I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting with a client when they say, “I’m sick of being held hostage by customers who threaten me with posting a bad review on Yelp.” Just last Friday, I had a conversation about this with a good friend who’s a successful sales manager for high-line import dealership here in the OC. “Customers threaten us with negative reviews when they’re negotiating the price of their car or their service.” He adds, “People do business with us because we’re a great store. Using extortion tactics is no way to do business.” Amen, brothah!
As the online review sites become increasingly more relevant, dealerships need to remember that nothing has really changed. Word-of-mouth has always been there, it’s just easier to spread opinions and recommendations now with these new tools. Think about it, if someone came into your store and said, “If you don’t give me what I want, I’m going to tell everyone I know that you’re horrible!” What would you do with a customer like this? You know your store is great, you respect the customer and charge fairly. That person’s threats are empty and if they were to write a negative review (most won’t) then it will come off ’empty’ in the post and will hurt that person’s credibility not yours.
For every negative opinion, you have 100+ happy customers that can share their experience. Be proactive in getting those reviews online. You already have a CSI process in place so add online review management to it. There are proven strategies to streamline this so take action now. Don’t fear negativity–use Social Media to engage, boost awareness and improve. One caveat: if you suck and your customers hate you, then you probably have good reason to fear negativity.
A study report posted by eMarketer found that consumers trying to give others advice through Social Media seem to be more interested in directing friends and family toward brands they like than away from brands they’ve had a problem with. Positive word-of-mouth is inherent in our basic human nature and dealerships need to become adept at getting that online.
Words are now more powerful than they’ve ever been. Your dealership’s reputation and credibility are at stake here so apply Social Media tools to broadcast your store’s brand. Pull the trigger and everybody wins!