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Soliciting Positive Service Reviews

flosho

Refresher
Dec 20, 2010
159
16
18
First Name
Jason
Our sales department does an excellent job providing exceptional customer service and making a happy customer when they come in to purchase their new-to-them BMW or Mercedes, etc. It's "easy" to have a happy customer that leaves a 5-star review.

On the flip side, we have a service department that is equally talented, however, it appears to be much more difficult to cultivate a positive review atmosphere. The problem we run into is gathering positive reviews from the customers that had to shell out $500, $1000 or more to fix multiple concerns or issues with their vehicle. Obviously, no one is going to be happy about this, but we still provide excellent service and are looking for ways to turn these customers into positive reviews/testimonials.

Without a straight up "free oil change coupon" for leaving a review, what ways have you folks found to be successful into enticing customers to leave a positive review.

We can also skip the "provide exceptional service and they will leave a review" because that is not pro-active enough. Our business model really builds on having a wonderful online reputation. We have lots of sales reviews on the big sites, however, not hardly any service related reviews and it seems much easier to run into those unreasonable service customers compared to sales customers.

Any thoughts or suggestions on what you've found that works? Or is this not a concern for dealers?
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,847
1,488
113
First Name
Alex
Too many dealers have too many great reviews. Consumers' perception of dealers is that they're evil. The nickname "stealership" isn't adorned out of affection. Even I can't look at dealership reviews because every single dealer has 4.5+ stars everywhere... except little sled lots. It is a lie.

Get REAL reviews. Ask for them through an automated email and see what happens. If some are bad, respond and fix your business. Be transparent about it and your customers will appreciate you.

If you're looking to just get more good reviews then hire some bullshit review service and let them put your bullshit reviews up. Too many excellent reviews are bullshit.
 
Reactions: Brittany

flosho

Refresher
Dec 20, 2010
159
16
18
First Name
Jason
Too many dealers have too many great reviews. Consumers' perception of dealers is that they're evil. The nickname "stealership" isn't adorned out of affection. Even I can't look at dealership reviews because every single dealer has 4.5+ stars everywhere... except little sled lots. It is a lie.

Get REAL reviews. Ask for them through an automated email and see what happens. If some are bad, respond and fix your business. Be transparent about it and your customers will appreciate you.

If you're looking to just get more good reviews then hire some bullshit review service and let them put your bullshit reviews up. Too many excellent reviews are bullshit.

Interesting take! Are you saying that asking a happy customer to leave a review isn't a 'real' review?

It seems foolish, and lazy, especially in the infancy of a company's online reputation, to send out an automated review email. Perhaps once you have a base-level of 100+ reviews with a 4.2+ rating or higher, the blanket email review request would be acceptable.

It seems common sense to ask your best customers to share their experiences before you ask indiscriminately to everyone.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,847
1,488
113
First Name
Alex
Interesting take! Are you saying that asking a happy customer to leave a review isn't a 'real' review?

It seems foolish, and lazy, especially in the infancy of a company's online reputation, to send out an automated review email. Perhaps once you have a base-level of 100+ reviews with a 4.2+ rating or higher, the blanket email review request would be acceptable.

It seems common sense to ask your best customers to share their experiences before you ask indiscriminately to everyone.
I did it for years with great success! What really drove it home was automating the email notifications (I did it through DealerRater) to send new reviews to [email protected]. This encouraged the staff to up their game because nothing motivates like peer pressure!

What I'm saying is that when every dealership looks and acts the same you end up with something I call "the rule of equal incompetence." If every dealer in the marketplace has great reviews, nobody cares. If every dealership is advertising 0% APR, nobody cares. If every dealership has the same used cars, nobody cares. Everyone is equally incompetent.

You've got some KILLER photos of your cars - you're already differentiating yourself, Jason. You're also on DealerRefresh working to educate yourself. Keep going!
 

ChrisR

Refresher
Oct 12, 2015
155
140
43
First Name
Christian
We have been using Podium for a while, and it has been amazing at bringing review volume (on a regular basis) to a variety of sites. We have 4.8 stars on Google, and we (I) respond to each and every single one. What I have seen is most people don't want to leave a review, good, bad, or indifferent. Sending a request to every customer, as soon as the RO is closed, or deal is booked, has been a positive for us.

To Alex's point, if all we had were 5 star reviews, I would be hesitant, as a consumer, to believe it. Seeing that there are some neutral and negative reviews in there, it helps to show we aren't perfect, yet do work to provide 5-star service to everyone.

Being that this is automotive, and we know the value of referrals, if anybody would like to try Podium, I'd be happy to send you over some info, so I can get credit for the referral.

Could go the other way, like this Chef/Restaurateur did: https://thehustle.co/botto-bistro-1-star-yelp/
 
Reactions: Alex Snyder

flosho

Refresher
Dec 20, 2010
159
16
18
First Name
Jason
We have been using Podium for a while, and it has been amazing at bringing review volume (on a regular basis) to a variety of sites. We have 4.8 stars on Google, and we (I) respond to each and every single one. What I have seen is most people don't want to leave a review, good, bad, or indifferent. Sending a request to every customer, as soon as the RO is closed, or deal is booked, has been a positive for us.

To Alex's point, if all we had were 5 star reviews, I would be hesitant, as a consumer, to believe it. Seeing that there are some neutral and negative reviews in there, it helps to show we aren't perfect, yet do work to provide 5-star service to everyone.

Being that this is automotive, and we know the value of referrals, if anybody would like to try Podium, I'd be happy to send you over some info, so I can get credit for the referral.

Could go the other way, like this Chef/Restaurateur did: https://thehustle.co/botto-bistro-1-star-yelp/
I did some quick looking on Podium's website. It looks like the system is done through text/chat program for feedback. Do they offer an add-on or option to push customers towards Google, Facebook or DealerRater?
 

ChrisR

Refresher
Oct 12, 2015
155
140
43
First Name
Christian
I did some quick looking on Podium's website. It looks like the system is done through text/chat program for feedback. Do they offer an add-on or option to push customers towards Google, Facebook or DealerRater?
The way their automated system works is:
- Close RO/Book Car Sale
- Their system sends a text to the user inviting them to share their feedback with a link
- link takes them to a page that asks would they like to leave a review at: Google / FB / DealerRater / Edmunds / etc (there are a number of options & you can change the order of options whenever you want)

You can also use the manual system to send invites out to people.

We've been able to get ahead of some potential survey/CSI issues when we receive less than stellar reviews or responses through the text invites.
 
Reactions: flosho
Aug 1, 2019
9
3
1
We've also seen positive results from Podium. In my experience, you can choose the top 3 platforms you'd like to push customers to and Google, Facebook and DealerRater are all included.

Usually the people who leave reviews are extremely happy or extremely unhappy. People in the middle won't necessarily think to leave a review, but will if you directly ask them. Whether you use tech like Podium or train employees who interact with service customers to ask, you'll likely see a lift in your service reviews and ratings. Good luck!
 
Reactions: flosho

John__S

Noob
Sep 4, 2019
23
16
8
First Name
John
We use RepLev and can create promo or automated email campaigns to drive the reviews. Of course, the majority of them are 5-star on Google, but it also tracks when negative reviews are left on sites out in the middle of the internet that you may not be thinking about.

That allows us to reply to each of them and each month, one last email goes out to those that did not leave any feedback asking them "negative or positive" for their feedback.

Putting "negative" first seems to drive a few that might have had a beef to bring it up. At least we can all learn from it if the negative experience is legit and not just some whining about the pricing.

Our automated system will send 3 emails or texts (they opt in) after the sale is closed. Even with that, the response rate is lower than I would like to see, so we still have some work to do there.
 
Apr 10, 2018
9
3
1
First Name
Tori
We use RepLev and can create promo or automated email campaigns to drive the reviews. Of course, the majority of them are 5-star on Google, but it also tracks when negative reviews are left on sites out in the middle of the internet that you may not be thinking about.

That allows us to reply to each of them and each month, one last email goes out to those that did not leave any feedback asking them "negative or positive" for their feedback.

Putting "negative" first seems to drive a few that might have had a beef to bring it up. At least we can all learn from it if the negative experience is legit and not just some whining about the pricing.

Our automated system will send 3 emails or texts (they opt in) after the sale is closed. Even with that, the response rate is lower than I would like to see, so we still have some work to do there.
How do you like RepLev? I'm actually shopping companies now. I've been happy with podium but their recent customer service/lack of answers has left me looking for other options.