• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

Dealers flooding review sites with fake user reviews

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
577
494
93
First Name
Ryan
We may now see some serious regulation on this.

Ryan Leslie's stock options just went up!
It is easy for us on this forum to shake our heads and blame the vendor for a STUPID business model, it is much tougher to think about WHY the vendor is providing this product or service. Every product or service has a target market, and this company is targeting dealers that will cheat given the opportunity. Humankind was operating as an agent of a paying customer. Somewhere a dealership employee is cutting a check to Humankind...

I'm in full support of Edmunds pursuing legal means to protect their brand from being targeted for fake content, but in my mind, the problem is bigger than Humankind. We block dozens of these companies! The only real prevention from this activity is a dealer base that refuses to pay for this "service." Perhaps Humankind should be forced to share their customer list in the hearings, that might wake a few people up!

You won't fix a cockroach infestation by squashing a single cockroach, you have to also fix whatever they are feeding on to prevent them from reproducing.

As for stock options Yago, up is a relative term ;)
 
Reactions: 1 person

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,989
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
I've made some awesome contacts recently, one has a close working relationship with Google's local search SPAM team. My contact mentioned: "Review SPAM in the car dealer space was so bad, Google spent a great deal of time writing special SPAM rules, learned from studying your vertical".

Old school car dealers sometimes can't help but wear that black hat :-)
 

Bill Simmons

Jr. Refresher
Sep 30, 2010
232
190
43
First Name
Bill
I've made some awesome contacts recently, one has a close working relationship with Google's local search SPAM team. My contact mentioned: "Review SPAM in the car dealer space was so bad, Google spent a great deal of time writing special SPAM rules, learned from studying your vertical".

Old school car dealers sometimes can't help but wear that black hat :-)
Joe

How long should it take for Google's spam filters to weed out bogus reviews? I found a dealer recently that had several employees post positive reviews to bury a bad one. They are obvious fakes, but have been online for a couple of months old and have not been filtered yet.
 

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
577
494
93
First Name
Ryan
I've made some awesome contacts recently, one has a close working relationship with Google's local search SPAM team. My contact mentioned: "Review SPAM in the car dealer space was so bad, Google spent a great deal of time writing special SPAM rules, learned from studying your vertical".

Old school car dealers sometimes can't help but wear that black hat :-)
If Rep marketing is the Wild Wild West, someone should probably remind them that the guy in the black hat ALWAYS gets shot and DIES at the end of the film. ;)
 
Reactions: 2 people
Apr 9, 2014
1
0
0
First Name
Scott
I have since left the dealer group I was a DMM for but I learned a few things about reviews while I was there. Fake reviews will always be a problem, but they were manageable for me when I followed these steps.

1. Stay on top of your own reviews. If you receive a review which looks fake, it is YOUR job to get it removed even if it is positive. If you can find out who left the review for you if it was one of your own people, reprimand or termination is a given.

2. The best way to get reviews is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave them. Cars.com and Edmunds do not track IP addresses, so it is very easy to hand the customer an iPad or walk him/her over to a computer for them to leave a review. Coach them, walk them through it, but DO NOT put words in their mouths.

3. Take away cards are great, unforgettable customer service is better.

4. Respond to ALL reviews, positive or negative.

5. Give your team instructions to solicit certain sites. The key is to always have current reviews on the main review sites; yelp, cars.com, google +, edmunds.com, dealer rater, etc. I was initiating targets weekly to always show new reviews. BTW, solicitation works like this:

"Hello Customer, do you by any chance have a Yelp or Google+ account? A Yelp then? Well, it would really help me out if you could just write a few words on a Yelp review after you leave today. It would really help me look good to my boss."

6. Bad reviews are not all that bad! If you get a bad review, a customer is letting you know about a problem in your business. It is your job to assess and fix that problem, and make sure it doesn't happen again. This is 85% of the time, the other 15% being people who just want to complain. Keep your responses short and sweet, do not engage. Apologize, advise them to call you or come back to the dealership to talk in person, and sign off. DO NOT get into a heated public exchange on the internet. "The internet is written in Ink..."

Just some fun facts I thought I would share about my experiences. Please let me know if you disagree, have more to offer, or even took a different approach to getting more reviews and dealing with negative/fake ones.
 

yagoparamo

Sr. Refresher
Dec 30, 2009
1,901
493
113
First Name
Yago
6. Bad reviews are not all that bad! If you get a bad review, a customer is letting you know about a problem in your business. It is your job to assess and fix that problem, and make sure it doesn't happen again. This is 85% of the time, the other 15% being people who just want to complain. Keep your responses short and sweet, do not engage. Apologize, advise them to call you or come back to the dealership to talk in person, and sign off. DO NOT get into a heated public exchange on the internet. "The internet is written in Ink..."

I agree with all your other statements, well done, but I can't with #6.

I think most dealers have experienced absurd venomous bad reviews. Buying a car is not an easy process for some people, some can't buy what they want due to heir circumstances, some customers think that they can dictate what they want and they get mad when they don't get it, and a lot of that frustration is let open to the dealers.