While most business owners and their management spend time and resources on improving communications, there is always the potential for failure. Most people who work in our business are genuinely invested in their customers and understand the value of long-term customer loyalty. We train, teach, talk about, review, hire and inspire the people who work with us all in the effort of customer loyalty.
If one review is more effective to drive a customer than another review, would you pay for it? Would you pay to have all the “voice” of customer scores posted? What if the social media site filtered out any posted positive responses and replaced them with negative ones? Would you think that’s fair? What if your potential customers aren’t getting the whole picture?
We’ve all received the phone call from Yelp to advertise with them. They make no promises to post positive reviews, nor do they guarantee your response rate will improve if you advertise with them. The proposal is centered on the number of readers that see the site and the power of social media. I suppose it’s coincidental that the negative “non-filtered” reviews find their way to the top of every page. Is it smart advertising or legalized extortion?