You Should Never Ignore Online Reviews - Here’s Why

Your sales at the dealership are going up, up, and up, and you’ve been having the best quarter of the year. Your customers seem to be leaving satisfied and your team seems content with their work. Then, out of nowhere, things start changing. You start noticing a sharp decline in happy customers walking through your doors, and you’re not sure where it all went wrong.

The thing is, you probably do. You see, over the past month, you remember receiving a handful of negative online reviews. You were alerted to them by your customer service department and were told that they’d been increasing in volume all around the most popular review sites. But, you decided to ignore them and let fate run its course. Unfortunately, that small blunder has ended up costing your dealership new and returning business. Ignoring these reviews, both negative and positive, can be one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to running a successful business. Here’s why.

Online Reviews Can Determine Your Impressions and Your Success

You may think that online reviews don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of your successful business plan, but that truth is that they do. After all, you’re in the auto industry where even now, word of mouth is king. In today’s virtual world, word of mouth takes the shape of online reviews, and they are just as impactful on your business as old school oral referrals. The engine of your dealership runs on the positive experiences of past, present, and future customers. Your entire business thrives on excellent customer service, and ignoring one of the most modern ways to monitor how well your customer service actually is, is quite frankly, silly.

Should You Care About These Reviews?

Should you care about online reviews? Absolutely, positively, yes! As we mentioned, online reviews are today’s fast-moving word of mouth. Positive reviews can help fuel your business and keep it move it forward, while negative reviews could potentially cause a loss in overall sales. Think about it: if you had an unhappy customer come to the middle of your store and start yelling complaints out loud for everyone to hear, you’d be frustrated and concerned about the impact it would have on the customers listening. Online reviews create a similar effect: they are somebody shouting either positive or negative things about your business for other customers to hear. Ignoring them is just ridiculous.

Pretending Reviews Don’t Exists Is A Big Mistake

Look, we know that negative reviews can be a hassle and general nuisance to deal with. It can be difficult to sit there and read a customer’s awful experience or horrible complaints when you trust and value your team. At the end of the day, the last thing you probably want to do is read blurbs by a bunch of negative nellies on the Internet.  But choosing to ignore those reviews is a major mistake that you may later come to regret. Dealing with negative reviews on a regular basis is an unfortunate part of running a dealership. Ignoring them won’t make them disappear, but choosing to be proactive in dealing with them just might.

The thing is, negative reviews can actually be a great reputation booster for your business if you know how to take full advantage of them. No matter how crude the review may seem, publicly responding to it with a positive voice or even privately reaching to the customer who wrote the review can give you the opportunity to amend or erase the negative review. More importantly, choosing to be proactive about these reviews helps add a great deal of credibility to your dealership’s overall reputation. Your customers will see that you truly value their voices and that you’re listening to what they have to say.

So, What Can We Do For You?

Lot Rep can help your entire team track and monitor positive and negative reviews around the clock, while also helping the dealership stay accountable for properly dealing with them. We also offer a few features, like our Review Requester, that make it easier to get those positive reviews from your customers. Plus, we’re in the process of develop a mobile app to help make your life even easier. We think that you should have all the tools you need to respond to these reviews in a timely and effective manner, and using our system will make it impossible to ignore negative reviews ever again.