dE members,I have my personal feelings about this issue, but I wanted to see what the dE dealer community thought. Should salespeople, service advisers, and/or finance managers be asking for reviews from people at the dealership?

That's not to say that they should be asking them to do the reviews while there, but should they be mentioning it before following up with an email?

I say yes, as I detailed in the blog post below, but what do you think?

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my opinion as a successful salesperson, service advisor and manager is ABC. always be selling. that includes asking for a good report card - if it has been earned AND asking to be notified if the experience doesn't deserve it so I can correct any issues.

I never asked a client to lie about their experience. If it was negative and we did everything we could to correct, I asked them not to reply or fill out a survey, but never lie. IMHO, of course

Agree with Tom LaPointe. Also suggest when emailing post sale to have an inclusive link to Google vs. Yelp in allowing user-friendliness...

have heard a lot of great content about this and in the end I have to say I agree JD, if only because that's what I used to do when I was selling cars and managing dealerships. Although, I've heard some great counter arguments about it being better NOT to ask for reviews directly. That coming from some executives at these review sites themselves. Some of them say that the data suggests its better to let reviewers find you organically, mainly because inviting everyone directly will usually motivate those who are unsatisfied far more than those who had a great experience. (the example they most feared was that of "revenge reviewers" sometimes offering harsh critiques months even years after the fact.)

I've also heard interesting data that suggests most people usually only leave review when strongly passionate one way or the other.

Certainly an interesting debate, in the end I would be confident and resolve the issues before said customer left and I would ask them to rate and review same--or next day.

One of the things that review sites like Yelp fear is the fake review. They feel that if they promote the "organic only" concept that it can dissuade dealers from artificially inflating their positive review counts.

The counter argument to that is that if the system set up at the dealership is transparent and the staff handles the situation honorably, then the recommendations of the review sites goes out the window. They have to defend their own reputation - there's so much negative press and more coming about how review sites are gamed. While I have nothing against Yelp or any of the others, I believe from what I've heard with them speaking at conferences that they're making suggestions designed to save their own skin rather than as a best practice for dealers.

double edged sword. unfair reviews are one thing I would worry about as a dealer and have experienced working in dealerships. It's so easy for anybody to post a review it can really leave a dealer exposed (even to other dealers, who've decided to run a smear campaign).

The driving sales website actually has a feature I LOVE for vendors reviews. The "verified" system. Some type of verified approach would be fantastic. Because most dealers, if they only had to worry about reviews from ACTUAL customers, I think for the most part they'd be ok.

not that it's necessarily practical, I guess it could be. Then the big question would be consumer adoption of the rating program/, maybe not. nevermind.

I could not agree with you more! It is a well-known fact that people prefer to buy from companies and people they trust. When in market for a new vehicle; if they don't get a recommendation from a personal friend, the general public today searches for reviews about the businesses they are considering to buy at as well as the vehicle they are considering to purchase. As a salesperson, Service Advisor, or Finance Manager, why would you not ask for the client to post an online review? That is the question! 

Absolutely 100% Yes.

A dealer like myself who provides customers with the opportunity to provide feedback not only gains the positive reviews but gains insight as to how to better serve customers when an issue does arrive. Problem resolution should not be something dealers run from, but welcome as a dealership culture is being developed and monitored. 

Any executive who fears getting a bad review needs to take a look in the mirror and ask why. If you are not confident in your team and services, then as a leader, you should re-evaluate your stock. Even the best companies fail sometimes, good intentions are misunderstood, communication can break down and customers may not understand our actions. Bad reviews give us an opportunity to not only repair our dealership operational or communication failures, but also an opportunity to demonstrate our good faith to a customer whose experience did not meet established standards. 

Lead by example and inspire your team. Asking for a review shows confidence in your belief that a great experience has been in the works. If it has not, then it's an opportunity to fix it and learn from it. 

-- Criss Castle 

Absolutely, yes! Customers are asked to buy a vehicle while in the dealership, so its a natural next step to ask your customers (while still in the store) to write a review about THEIR experience. Its an authentic request and customers "get it" and most want to...and will.

Of course! We have customers give us reviews on multiple review sites, usually 2 but sometimes more. Reviews, I believe consumers look for. I know I do when purchasing something. It's supposed to really help SEO "they say". My question is which one to ask the customer to send in a review, currently we ask for DealerRater and Google +.

As a sales person I say no. Reviews that are not prompted are more powerful. Yes you can get revenge reviews and we have all seen them, they would not put clients off unless all your reviews were as bad.
My main experience is Tripadvisor as I like to travel and visit retaurants. I usually only review a hotel/restaurant only if is exceptional or very bad. On occasion I have see bad reviews of a place I have visited and if I feel the review is untruthful I will put a review up. I don't like to be asked to review.

When the customer is feeling at their highest, taking delivery of their newest addition, it is the best time to ask for a great review.... But assure you have earned the right to do so, make it the best possible buying they could expect!

I am asked this question all the time. I do believe it is OK to let the customer know they will be getting a survey and that if there are any negative issues you would like them to make sure they let you know first so that you can have an opportunity to correct them. But I am completely against the salesperson telling them how to fill out the survey. The survey is designed to get the appropriate feedback so if there are some issues they can be addressed and corrected for the future.


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