These days, consumers usually look at online reviews when deciding not only WHAT they are going to buy, but also WHO to buy it from. However, there have been plenty of scandals in the retail industry concerning fake or paid reviews. So, it gets a little cloudy in the water, and consumers have gotten somewhat cynical.


Take Amazon. Hundreds of millions of consumers buy items from this site. If you’re like me, chances are that there is a box with a smile on your porch frequently. But how often do you go and review your purchases from Amazon?  When you do, keep in mind that you’re not only reviewing the book or dog food, but also the seller.


One of the innovative things Amazon has implemented is the “Verified Purchase” indicator on the review. This informs consumers that the reviewer did, in fact, buy the product. These reviews tend to have more weight in most people’s eyes because it reduces the possibility of a fake review.


If you don’t leave reviews for Amazon businesses, you may want to start. Why? Because if you are happy with a product or service, a simple acknowledgment that they delivered on their promises helps them know what they are doing right.


How does this relate to car dealerships?


Dealerships rely on reviews just as much as that seller of products on Amazon -- if not more so. If your dog doesn’t like the dog food, it may only cost you $10. But if a customer doesn’t like the car or has a bad experience which they broadcast all over the review sites, that can have a considerable impact on your dealership.


If you provide your customers with superior customer experience, you should not feel embarrassed or hesitant to ask them to leave a review on the popular review sites. Will they all do it? No. But I guarantee that more will do it than if you don’t ask.


Customers are motivated to leave reviews by emotion. They either had a great experience, or they had a bad one. Either way, it's a win. You get a great review, or you get the opportunity to handle a problem you may otherwise not have had a clue about – leading to a better experience for all. The problem is that many car dealerships never even ask their customers to leave them reviews!


By encouraging and asking for reviews, you not only get valuable feedback from customers but also fortify your online presence. This helps customers decide to choose your vehicle and your dealership over the competition.


Some dealers simply accept the fact that customers leave reviews and use the strategy of “putting out fires.” But what they don’t realize is that future sales can be won or lost based on those reviews.


It’s not enough to take a reactive stance towards reviews. It is much better to have a proactive policy and process which encourages customers to leave reviews. Will they all be great? Probably not. But unless you ask, customers with exceptional experiences may never leave reviews. All you’ll end up with is a page full of upset people that you are chasing to make happy.

Work to get those satisfied customers promoting it to the world. By so doing, you will increase traffic and business simply because customers listen to those who come before them. And that is the truth.

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